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Snacking on Jesus (Part II): The Bread of Life

Okay, after a couple of family illnesses, I am back.  Time for Part II.  Before I start, let me get you back up to speed.  I was working through the Gospel of John, chapter 6, primarily the second half.  Jesus had just got done “dropping some bombs” on the crowds the he was speaking to just following the feeding of the 5,000.  Jesus was talking about the “bread” from heaven that he came to offer:

  • They need to work for the food that endures to eternal life.
  • The Son of Man (Jesus) offers them this kind of food.
  • Jesus is the one who has come down from heaven.
  • Jesus is the “bread of God” and it is this bread that gives life to the world.

Not quite getting what Jesus was throwing out there yet, they replied saying, “Give us this bread always.” Jesus gives and answer they did not quite expect:

Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.   But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.  All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.   For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.   And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.   For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”  John 6:35-40

All of these things are shocking statements for the time (and even now if you understand their impact).  Everyone is shocked and taken back by what he said.  Let me see if I can set this up.  The people were waiting for miracles and what would happen next at the “Jesus Show.”  He calls them out for it and reveals their hearts about only wanting to see the miracle man and have a miracle meal with him.  So he offers the bread that is better than the bread that God provided from heaven for Moses and the Israelites, but he is this bread.  The people, missing that last part, are still looking for this “real bread from heaven.”  Jesus stops being so subtle and lays it all out there:

  • He is the bread of life.
  • If they come to him they won’t hunger.
  • If they believe in him they will never thirst.
  • The Father, who they know as God, has a personal relationship with him and will give people to him.
  • He came down from heaven.
  • He was sent to do the will of the one who sent him (implication here is God the Father).
  • God’s will is that he will lose nothing given to him (the people) but will raise it up (the people) on the last day (the resurrection of everyone).
  • God the Father’s will is that only those he looks to him (believes him) will have eternal life (which they thought was the birthright of all Jews).
  • Only those that believe in him will be raised on the last day.

Image courtesy of LIFE Group Devotions.

Jesus pulled no punches.  He put everything out there.  He was from heaven.  He was sent by God the Father to bring eternal life and be the key to the day of resurrection.  These were no small claims.  He turned everything they knew on its head.  They could have written him off as crazy, but they couldn’t because they had just seen a string of miracles that backed his claim.  Of course they grumbled.  How could all of this be?  They knew his mother and father.  They had seen him with his family.  How could he be all that he is saying.

Jesus, hearing the grumbles, responds by throwing gas on this grass fire.   However, this will have to wait.  Don’t worry, it will all come back around to what this means in our struggles with sinful habits and behaviors.  Just trust me.

Closing thoughts to think about:

  • Jesus said that he is the bread of life.  This obviously has some kind of significant meaning.
  • He said that those that come to him won’t hunger and if they believe they won’t thirst.  This has to mean something, as well.
  • God sent him with a plan, and he will be the source of eternal life and the last day resurrection.
  • Jesus has either lost his marble or God was preparing to change the world through him.  You only really have two choices.

I am going to end with the same two questions from last time:

What does this mean for you?  How do you think this applies to fighting our sin nature and finding freedom from habitual sins?


Snacking on Jesus (Part I)

Okay, I realize that sounds weird.  But it is kind of an idea from the Bible, and it is the only way to start to find freedom from habitual sin.  Well, all right, I will give it to you that the Bible doesn’t say that we need to “snack” on Jesus.  Let’s see what it does say.

To get to where I am going, we need to look at John 6.  I am going to summarize most of it and focus in on a series of verses, but I would recommend going to read the whole chapter on your own when you are done here.  (Meaning = don’t just take my word – or anyone else’s – for what the Bible says.)

Here is a quick summary of the context…or if you would like, “Previously on the Jesus Show…”

  • Jesus feeds the five thousand with only five loaves and two fish.
  • The disciples leave Jesus on the shore while they cross the sea in a boat.
  • During the night Jesus walks across the water to meet them, and he and Peter have a little stroll on the waves.
  • The crowds (the five thousand) find Jesus on the other side of the sea and realize he must have gotten there miraculously.
  • The confront him and want to know how he did this “magic trick.”
  • Jesus rebukes them and tells them they are only interested because he feed them with a miracle.

This is where I want to pick up.  Jesus says the following:

Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.  John 6:27

They ask what are the works of God that they should be doing.

Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”  John 6:29

Then the crowds ask him for a sign to prove he was sent from God (like feeding them all from five pieces of bread and two fish was not enough).  They referred to the manna that their ancestors, with Moses, ate in the wilderness.  This was the only “bread from heaven” they have ever heard of before.  I love how Jesus responds to this:

Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.  John 6:32-33

They, of course, said that they want him to give them this bread “always.”  I think would have exclaimed the same thing.  This is when Jesus says something we have all heard quoted millions of times…however, it is mega powerful in context (the context both before and after what he says).

But, however, I am going to leave off right here.  We will pick up with Jesus’ response in Part II.  For now, think on this:

  • We need to work for the food that endures to eternal life.
  • The Son of Man (Jesus) offers us this kind of food.
  • Jesus is the one who has come down from heaven.
  • Jesus is the “bread of God” and it is this bread that gives life to the world.

What does this mean for you?  How do you think this applies to fighting our sin nature and finding freedom from habitual sins?