I am the bread of life
Jesus declares Himself to be the bread of life. But what does that mean? On this inspiring sermon, pastor Dylan explores the importance and meaning of Jesus being the bread of life, the dangerous of spiritual starvation, and the eternal life implications of not feeding from the bread of life.
Good morning church it's good to be here and good to share God's word with you this morning I also want to say say a special good morning to all our kids who would usually be in kids church but are here this morning you've picked a good morning to be here especially if you've come to Glow kids or youth group because as we were thinking through what to preach on in the leadup to Christmas we landed on the same topic that we've just gone through in both glow kids and youth groups so you're going to know the answers adults if you have any questions after the sermon go see someone from this height to this height under the the age of 18 they will know the answers before we get into the sermon this morning I just want to begin with a little bit of story a little bit of a confession really and it's something that Z and I identified very early on in marriage something that we identified and we went okay we're going to have to keep an eye on this we're going to have to navigate this together and make sure it doesn't turn into a problem and the thing that I'm talking about is the reality the truth that I eat a lot more food than she does I consume food like there is no tomorrow I've grown up in a household of three boys I don't know how much we cost mom and dad in food it would have been a lot and Z she comes from a family of three girls eats nowhere near the same amount she tries some days and does a good job but the reality is I consume food significantly better and significantly more than Z does and that's generally okay when it comes to breakfast and lunch and dinner cuz we usually make enough and that's all good but where it gets a little bit spicy is when it comes to snacks especially chocolate chips and and all that kind of good stuff because I have what I've self- diagnosed myself with and I call it open packet syndrome okay once I open a block of chocolate doesn't matter whether it's a big one the small one a big bag of chips small bag of chips once I open it that packet has to be eaten if I put it to the side I start to feel sorry for it because it's going to go bad if I sit there with half a block of chocolate I go it's crying out I need to eat it I need to put it out of its misery Z on the other hand she has what I call self-restraint and so she's the type of person who can buy block of chocolate can break off one row which I think only has four pieces in it doesn't even fill the mouth four four pieces she'll eat that she'll close it up put it in the cupboard or the fridge and we'll have no feeling or sense of urgency to go and finish it and if I see it in the fridge I've got this Cry of outrage from it saying please eat me eat me I consume a lot of food that's just the reality of it and I promise I tell that story because it comes in to be relevant later but if you're keeping up with your calendar you'll know that today is the third day of December we're into the final month of the year where has it gone crazy right and if it's the third day of December that means there's only 22 days till Christmas I hope you're getting ready it's exciting though I love this time of year I love it because whether you're here in the church oh that looks different whether here in the church or in the shopping center or you're going to different people's houses one of the things that hits hard as December starts you sort of feel it in September October November but once December hits it's right there is that there's an exponential growth in the presence of Jesus in the hearing of his name in the seeing of him as a little baby in a Manger he's everywhere this time of year it exponentially explodes right and I love it because you start to hear Jesus spoken about you start to hear him in songs whether it be in secular or in churches and you go that's really cool but in the leadup to Christmas not only churches but the whole Community they hear about this Jesus guy they hear about this baby born at this time however many years ago but what doesn't grow exponentially is an understanding of exact L who this Jesus person is exactly why it is that we celebrating why is it important and so over the next couple of weeks we're going to Embark through a series see I could get up here you could get up here and in a 100 words or less you could describe Jesus I have no doubt about that but what's better than me describing Jesus or anyone else describing Jesus is letting Jesus Jesus described himself and so as I said the glow kids and the youth group they've been going through this for the last little while and over the next couple of weeks in the leadup to Christmas we're going to let Jesus describe himself to us by looking through the I am statements in the Gospel of John see it's recorded in the Gospel of John Jesus makes these statements that describe who he is and before we dive into that this morning I just want to invite you now to join with me me in prayer Heavenly Father we thank you for your word we thank you that as we enter into this Christmas time this Christmas period when we hear about the person of Jesus Lord God we thank you that you have told us exactly who Jesus is and why his birth was important Lord as we we come now to read from your word and to hear how it is that Jesus describes himself would you lead us in guide us by your Holy Spirit and would you reveal to us what it is that you want us to hear this morning we pray and ask in the name of Jesus Christ amen if I was to hand out sheets of paper and say okay in six statements describe yourself I actually ask the youth to do this if I was to give this to you I dare say that you'd begin with physical appearance move to characteristics of yourself and then move into things that you like I did it this week and what I came up with is in six statements I would say I'm tall I think that fits I'm active I'm strong I'm caring I'm musical some days and I'm always up for an adventure that's how I would describe myself it fits me and from online loers you might not be able to pick as much as that you can definitely tell that I'm tall but if you didn't know me you wouldn't know I'm musical so I can describe myself pretty well and what we get from Jesus is the first way that he describes himself with these I am statements is kind of obscure right because what he says is I am the bread of life now I'm fairly confident if I had handed out pieces of paper no one in this church would have written down I don't think anyone in the community would have written down I'm like bread I don't think so it's a little bit obscure when you read it out of context you go Jesus what are you on about when you say that you're the bread of life surely you could have picked something a little bit more relatable and yet as we dig a little bit deeper we see that whilst this statement that Jesus says I am the bread of life while it seems a little bit strange when we dig a little bit deeper and understand the context within which it was said it has great significance both then and now and so we have to begin as as we look at this statement Jesus says I am the bread of life we go okay Where Do We Begin what is bread thanks to CL we have some here it's wonderful what is bread very basically it's mostly flour right mostly flour a bit of water maybe some salt this definitely has yeast in it because it's nice and puffy it's pretty simple pretty basic there so we understand what bread is we we can see it this morning but what's its purpose oh that smells good what what's its purpose what is the purpose of bread I just gave it away it smells really good what am I going to do with this bit of bread eat it eat it it that's right the purpose of bread is to be eaten why because it gives us energy it sustains us it sustains our body it's why I eat so much because my body's much much bigger than Z's that's at least what I'm saying okay much much bigger than zis and so I need to eat more to have the energy to sustain myself the purpose of bread the purpose of food is to nourish our bodies to give us strength and to sustain us in reality we need food to survive it's how God has created us right I've already told you I eat a lot but if I was to go for a day without food I've been told I can get hungry but I'd probably be okay right I'd still be able to function if I was to go for a week without food I'd maybe start to get a bit weak bit lethargic not fantastic if I was to go for extended periods of time without food then I would would starve and perish the natural way that God has designed each and every one of us is that we need food to survive food is physically important for our body and this importance gets so much greater when we look at the context within which Jesus says it okay because we live in a Wonderful World we're very blessed where just down the road if I'm hungry I don't even have to go to the grocery store I can go to somewhere that cooks me food okay we can go to restaurants but failing that we can go to grocery stores and they've got all the food we could ever dream of plus some that we've never even heard of we've got it easily but if we were to transport back to Jesus's time then their food came from what they were able to grow themselves right if they wanted fruit and vegetables they had to be able to grow that they had had to be reliant on the weather that it wouldn't be destroyed that it wouldn't be ruined they had to be Reliant that it would come to be able to be harvested and that they'd be able to gather that and eat it for meat they'd have to make sure that the flock stayed safe that the Bears didn't get it and that eventually they would be able to eat it and so in a world where meat and fruit and vegetables aren't certain your options become much more limited right Jesus couldn't be like I'm hungry let's go to the fast food place or let's just go to the groceries and buy a whole heap of stuff and cook it up their options were limited and so bread was significant we we said that bread was fairly basic right flour water salt fairly simple and so because of that as we read through the Bible we see it as we look his historically we see that bread was a household staple all houses had bread most of the time because they could have that when everything else was unavailable and so bread very RAR for the people in Jesus time is a symbol of life it's a symbol that we have something to eat it's a symbol that we will be nourished and we will keep going and we go okay that kind of gives us a little bit of context for why Jesus used bread it's obviously important so he's trying to say something important here but why why would he say that why does it come out is the first way that he describes himself I am the bread of life it still seems a bit strange if you got your Bibles there we we're looking as Julie said mainly at John 6 ver 22 through 59 that's what we're referencing this morning if we look a couple chapters prior we see that Jesus was preaching to the crowds he was teaching them and as it got late in the day he said to his disciples hey we need to feed these people why Jesus knew that food was necessary for physical sustainment right he goes we need to feed these people and miraculously he uses Five Loaves and two fish to feed 5,000 people 5,000 men plus women and children miraculously he physically feeds all these people and the crowds they didn't miss out they ate lots and lots and lots and so much that there was still leftovers and then they finished for the day Jesus stopped teaching and he sent his disciples Over the Sea he went off to pray and the crowd they were hyped they were like we've just eaten we've just eaten so much we're full we're energized how how good was that and we're told that during the night Jesus walked on water he met up with his disciples and he was over the sea as well the crowd wakes up the next morning and they're like oh where's Jesus is he going to feed us today we saw his disciples go but he didn't so they search everywhere and failing to find Jesus they then also cross over the sea they put a lot of effort into following Jesus a lot of effort into following Jesus and when they find him they see him on this other side of the sea they go Jesus when did you come over here we didn't see you leave we would have followed you and Jesus says these words in verse 26 of chapter 6 truly truly I say to you you were seeking me not because you saw signs but because you ate your fill of loaves yesterday do not work for food that perishes but for the food that endures to eternal life life which the son of man will give you Jesus goes I was preaching to you yesterday I was feeding you spiritually but that's not why you followed me Jesus goes you've put so much effort into following me in the hopes that I will feed you bread again today he says check your perspective Jesus knew that physical food was important that's why he fed them the day before but he says don't follow me for that there's food that will sustain you into eternal life seek that and the crowds they get excited by this they're like there's better food where do we get that what do we have to do to get this better food where is it and it's here that we get Jesus's statement verse 35 he says I am the bread of life whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes Believes In Me shall never thirst Jesus makes his statement and what he's doing is he's making a comparison he says you're so focused on the physical bread and that's okay because it's necessary for your physical life he says you need bread to survive I know that's how God's created us but he says I I am the bread of life if you believe in me I will sustain you into eternal life can we see the comparison there Jesus is saying this Bread's important and it gives you life but I am the bread of life and I give you spiritual life and by consequence of Jesus saying I am the bread of Life by consequence of Jesus saying hey you need me for this this eternal life what Jesus is saying very very simply is you cannot survive without me just like we can't survive without food Jesus is saying hey I'm making this comparison you cannot survive without me you need me to sustain your life for eternity and it begs the question right as as I was looking at this throughout the week I went one of the biggest costs of living is food I eat a lot okay one of the biggest costs of living is food we go to the groceries and we buy food so that we can eat and sustain ourselves physically and Jesus says that's important but don't put all your efforts into that cu whilst you're able to sustain yourself physically here he says your fathers ate the Mana from Heaven that was bread from Heaven they ate it physically and they're dead it sustained them for a while but they still perished because the physical food only helps the physical body he says I am the bread of life I can give you spiritual food which will sustain you eternally and so this first statement of Jesus slightly obscure fairly simple but significant in its meaning and its implications see by being the bread of life Jesus says you cannot live without me you need me in your life you need me to sustain you and as we we build up to this Christmas time you might be sitting here for the first time maybe you've just felt like you've heard about Jesus and you go I don't really know who this is if you're here this morning and you don't know who Jesus is can I give you one thing if you remember nothing else from the sermon this morning remember this one thing if Jesus is the bread of life then we cannot survive without him and if you want to chat about that come see me or one of the team we'd love to talk through that with you but I'm also conscious I was conscious as I Was preparing that I'm preaching to a room where most of us are Christians and when I say that Jesus is the bread of life we will probably go yeah I I understand that I know that Jesus is the bread of life I partake with that I acknowledge Jesus as my Lord and Savior I know that he died on a cross for my sins and he's paid the price and that it's only through him that that I have eternal life and so to all the Believers to all the Disciples of Jesus in the room this morning we have to ask ourselves if Jesus is the bread of life how well are we fed do we eat regularly see I eat a lot I I was thinking about it during the week and I reckon there's probably a 2 to 4our window in my life between when I finish a meal and then start thinking about what to eat next 2 to 4 hours that's that's about the span that I can go before I start to think about physical food again you might be longer you might be shorter the reality is we need food to survive we need food to sustain us and we eat regularly why because if we don't we perish we starve our stomach sends us signals that we need to eat and I wonder are we just as sensitive to our spiritual hunger if Jesus is the bread of life are we just as sensitive that we go okay I've woken up I've spent some time with Jesus oh it's been been a little while I'm getting hungry I need to talk to Jesus again I need to spend some time in prayer I need to read from his word and as I was thinking about this as I was thinking whether or not I get my three healthy meals of Jesus a day I stopped to think and I'm guilty of this I went there's a temptation as Christians to treat Jesus like a buffet all of a sudden we get this unmistakable urge of hunger for Jesus nothing else can fix our problem we desire nothing else and so we go to Jesus and we Gorge out and and we overeat and and we're just there we're great but the thing about buff is we don't go them to them very often and so we we get all this input we we eat and eat and eat and then we go away and we begin to starve and then it's a long time before we feel the indication oh I haven't spend time with Jesus I need to go eat again and we repeat that cycle and so for us here this morning we need to ask ourselves do we eat regularly if Jesus is the bread of life how often do we spend time with him how often do we read the Bible how often do we pray are we hungry verse 47 Jesus says truly I say to you whoever believes has a eternal life I am the bread of life your fathers ate the manner in the wilderness and they died this is the bread that comes down from heaven so that one may eat of it and not die I am the living bread that came down from heaven if anyone eats of this bread he will live forever and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh Jesus continues on to to tell the crowds he says unless you eat of My Flesh and drink of my blood you cannot have eternal life because I am the bread of life and the Jews at that time the crowd they they were confused they were concerned right because they heard this and they went Jesus we don't really want to eat your flesh we don't really want to drink your blood that's a little bit weird but they were missing the Point Church we're very blessed to to be this side of the Cross because we can see it play out we can see that when Jesus says I am the bread of life you need to eat my flesh you need to drink my blood he was talking about that his body would be broken for us that his blood would be spilled to pay the debt of our sin Jesus is the bread of life because he died the death that we deserved and that he didn't and he is the bread of bread of life all those who come to him and believe in him are saved because he's paid that price because he offers us salvation it's our choice whether or not we partake in that when Jesus says he is the bread of life he says that he is our sustenance and he says that we cannot live without him just like bread just like food in our lives when we eat we can do one of one of two things we can eat and then go off and burn it out or if we're like a buffet we can just keep eating and eating and eating but if we don't use it then that becomes a problem if we don't burn off energy it just stores up and in the same way if we don't don't eat then we lose all energy and Jesus says I am the bread of life we need to eat regularly but we need to use that energy to go out and do the things that he calls us to do and this side of the Cross it's amazing because we see how Jesus intertwines all of this see this isn't the one and only time that Jesus refers to himself as bread bread in a moment we're going to partake in communion and I'm going to invite you if you're a believer in Christ here this morning then I'm going to invite you up the front in a moment and we're going to break the bread we're going to take the bread we're going to take the cup eat the bread in your own time drink the cup with us we'll drink that together and if you're not a Christian here this morning if you've still got questions can I encourage you use this time use this time to ponder if Jesus is the bread of life if I need food to sustain me if Jesus is the only food that can sustain me for eternal life then what does that mean for me here and now Jesus refers to him as the bread of life knowing that we have to eat regularly and he ties the two together on the night that he was betrayed we're told in 1 Corinthians 11:23 to2 6 on the night he was betrayed he took the practice of eating regularly and he applied it to himself he took bread and when he had given thanks he broke it just like this they had bread when he had given thanks for it Jesus broke it and he said this is my body which is broken for you I am the bread of life my body my flesh has been broken for you and in the same way he took the cup and he said this cup is the New Covenant in my blood do this as often as you drink it in remembrance of Me Jesus knew that we had to eat he knew that we had to drink for the sustaining of our physical bodies and he says every time you do this remember I am the bread of life you need this bread to sustain you physically you need me to sustain you spiritually in a moment I'm going to pray and I'm going to invite you in your own time come up to the front I might get Chris to come and Place some keys for me come up to the front take the bread we've got the crackers there as well take the cup eat the bread in your own time reflect on all of this thank Jesus that he is the bread of life and if you're not able to make it to the front it's okay we've got some stewards just put your hand up for us we'll bring some of the elements to you and once everyone's served once everyone's had an opportunity to eat of the bread then we'll drink of the cup because Jesus says that when we do this we not only remember our need for him but we we Proclaim his death until he comes again Heavenly Father we thank you that you are the bread of life we thank you that just like physical bread sustains us physically you sustain us spiritually you have made it possible to have a relationship with you to be in relationship with God our Father very truly you are not only our creator but also our sustainer and Lord God we thank you for that we thank you that even though we didn't deserve it you died on a cross for us your flesh was broken your blood Spilled Out for us we thank you that you invite us to believe in you to receive salvation and to be sustained by you each and every day as often as we eat physical food to be fed by you spiritually as we enter this time of communion help us to remember Lord God help us to eat regularly we pray these things in the name of Jesus Christ. Amen.