Summary: #21 in series. Points to Jesus as The Source Of Life, The Sustainer Of Life, The Satisfaction In Life and The Security Of Life Eternal
A Study of the Book of John
"That You May Believe"
Sermon # 21
"The Living Bread”
Previously in John chapter six we looked at how many in the crowds who followed Jesus seemed to be experts at “missing the point.” They had witnessed his miraculous feeding of the 5,000 with five small loaves and two small fish and all they seemed to be able to do is make a physical connection. They wanted Jesus to continue to meet their physical need for food. In fact in (v. 30) they say that “if” he will provide a suitable “sign” they will believe that He is the Messiah. This suitable sign in their minds was for Jesus to once again provide manna from Heaven as they believe Moses did for the Children of Israel in the wilderness. They believed this because they had been taught by the Rabbis that the coming Messiah would again give them manna. Therefore the people were challenging Jesus to produce the bread of God (the manna) in order to prove His claim to be the Messiah.
Jesus corrected their thinking (vv. 32-33) by pointing out errors in their thinking.
First, He dealt with their error in believing that it was Moses that provided the manna, it was not Moses but God who provided the Manna.
But perhaps most important of all that
Jesus told them was that the manna was not really the bread of God it was only the symbol of the bread of God (v. 33). The bread of God was a person, and that person gives life to the world and that person was Jesus!
The crowd may not have understood everything that Jesus was saying, but they understood at least part of it. The bread they wanted did not come for Moses, it came from God. They also understood that to some extent that He was talking about something beyond the mere physical. So they said to the Lord in verse thirty-four, “Lord, give us this bread always.” (35) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. (36) But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. (37) All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. (38) For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (39) This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. (40) And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
This morning I want you to see four things this passage tells about Jesus!
First, Jesus Is The Source of Life
“I am the bread of life” (v. 34)
To understand the impact of what Jesus said, when he uttered the words “I am the bread of life:” we must travel back in the Old Testament all the way to the moment when God revealed his personal name to Moses in Exodus 3:14. There God told Moses to tell His people that “I AM has sent you.” From that time forward the Jews associated this phrase as a claim of deity. When Jesus declares in John 8:58 that “before Abraham was, I AM” he absolutely shocked his listeners, for they understood that He was saying, “I AM God!” At this point His enemies wanted to stone Him for blasphemy, and understandably so, for either this was true or He was deluded and it was a lie. Seven times in the Gospel of John Jesus said who He was and each time He deepens our understanding of His provision for us.
“I am the bread of life.” (6:35)
“I am the light of the world.” (8:12, 9:5)
“I am the door.” (10:7, 9)
“I am the good shepherd.” (10:11, 14)
“I am the resurrection and the life.” (11:25)
“I am the way, the truth and the life.” (14:6)
“I am the true vine.” (15:1, 5)
Clearly John has gathered a collection of the statements of Jesus which plainly show that the Savior of whom he writes is the one and only God. As the opening “I AM” statement John tells us that Jesus asserts “I AM the Bread of Life.” What a statement! It is no coincidence that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, which means “the house of bread!”
He is claiming to be that which one needs in order to have life and continue to live. Without Him there is existence, but not life! Christ gives eternal life. He not only has life in Himself, but He gives life to all those who will come to Him!