Summary: Do you hunger for the things that satisfy you or the things that satisfy God?
The Bread of Life
In His Own Words
Text: John 6:26-58
With this lesson, we begin a new sermon series, “In His Own Words,” the seven I AM statements of Jesus from the Gospel of John. 7 times in John’s Gospel Jesus reveals something important about His divine nature, His character, or His mission by declaring “I Am” something. Jesus says in John 6:35 He says “I am the bread of life.” In John 8:12 “I am the light of the world.” In John 10:14 He proclaims “I am the good shepherd.” In John 11:25 Jesus says “I am the resurrection and the life.” In John 15:1 He declares “I am the true vine.” In John 14:6 the Savior says “I am the way, the truth, and the life.”
Each statement speaks to a particular relationship of Jesus to the spiritual needs of men and women. Jesus is the Light in the darkness, the Gate to security, and the Shepherd that guides. He is the way, the truth and the life. In every one of these we see that Jesus wants us to receive him, not for the gifts he can give us, but for what he can be to us.
It is my intention that this sermon series will deepen our knowledge and appreciation of our matchless savior. In this lesson we will look at Jesus’ I AM statement about Himself. John 6:26-58
I.I Am the bread of life
A.Bread is an interesting metaphor for Jesus.
1.If you do just a quick search of the Gospels, you will find ‘bread’ referenced often. For example:
a.In Matthew 4:4 (NIV) Jesus was responding to the devil in the wilderness when He said, "It is written: ’Man does not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God.’" So Jesus indicates early on that there is more to this life than just physical bread.
b.In the Lord’s Prayer, which can be found in Matthew 6:11 and Luke 11: 3 Jesus says to pray like this: Give us today our daily bread. We are encouraged to pray for bread which represents our basic daily needs. This is also probably a reference to the daily Manna that the children of Israel received in the wilderness.
c.In the time just before His betrayal, Jesus broke bread with His disciples as a reminder of His sacrifice.
Luke 22:19 (NASB) And when He had taken some bread and given thanks, He broke it and gave it to them, saying, “This is My body which is given for you; do this in remembrance of Me.”
2.Bread is a powerful metaphor for all the things we need to survive in this life and in the next.
a.In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said in,
Matthew 5:6 (NASB) “Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.”
b.The meaning in this verse is that if we hunger for the right things we will be satisfied… if we hunger for the wrong things, we never will be satisfied.
B.The key question is: For what do you hunger?
1.Are you hungry for His provision or His person?
Read John 6:22-25
a.What we see here is people are hungry for God’s provision. This passage comes right on the heels of Jesus feeding 5000 men and their families.
b.This crowd is following Jesus now not because they want to hear the words of eternal life, but because they think they’ve found in Him a never-ending supply of bread.
c.The same phenomenon occurs, you recall, when Jesus reveals Himself to be living water to the woman at the well in chapter 4. She replies, “Great! Give me some of this water so I don’t have to keep coming to Jacob’s Well for water.”
d.Jesus met their physical need in a powerful way and they followed Him across the Lake.
e.He told them that they were following Him, because He satisfied them physically, but there was so much more that Jesus wanted to offer.
f.John 6:26 - 27 (NASB) Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. “Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.”
g.This crowd is looking for the wrong thing in the wrong place. They want literal bread to satisfy their physical hunger but Jesus is spiritual bread, to give and sustain spiritual life; He is that bread, in His person and work.
2.In response to the words of Jesus the crowd seeks His provision by prodding Him with the example of the miraculous feeding of the children of Isreal.