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Summary: Our dependence on Jesus

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THE BREAD OF LIFE

JOHN 6:35; 8:54-58

I. INTRODUCTION

BREAD IS THE MOST WIDELY EATEN FOOD IN THE WORLD. IT PROVIDES A LARGER SHARE OF PEOPLE’S ENERGY AND PROTEIN THAN ANY OTHER FOOD AND IS OFTEN CALLED THE STAFF OF LIFE. BREAD IS MADE BY BAKING DOUGH THAT CONSISTS CHIEFLY OF FLOUR OR GRAIN MEAL MIXED WITH WATER OR MILK. BREAD COMES IN MANY SHAPES, COLORS, BRANDS, AND FLAVORS. BREAD CAN BE TOASTED, ROASTED, BAKED, OR FRIED. BREAD CAN BE PREPARED IN A VARIETY OF WAYS: CORNBREAD, BREADSTICKS, BUNS, BISCUITS, DOUGHNUTS, MUFFINS, AND ROLLS. IT CAN BE SLICED OR IT CAN BE DICED. YES MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, BREAD IS AN IMPORTANT PART OF A BALANCED DIET. AS IMPORTANT AS BREAD IS IN OUR LIVES, I HAVE DISCOVERED THAT BREAD CAN BECOME OUTDATED, IT CAN MOLD, IT CAN GROW STALE, IT CAN BECOME HARD, AND ESSENTIALLY, IT CAN BECOME OF NO VALUE. BUT MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, I WANT TO TELL YOU ABOUT ANOTHER TYPE OF BREAD THAT IS MORE VITAL TO OUR EXISTENCE THAN PHYSICAL BREAD, AND THAT BREAD IS JESUS, THE BREAD OF LIFE. HE NEVER GETS OUTDATED, HE NEVER GETS MOLDY, HE NEVER GROWS OLD, HE NEVER GETS STALE, AND HE NEVER GETS HARD. I WANT TO OFFER TO YOU SOME BREAD THAT IS GOOD, FOR PSALMS 34:8 STATES, "O, TASTE AND SEE THAT THE LORD IS GOOD." SO, IF ANYONE IS SPIRITUALLY HUNGRY TODAY, JUST TRY JESUS!

II. THE TEXT

THESE TWO SCRIPTURE REFERENCES REVEAL THAT JESUS WAS MORE THAN JUST A MAN, THAT IN FACT HE WAS GOD. IN HIS DISCOURSE WITH THE JEWS WHO QUESTIONED HIS AGE AND AUTHORITY, HE TOLD THEM THAT BEFORE ABRAHAM WAS THE APPLE OF HIS PARENTS EYE, HE WAS WITH GOD. IN OTHER WORDS, BEFORE THERE WAS A WHEN OR A WHERE, HE WAS. IN HIS DISCOURSE WITH THOSE WHO WERE FOLLOWING HIM NOT BECAUSE OF WHO HE WAS, BUT BECAUSE OF WHAT HE DID, AND WERE LOOKING FOR A SIGN, HE LETS THEM KNOW THAT HE IS THE ARCHITECT OF SALVATION, AND WHOSOEVER EATS OF HIS FLESH, SHALL NEVER HUNGER.

MY BROTHERS AND SISTERS, WE LIVE IN A WORLD THAT IS SPIRITUALLY STARVING. THE RECENT CRIME STATISTICS WILL DEMONSTRATE THAT THE CONDICTION OF MAN’S SOUL IS SUFFERING FROM MALNUTRITION. THE RAPID RATE OF ABORTION IS EVIDENT THAT OUR WORLD IS IN A MESS. THE EPIC PORPORTION OF DIVORCE, SAME SEX MARRIAGES, AND DOMESTIC VIOLENCE ILLUSTRATE THAT SOCIETY IS DEPENDING AND EATING THE WRONG TYPE OF BREAD. IF THERE IS TO BE ANY HOPE OF DELIVERANCE, MAN MUST MAKE THE BREAD OF LIFE A PART OF HIS DIET.

JESUS GIVES HIMSELF FREELY AS THE BREAD THAT LEADS TO ETERNAL LIFE. APART FROM HIM, THERE IS NO OTHER WAY FOR MAN TO BE SAVED. JESUS SAYS IN JOHN 6:44, "NO MAN CAN COME TO ME, EXCEPT THE FATHER WHICH HATH SENT ME DRAW HIM." IN VERSE 53 OF THAT SAME CHAPTER HE SAYS, "THEN JESUS SAID UNTO THEM, VERILY, VERILY, I SAY UNTO YOU, EXCEPT YE EAT THE FLESH OF THE SON OF MAN, AND DRINK HIS BLOOD, YE HAVE NO LIFE IN YOU."

IF WE COMPARE THE LIVING BREAD WITH THE MANNER THAT GOD SENT THE CHILDREN OF ISRAEL IN THE WILDERNESS, WE WILL SEE THAT THE TRUE BREAD IS FAR SUPERIOR. THE MANNA ONLY LASTED FOR ONE DAY. THE BREAD OF HEAVEN IS FROM EVERLASTING TO EVERLASTING. THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN WAS TRUE BREAD, BECAUSE IT SATISFIED THE DEEPEST WANTS OF MAN’S NATURE. IT HAD TRUE LIFE-GIVING, LIFE-UPHOLDING VIRTUE. IT WAS CONTINUOUS IN ITS SUPPLY OF MAN’S WANTS. "IT COMETH DOWN FROM HEAVEN."

III. THE I AMNESS OF JESUS

NOTICE THAT IN BOTH OF OUR TEXT JESUS USES THE WORD I AM. THE JEWS IDENTIFIED THIS PHRASE AS BEING EQUAL WITH GOD OR AS BEING GOD. WHEN THE ARMY CAME TO ARREST HIM IN THE GARDEN OF GESTHSEMENE IN JOHN 18:6, JESUS ASKED THEM WHO THEY WERE LOOKING FOR. WHEN THEY STATED THAT THEY WERE LOOKING FOR JESUS, HE SAID I AM HE, AND THEY FELL BACKWARD TO THE GROUND.

THE GREAT I AM OF THE OLD TESTAMENT IS THE SAME I AM IN THE NEW TESTAMENT. GOD TOLD MOSES, I AM, THAT I AM, MEANING I AM WHAT I WANT TO BE AND I AM WHAT YOU NEED ME TO BE. IF YOU NEED SHELTER, I AM THAT, IF YOU NEED A FRIEND, I AM THAT, IF YOU NEED A SAVIOR, I AM THAT.

THERE ARE THREE POINTS THAT CAPTURE THE APEX OF OUR ATTENTION. ONE, JESUS IS THE SUSTAINER OF BOTH PHYSICAL AND SPIRITUAL LIFE. JESUS SAYS IN JOHN 15:5, "WITHOUT ME, YE CAN DO NOTHING." TWO, JESUS AS THE BREAD OF LIFE IS A FREE GIFT FROM GOD. JOHN 3:15, "FOR GOD SO LOVED THE WORLD, THAT HE GAVE HIS ONLY BEGOTTEN SON, THAT WHOSOEVER BELIEVETH IN HIM SHOULD NOT PERISH, BUT HAVE EVERLASTING LIFE." THREE, EVERYTHING THAT WE NEED IS ROOTED AND GROUND IN JESUS. PHILIPPIANS 4:19, "BUT MY GOD SHALL SUPPLY ALL YOUR NEED ACCORDING TO HIS RICHES IN GLORY BY CHRIST JESUS."

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