Introduction: What happens when all that you have left is the memory of the miracle?. . .Jesus only performed 30 miracles. . . Those who had been fed with the loaves & fish went looking for Jesus again.. . . Yesterdays miracle is just that. . . .yesterdays miracle! They looked for Jesus
Point 1: John 6:53-59 (NRSV) 53 So Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; 55 for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever." 59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
This was the original hard saying: as John reports, “On hearing it, many of his disciples said, ‘This is a hard teaching; who can accept it?’” (Jn 6:60). The implication is that they not only found it difficult to understand, but suspected that, if they did understand it, they would find it unacceptable.
Point 2: The lesson that Jesus was trying to teach!
a) The manna that their ancestors ate in the wilderness, Jesus tells his hearers, was not the food of immortality: those who ate it died nevertheless—some sooner, some later. Similarly, the bread with which he had recently fed the multitude was but material bread. They wished to make him their leader because he had given them that bread, but really he had come to give them better bread than that. Just as he had offered the Samaritan woman at Jacob’s well better water than that in the well, the eternally satisfying water of life, so now he offers these Galileans better bread than the loaves with which the five thousand had been fed, better bread even than the manna which their forefathers had eaten, “food that endures to eternal life” (Jn 6:27).
b) This sets the stage for the next step of the lesson. Jesus not only gives the bread of life; he is the bread of life. True life, eternal life, is to be had in him alone
Point 3: A lack of understanding is a dangerous thing.
a) What could he mean? Plainly his language was not to be taken literally: he was not advocating cannibalism. But how was it to be taken? It was offensive. For Jews the drinking of any blood, even the eating of flesh from which the blood had not been completely drained, was taboo. But drinking the blood of a human being was an idea which ought not even to be mentioned. This was a hard saying in more senses than one.
Point 4: Jesus was teaching the way to salvation, an eternal truth! Jesus was saying to them that the way to salvation, an eternal salvation was to be found in those who had a complete and full relationship with him.
The modern day reader must not put more on this, as we look backward in our readings, Jesus was not talking about the sacrament of The Lords Supper, do your research, this was instituted after Pentecost later on down the road, you can find it in the book of 1st Corinthians. Jesus in his words was not talking about the Lord’s Supper, if you do a little research you will not find the heading “Institution of the Lord’s Supper” until later on in 1st Corinthians we are still in the book of John. Jesus was talking about a different and special type of communion.
The result of this message was the loss of most of our Lord’s disciples. They went back to the old life, the old religion, and the old hopeless situation. Jesus Christ is “the way” (John 14:6), but they would not walk with Him.
There is no middle ground with Jesus. Jesus was not trying to repel people with his teachings. He was simply telling the truth. The more the people heard Jesus' real message, the more they divided into two camps — the honest seekers who wanted to understand more, and those who rejected Jesus because they didn't like what they had heard.
Point 5: The disciples began to spiritually sense something. In spite of their past failures and future faults, spiritually they that were closest to him, began to discern the meaning of the teaching.
a) They had seen something that those who had only been fed with bread, had not seen( the miracle of the calmed storm and Jesus who came walking on the water during the fourth watch of the night!. . . . Jesus said to the Twelve, Will you also go away?
b) Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (John 6:68)
c) The purpose of the sign was that He might preach the sermon. Again, it was a ministry of “grace and truth”. In grace, our Lord fed the hungry people; but in truth, He gave them the Word of God. They wanted the food but they did not want the truth; and, in the end, most of them abandoned Jesus and refused to walk with Him.
Conclusion: Jesus still has the words of eternal life! Bread was the basic food of the ancients. It is symbolic of all that sustains life here on earth. As “bread from heaven” Jesus is affirming that He is essential to provide and sustain spiritual life. The concept of “eating” Christ’s flesh is symbolic too (vv. 53–54). Material bread must be eaten and digested—it must become part of us. In the same way all that Christ is must become a part of us. We must appropriate Him by faith, take Him in completely that He might become a part of us and sustain us.
Dr. W. B. Hinson, speaking from the pulpit a year after the commencement of the illness from which he ultimately died: “I remember a year ago when a man in this city said, “You have got to go to your death.” I walked out to where I live, five miles out of this city, and I looked across at that mountain that I love, and I looked at the river in which I rejoice, and I looked at the stately trees that are always God’s own poetry to my soul. “Then in the evening I looked up into the great sky where God was lighting his lamps, and I said: “I may not see you many more times, but, Mountain, I shall be alive when you are gone; and, River, I shall be alive when you cease running toward the sea; and, Stars, I shall be alive when you have fallen from your sockets in the great down-pulling of the material universe!”” This is the confidence of one who knew the Saviour. - Is it yours?