Summary: From the loaves and fishes to our text today where He offers Himself as the very bread of life. Jesus begins by meeting the needs of the physically hungry and ends with meeting the needs of the spiritually hungry. Link inc. to formatted text, audio, Powe
Who Wants Seconds on Bread?
Food is one of the strongest desires we have.
"Is that really what you're preaching about today, Pastor?"
People will do almost anything for food if they get hungry enough. Rob, steal, kill, rent out their bodies, etc. Looting is rampant in America when supplies run low in natural disasters. Grocery shelves are bare in a matter of minutes when there's a run on supplies, and our reserves are so low that we are only days from running out completely under some circumstances. It's not a bad idea to have a reserve of your own non-perishables, and while you're at it...bring some to the food pantry, which not only helps our neighbors but may one day be most needed by you!
Mankind has a built in spiritual hunger as well.
ill.--Let's see - I'm hungry and I see in front of me a cheeseburger, dripping with the good stuff, and also my Bible. Which will I reach for? How about both!
But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.
[physical/spiritual food both in this verse]
O taste and see that the LORD is good:
John 6 is all about bread...from the loaves and fishes to the 5,000 to our text today where He offers Himself as the very bread of life. He begins by meeting the needs of the physically hungry and ends with meeting the needs of the spiritually hungry.
The bread of life is partaking of Christ. Only that can satisfy the spiritual hunger of the soul. Things don't satisfy, nor pleasure, money, or anything else. The deep seated longing in your soul can be fulfilled...ONLY by Jesus, the bread of life!
As important as it is to meet the physical needs of our bodies...it is much more important to meet the eternal, spiritual needs of the soul.
And fear not them which kill the body, but are not able to kill the soul: but rather fear him which is able to destroy both soul and body in hell.
v. 26 "You are coming back for seconds!" "You follow me because I filled your belly." [you are living in the physical, and need to seek the spiritual]
Our world today lives entirely on a physical plane, as if that's all there is in life. We've become two-dimensional beings with just a body and a soul [outer person and inner person], instead of the three-dimensional beings made in God's image which are complete when our Spirit is awakened and brought to life.
"Filled" in v. 26 is a word picture of an animal gorging itself. It has the base instinct of meeting its physical need anytime it can. Jesus is saying, "Don't live at the same level as an animal...you are my only creation made in my image."
ill.--sex in marriage is a beautiful gift that is FAR more than just a physical act. [this is where you shift in your seat, uncomfortably!] But mankind has reduced it to the level of animals. Who cares about the other person's feelings, emotional wellbeing, STD status, or even if they love me, or can blink or look back at me [pornography] ... it's just an animal urge, and man will sow his seed where he may. No wonder women are regarded as 'pets' or 'bunnies'...evolution says we're just more evolved animals and we should satisfy our instincts.
Take the spiritual aspect out of sex and you reduce it to the level of the barnyard.
Jesus says, you don't want a Lord, just more loaves. You should reach beyond the physical to the spiritual needs of your heart.
And WE are guilty of the same when we make the gospel so 'need centered' or 'man centered.'
We say, "Do you want a happier life? Your marriage fixed? Health and wealth? Come to Jesus!" It is need centered evangelism. Certainly Jesus can and does do all the above, but our motive for coming to Jesus is because we are sinners in need of a Savior, and not for what He can do for us...but rather for what He has ALREADY DONE for us!
Whether God fixes your temporary situation or not you should come to Him because of your eternal situation!
v. 27 You eat and in a few hours you are hungry again. But not so when you partake of Christ...it continues to satisfy permanently.
vv. 31-35 This is a reference to the OT manna in the wilderness. For much of 40 years God supplied these little white wafers which gave them everything they needed to be nutritionally and physically satisfied.
ill.--2 to 3 million Jews gathered an omer a day, and someone with too much time on their hands estimated that it would take 240 box cars to feed them every single day. But it was a small thing for God. He can certainly meet your daily needs!