John 6:35 “I am the Bread of Life”
If I said the word “bread”, what comes into your mind? This was my first memory of bread. Then I realized there were lots of different kinds of bread. There was sliced bread and unsliced bread. Then I discovered there was even more variety - white bread and brown bread. And my favourites – eggie bread and fried bread.
But there are many other kinds of bread aren’t there? What is your favourite bread?
Can you guess where in the world this bread comes from? What about this one?
What do they all have in common? They are all made with flour. They all need cooking. They start fresh and they go stale. They fill your tummy at first but they all leave you hungry wanting more. Right?
Here’s another kind of bread. Do you know what it is called? Do you know where it comes from? In our first Bible reading we hear about a special kind of bread. What was it called? Manna. Do you know what ‘Manna’ means? ‘What is it?’ That’s what it means! What is it?
What’s different about this kind of bread? Which bakery did it come from? Heaven.
How often? Every day except Saturday. How much? Just enough. No matter how much or how little they collected and ate, they were all satisfied. God provided Manna for 40 years.
So when Jesus had compassion on the people and fed everyone from five loaves and two small fish, everyone thought Jesus was Moses! They asked ““What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?” and in case Jesus didn’t get the point they quoted the Bible, “Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (John 6:30-31). Everyone believed when the Messiah came he would feed the people just like Moses had done in the wilderness.
Jesus corrects them, Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33-34)
Jesus explains that it was not Moses who fed their ancestors but God. And then he switches from the past tense to the present tense and not only calls God, His Father, but promises God wants to feed them now with bread from heaven. “Always give us this bread” (John 6:34) they ask, still thinking Jesus is talking about filling their rumbly tummies. This gives Jesus the opportunity to make one of the most amazing claims ever made in the Bible:
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
When something was important, Jesus always repeated himself so no one misunderstood him.
And he does so here. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (John 6:51-52)
This is the first of seven very special declarations Jesus makes which we are going to explore between now and Christmas on Sunday mornings. Lets consider what Jesus is saying.
1. Who is Jesus? “I am the Bread of Life”
“I am” was the very name of God in the Old Testament so Jesus is claiming to be divine.
2. Why did he come? “This bread is my flesh which I give for the life of the world.” Jesus came to give his life so we could live forever.
3. How can we experience him?
Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” God created us to have both physical life and spiritual life. We eat physical bread to stay healthy. We need Jesus to help us live spiritually. Not everyone who heard Jesus was willing to admit they needed him. They were satisfied with physical bread, even though it left them hungry for more. Only Jesus can satisfy our deepest needs. How about you?
In your Sunday Clubs you are learning what it means to be Flipt by Jesus – to be a friend of Jesus. Do you remember the ABC prayer?
How to ask Jesus to be your forever friend?
"A" stands for admit your sins.
"B" stands for Believe in Jesus.
"C" stands for Choose Jesus to be your forever friend.
That is kind of what we have learnt this morning. I’m going to pray a simple prayer if you believe Jesus is the bread of life and you want him to be your friend and saviour.
I ADMIT my sins to You. I ask for your forgiveness for the things I have done wrong.
I BELIEVE Jesus died to take the punishment for my sin. Thank You for sending Your Son to die and rise again.
I CHOOSE You to be my Forever Friend.
If you prayed that prayer for the first time and you want to be a friend of Jesus tell me, or Francis or Suzanne afterwards.