Summary: My first publicly delivered sermon! It wasn’t orignially titled and has undergone a few rewrites but the message stays the same: he that partakes of the Bread of Life gets true satisfaction and eternal life.
The food pyramid diagram can be found on much of the food packaging in the United States. Released in 2004 by the United States Department of Agriculture, the food pyramid suggested how much of each food category one should eat each day. The food guide pyramid replaced the four food groups. This initial pyramid became famous throughout the world, and was, in some way, an American icon. In general terms the food guide pyramid recommends the following intake of different food groups each day: occasional use of fats, oils, and sweet (7 teaspoons oil per day); 2-3 servings of dairy products every other day; 2-3 servings of meat, fish, eggs, nuts or beans a day; 2-4 servings of fruits a day; 3-5 servings a day of vegetables, especially green, leafy vegetables; and 6-11 servings a day of grains including rice, bread, cereals, and pasta.
Bread is what is considered a staple food, that is, it’s a food that forms the basis of a traditional diet, particularly that of the poor. Typically, staples are inexpensive, starchy foods that are high in food energy that can be stored for use throughout the year. It makes sense then, that Jesus calls himself the bread of life. He is a staple in our lives! We need more of him than anything else!
You’ll notice that the bread group forms the base of the pyramid. That’s because Jesus is the base of our life! Everything is built on him! You can’t build a relationship that’s going to last if its not built on Jesus! You can’t build a family that’ll last if its not built on Jesus! No church can survive unless its built on Jesus! Yes, its no coincidence that the American dollar stands as the most effective form of currency in the world! It’s no wonder the United States has stood for so long as the premiere economic superpower! Because we’re the only ones who have “in God we trust” on our money! We stood for so long as the hegemonic superpower, unchallenged, uncontested, because we’re the only ones who pledge allegiance to a flag that flies over one nation under God! Notice that once we took prayer out of schools, once it became that “under God” is an optional phrase in the pledge, that’s when folk started challenging us! That’s when we got attacked! You watch and see what happens if a couple wayward folk get their way and “in God we trust” is taken off money! I guarantee you the dollar won’t be worth nothin! The songwriter said it best On Christ the solid rock I stand… all other ground is sinking sand!
That’s why the food pyramid requires that we take 6-11 servings of bread! We’re going to take 6 today, verses fifty-two through fifty-eight of the sixth chapter of John. Sometime after Jesus had performed all the miracles on the sick, and walked on the water, a crowd followed him. When they finally caught up to him, they asked him many questions, one of which was “what are the things God wants us to do?” Jesus’ answer was incandescently clear. He said, “believe on the one he sent.” Then he maintained, “I am the bread of life! Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whosoever believes on me will never go thirsty! Therefore feed on me! And be drawn to me, and receive life more abundantly!”
Unless a man receives Christ, he has no life within him. He is a dead man spiritually and eternally. He is meandering about as a dead man. Physically he is in the process of aging and dying, of living in the realm of death and being doomed to die. Spiritually, he is already dead, having no life with God. He has no life, no real and true relationship with the true and living God. He is doomed to eternal death and separation from God. The point is this: a man must receive Christ into his heart, into his innermost being if he wishes to live.
To receive Christ: to accept, partake, appropriate, assimilate, absorb, and to make part of oneself. A person can actually receive and partake of Christ in the closest and most intimate and nourishing sense of his being. This is absolutely essential in order to truly live—in order to possess real life that lasts not only now but also forever.
This brings us to the first point: when you receive the Bread of Life, you get eternal life! That is eternal from the Latin word aeturnus from aevum, which means an age. That has an Indo-European base of aiw or aju which means a life, lifetime or whence. In the Old English, it means always. So if eternal means life and we’re talking about eternal life, that’s life and life! You don’t need to be a mathematician to figure out that that’s life squared! That’s a never-ending life! A life without beginning or ending! Its an everlasting life! Life that is forever the same; always true and valid! Life that never seems to stop! Eventually the flesh must die but the spirit of those that partake the Bread of Life will live on forever!