Summary: A sermon for the 8th Sunday after Pentecost Year B Proper 13 Jesus is the Bread of Life
8th Sunday after Pentecost
The Work of Faith
24 So when the people saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, "Rabbi, when did you come here?"
26 Jesus answered them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.
27 Do not labor 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 has God the Father set his seal."
28 ¶ Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?"
29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
30 So they said to him, "Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you perform?
31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ’He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’"
32 Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world."
34 They said to him, "Lord, give us this bread always."
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.RSV
Grace and Peace to you from our Lord and Saviour, Jesus who is the Christ. Amen
Far away in a lonely desert stands a water pump in the sand. You are a solitary traveler, and your canteen is empty and you come upon that pump. Tied to it is a hand written sign put there by some pilgrim. The sign reads "I have buried a bottle of water to prime the pump. don’t drink any of it."
"Pour in half of it to wet the leather. Wait, and then pour in the rest. Then pump. The well has never gone dry, but the pump must be primed to bring the water up. Have faith, believe. When you are through drawing water, fill the bottle and bury it in the sand for the next traveler.
Having come upon this pump in the desert with this sign and being out of water, what would you do???Will you dig the water bottle from the sand and drink from it??Or will you believe and believing dare to pour that water, trust to put water into pump every drop of it down into the old trusty pump?? Because you trust, you take a risk, both for yourself and for the next person who will pass that way.
What will you do???
That story possess an interesting question for all of us. Do we believe and trust in that written message by the water pump, or do we only worry about our own thirst and drink from the water bottle knowing that the water will give us enough strength to go on? What would you do???
Now in the same way think about the words in the Bible. They are our words of salvation in the desert of life. They are our source of life, life for eternity. Do you believe in them, or will you try your own way?
Think about Jesus in the same way as the note in the desert and the words of the Bible, He is our salvation in the desert of life, our source of life, life for eternity. Do you believe what Jesus says is true for Your life, or do you go your own way???
Our lesson this morning concerns faith. Someone in the crowd asked Jesus, "What must we do to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God that you believe in him who he has sent." Then Jesus goes on and says, "I am the bread of life; he who come to me shall not hunger, he who believes in me shall never thirst."
Faith can be defined as an obedient attitude to the will of God. And Jesus says faith is the work a follower of his should be about, having an obedient attitude in the will of God. Trusting and believing that the promises God has made for us through Jesus Christ are true.
Sometimes you and I get our work all mixed up. We think our work is salvation and so we try our hardest to save ourselves instead of trusting in God and being obedient to his will. It is as if we drank that bottle of water beside the pump instead of using it to prime the pump. We would be trusting in our own selfs, our own resources for living, instead of trusting and believing in God and his promises.