Summary: The key question for this sermon is: "What are you hungry for?" and answers with Jesus statement: "I AM the Bread of Life."
“The Bread of Life”
The I AM statement of Jesus
August 5, 2007
Text: John 6
Introduction: This morning we are beginning a new sermon series, The I AM statements of Jesus from the Gospel of John. Jesus made an incredible statement to the Jews in response to a discussion about the greatness of Abraham. This is what Jesus said:
John 8:58 (NIV) "I tell you the truth," Jesus answered, "before Abraham was born, I am!" Wow. What a claim. Jesus pre-existed before Abraham! At that point the Scriptures says that the Jews began to pick up stones to stone Jesus. They knew that He was claiming to be God and that was blasphemy to them. It reminded me of a time in the OT when God gave His name to Moses at the burning bush:
Exodus 3:13-15 (NIV) Moses said to God, "Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ’The God of your fathers has sent me to you,’ and they ask me, ’What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?" God said to Moses, "I am who I am. This is what you are to say to the Israelites: ’I am has sent me to you.’ " God also said to Moses, "Say to the Israelites, ’The Lord, the God of your fathers--the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac and the God of Jacob--has sent me to you.’ This is my name forever, the name by which I am to be remembered from generation to generation.
Throughout the book of John, Jesus makes claims about Himself. There are seven I AM statements that we will be looking at these next few weeks…
• I AM the Bread of Life
• I AM the light of the world
• I AM the door
• I AM the good shepherd
• I AM the resurrection and the life
• I AM the way, the truth, and the life
• I AM the true vine
So this morning, we will look at Jesus’ I AM statement about Himself. John 6:48 (NIV)
I am the bread of life. Bread is an interesting metaphor for Jesus. If you do just a quick search of the Gospels, you will find ‘bread’ referenced often. For example:
• 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.
• 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.
• Right before His death, Jesus broke break and shared a cup with His disciples as a reminder of His sacrifice. Luke 22:19 (NIV) And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, "This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me."
Bread is a powerful metaphor for what we need to survive in this life and in the next. In the Sermon on the Mount, Jesus said in, Matthew 5:6 (NIV) Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they will be filled. So we are told that if we hunger for the right things we will be satisfied…if we hunger for the wrong things, we never be satisfied.
The key question this morning is: What are you hungry for?
1. Are you hungry for His provision or His person? (v.25-40, 52-59) It seems that most people are hungry for God’s provision. Today’s message comes right on the heels of Jesus feeding 5000 men and their families. Jesus met their physical need in a powerful way and they followed Him across the Lake. He told them that they were following Him, because He satisfied them physically, but there was so much more that Jesus wanted to offer.
John 6:26-27 (NIV) Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
Jesus was saying that we hunger and work for food that perishes, but we should hunger and work for food that lasts forever. And that food comes from Jesus Himself. Then not only did they follow Him for His provision, but they also wanted to Him to display His power. They wanted a sign.