Summary: This sermon is part of the"Names of Jesus" sermon series and explores Jesus being the Bread of Life.
The Names of Jesus
“The Bread of Life”
Today’s name is one of eight names, the first one to be exact, that Jesus used of Himself proclaiming His deity by attaching His name, “The Bread of Life, to God’s holy name, “I AM.”
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35 NKJV)
Bread is the most common food throughout the world, and is consider one of life’s staples. It is a basic component of every diet. This is why its been given the moniker, “the staff of life.” It is life’s main source and sustenance.
There are many things that bread is made into. Besides bread for sandwiches, you have bread as a major component of snacks. You also have cakes, doughnuts, bagels, English muffins, and buns.
Bread comes in a variety of different shapes. There is what is most commonly seen in supermarkets, and that is loaves. But you have also round, oblong, and flat. And those who supply all these bread products around the world are too numerous to count.
There are also various types of bread including white, wheat, multigrain, rye, sourdough, Italian, French, pita, flatbread, soda, corn, zucchini, pumpernickel, tortilla, as well as many others that I cannot pronounced from different countries.
But there is one more type of bread, and one that shapes our story, and that is Matzo.
Matzo is unleavened bread, and leaven is symbolic of sin in the Bible.
Not long after Jesus fed another multitude, 4,000 men, not counting women and children, which would put the number more around 12,000, with seven loaves and a few small fish, the disciples had forgotten to take bread for the journey. This is when Jesus then told them to beware the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Jesus then referenced both the feeding of the 5,000, which is our story today, and the 4,000 that just happened, Matthew 15:32 – 16:12.
The disciples realized that Jesus talking about physical bread, but rather He talking about the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees, which directly contradicted Scriptures, thus sin.
Unleavened bread is therefore bread that is, symbolically speaking, without sin, which speaks directly to Jesus being the bread of life, because He was without sin, 1 Peter 2:22, 2 Corinthians 5:21, Hebrews 4:15, 1 John 3:5.
Throughout our story, where Jesus called Himself the Bread of Life, Jesus is seen repeating Himself often, saying the same thing in a multitude of different ways, which means that His name, the Bread of Life, and His mission as such was something He didn’t want us to miss.
The story is found in John chapter 6.
It begins with Jesus feeding a great multitude. It says that the men totaled 5,000, but when you also count the women and children, this is probably more like 15,000.
The next day, the people came seeking him, but not for the right reason.
Jesus said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.” (John 6:26 NKJV)
They were in it for the free meal, and as such they were missing out on the spiritual significance, that right there in front of them was Jesus, the Messiah, the bread from heaven.
He then tells them that their search for physical food was in vain saying, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27 NKJV)
Now Judaism, being a works oriented religion, that is, they were concerning with keeping the law to become righteous, the Jews asked the most logical question.
“What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” (John 6:28 NKJV)
Humanity always wants God to conform to their way of thinking, rather than conform their thinking to God’s way and word.
And so Jesus said that is isn’t about works, but belief.
“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29 NKJV)
And then being the wicked and adulterous generation that they were, Jesus’ words not mine, Matthew 16:4, they asked for a sign, but not just any sign, one specific to this idea of bread and feeding the multitudes.
After Jesus fed the 4,000 the Pharisees and Sadducees came and asked him for a sign from heaven. After calling them hypocrites and their inability to discern what was right in front of them, Jesus gave them the sign of Jonah, that is, just as Jonah was three days and nights in the belly of the fish, so Jesus would be three days and nights in the grave.