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Jesus Is the Bread of Life

Notes & Transcripts

Jesus Is the Bread of Life

John 6:28-51

Series: The Great I Am

Sermon by Rick Crandall

Grayson Baptist Church - Jan. 19, 2014

BACKGROUND:

*Please open your Bibles to John 6 as we start looking at the "I AM" statements from Jesus in the Gospel of John. The first is in John 6:35 where Jesus said: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." Our focus today will be on how we can get the life that is guaranteed forever. But as we begin, there are two important background topics on God, the great I AM

[1] The first is from Exodus 3 where the Lord appeared to Moses in the burning bush. This was the first time that God ever revealed Himself as "I AM".

*In Exodus 3:10-14, the Lord said to Moses:

10. "Come now, therefore, and I will send you to Pharaoh that you may bring My people, the children of Israel, out of Egypt.''

11. But Moses said to God, "Who am I that I should go to Pharaoh, and that I should bring the children of Israel out of Egypt?''

12. So He said, "I will certainly be with you. And this shall be a sign to you that I have sent you: When you have brought the people out of Egypt, you shall serve God on this mountain.''

13. Then Moses said to God, "Indeed, when I come to the children of Israel and say to them, 'The God of your fathers has sent me to you,' and they say to me, 'What is His name?' what shall I say to them?''

14. And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.'' And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.' ''

*In Hebrew this name "I AM" was "Jehovah" or "Yahweh." And this great name for God shows up 6,823 times in the Old Testament. The exact pronunciation and spelling have been lost, because this name was so holy the scribes and teachers didn't dare to pronounce it or completely write it out. Instead, they would write the Hebrew letters equal to our letters YHWH. In many of our English Bibles it shows up as LORD written with all capital letters. (1)

*And God said to Moses, "I AM WHO I AM.'' And He said, "Thus you shall say to the children of Israel, 'I AM has sent me to you.'''

*Jerry Shirley asks: "Why didn't God finish that phrase? Why did He just say, "I AM has sent me to you?" -- Because there is no beginning and no ending to God. There are no boundaries and no limitations with God. God is the great I AM! There is no limit to what He is. (2)

*And the crucial truth Jesus wants to communicate to us is that He IS the Lord God Almighty, the "I AM" LORD of the Old Testament. So in John 6:35, Jesus made His first I AM statement: "I AM the bread of life."

[2] The immediate background to today's Scripture is Jesus miraculously multiplying a little boy's lunch to feed 5,000 men, plus women and children!

*Please look at John 6:13-15.

13. They gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with the fragments of the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.

14. Then those men, when they had seen the sign that Jesus did, said, "This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.''

15. Therefore when Jesus perceived that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, He departed again to a mountain by Himself alone.

*In vs. 16-19, the disciples got into the boat to head back to Capernaum. They were 3 or 4 miles from shore, when Jesus came to them walking on the water!

*Then in vs. 20-21:

20. He said to them, "It is I; do not be afraid.''

21. Then they willingly received Him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land where they were going.

*What a miracle! -- Jesus is Lord over all time and space!

Then the next day in vs. 25-29:

25. When they (i.e. the other people) found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?''

26. Jesus answered them and said, "Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.

27. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.''

28. Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?''

29. Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.''

*With all of this background in mind, let's read vs. 30-51, focusing on how we can get the life that is guaranteed forever.

INTRODUCTION:

*Again, our focus today is how we can get a God-sized guarantee of eternal life. Have you ever had problems with a guarantee? The first time Mary and I ever bought a new car was way back in 1975. That car was a piece of junk! It had a 12,000 mile warranty, and the clutch went out at 12,050 miles. It's a bad feeling to let your clutch out, and go rolling backwards down the hill!

*Things will let us down in life, but the Lord never will! And the eternal life Jesus gives is guaranteed forever! How can we get it?

1. First: It must come from the Bread of Life. Eternal life must come from Jesus Christ, the Bread of life

[1] Think about the significance of this Bread.

*The Bread of Life is most important. We know this, because Jesus mentioned it at least 10 times in this chapter, but the key verse is John 6:35 where Jesus said: "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." -- That's significant!

[2] But also think about the source of this Bread.

*In vs. 32 we see that this Bread is from Heaven. 32. Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven." Then in vs. 33, we see that this Bread is the Bread of God, for Jesus said: "The bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.'' This Bread is not just from God, it IS God, God the Son Jesus Christ who came into the world to save us from our sins.

*In vs. 35, when Jesus said: "I am the Bread of life," He was claiming to be God. Jesus was claiming to be Jehovah, the great I AM of the Old Testament. The unbelieving Jews in today's Scripture knew all about this. That's why they were so upset in vs. 41&42:

41. The Jews then murmured against Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven.''

42. And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?''

*Jesus was making Himself equal with God, and it wasn't the first time. John 5:18 says: "Therefore the Jews sought all the more to kill Him, because He not only broke the Sabbath, but also said that God was His Father, making Himself equal with God."

*Jesus was making Himself equal with God, and that's good, because He IS God! The Lord confirms this great truth to us in vs. 43-46:

43. Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves.

44. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day.

45. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me.

46. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.

*God Himself is the source of the Bread of Life.

[3] But we also must see the sacrifice of this Bread.

*In vs. 47-51, Jesus said:

47. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

48. I am the bread of life.

49. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

50. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

51. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.''

*Here Jesus was talking about the cross. And notice that Jesus Christ is a giver. He has given us more than anybody else ever could! -- But it cost Him His life.

*King Duncan tells the story of a lighthouse being built years ago on the rocky coast of Wales. When the lighthouse was almost finished, one of the workmen stumbled off the scaffolding, and fell to the rocks below.

*The other workers were devastated by what had happened. They raced down their ladders, fearing the worst, but they were overjoyed to find that their friend was only bruised and shaken up. He was not seriously injured. But a lamb lay dead on the ground beside him. A flock of sheep had wandered by at just the right time, and the lamb had broken his fall. (3)

*That's what Jesus did for us when He died on the cross. Jesus took the fall for us. He paid the price so that we could have His life. No wonder Isaiah 53:4-8 says:

4. Surely He has borne our griefs and carried our sorrows; yet we esteemed Him stricken, smitten by God, and afflicted.

5. But He was wounded for our transgressions, He was bruised for our iniquities; the chastisement for our peace was upon Him, and by His stripes we are healed.

6. All we like sheep have gone astray; we have turned, every one, to his own way; and the Lord has laid on Him the iniquity of us all.

7. He was oppressed and He was afflicted, yet He opened not His mouth; He was led as a lamb to the slaughter, and as a sheep before its shearers is silent, so He opened not his mouth.

8. He was taken from prison and from judgment, and who will declare His generation? For He was cut off from the land of the living; for the transgressions of My people He was stricken.

*That's the sacrifice of the Bread of Life.

[4] And don't miss the superiority of this Bread.

*Back in vs. 30&31, the people wanted Jesus to give them manna. That was the miraculous bread from Heaven that God gave the Children of Israel when they wandered in the wilderness for 40 years. Manna was amazing bread. But there was a big problem with manna: After a day or two, it got worms and started stinking. You just couldn't eat it.

*Now I love bread! -- French bread, white bread, wheat bread, corn bread, potato bread! Rolls or biscuits, home-made or store-bought, I love bread!

*There's just one problem with bread: It gets old. Like that sandwich you make, and you are ready to dive in, but something interrupts you. And when you come back 20 minutes later, it's dry as a bone.

*Then, there's that sandwich you make, and you are two bites into it, when you look down and see mold. -- Yuck. One woman said the only thing worse than that was seeing your husband go back and make another sandwich with the same bread! (4)

*That's wanting a sandwich! -- But manna very quickly got too nasty to eat. And in vs. 49, Jesus pointed out another problem with manna: All of the people who ate it were dead. Jesus said: "Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead."

*Manna could never give everlasting life. But Jesus can! That's what Jesus is trying to tell us in vs. 50&51, where He said:

50. "This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.

51. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.''

*The eternal life Jesus gives is guaranteed forever, so we can get a God-sized guarantee of eternal life. It comes from the Bread of Life.

2. But it also comes from our belief in God.

*I'm talking about soul-saving faith in God, trusting in the Lord, receiving Jesus Christ as your personal Lord and Savior. Belief in Jesus is so important that the Lord mentions it four times here in His Word:

29. Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.''

35. And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.

40. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.''

47. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.

*We must believe in the Lord Jesus Christ! -- And please notice two crucial truths about this belief.

[1] First, belief is personal.

*As Jesus said in vs. 35: "I am the bread of life. HE who comes to Me shall never hunger, and HE who believes in Me shall never thirst." Each one of us has to personally come to Jesus.

[2] Belief is personal. -- It's also penetrating.

*We can compare it to eating physical bread. The bread I eat for lunch doesn't just stay in my stomach. It gets in, spreads out and influences all of my body. It gives me the strength to do what I need to do. True faith in the Bread of Life works the same way. Jesus begins to influence every part of our lives.

*This kind of belief can be a matter of life and death. Today is Sanctity of Life Day in many churches. It is a special day to remember the holocaust that began in our country when the Supreme Court legalized abortion in 1973. Since that time, almost 57 million babies have been aborted in the United States.

*But some have been saved though the efforts of God's people. One of the best examples I ever heard came from Leonard Sweet years ago. Leonard said: "I found out last year that my college-aged son and his girlfriend, who was still in high school, were expecting a baby. The pregnancy was far enough along that hiding it would no longer be possible.

*While talking to them separately, we discovered to our horror, that they nearly aborted the child. My son said they simply changed their minds. But his girlfriend gave us a clearer picture as to what motivated her to not go through with the procedure. As they walked to the clinic door, one lone protester was standing nearby.

*Looking eye to eye with this mother-to-be, the protester simply said: "God wants you to have that baby." That one woman, uttering that one sentence, saved a life. No one knows who she was, but I am eternally thankful for her willingness to stand for what was right, even if it meant standing all alone." (5)

*How did that happen? -- That unknown Christian woman believed in Jesus with life-changing faith. God gave her a burden for unborn children, and because she believed, she was in the right place at the right time to save a baby.

*Lives were changed forever, because one woman truly believed in Jesus Christ. That's the kind of belief Jesus is talking about here. It gets in our souls and changes us from the inside out.

*And best of all, this kind of belief will save our souls forever. Listen to the Lord again in vs. 47: "Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."

*We can get a God-sized guarantee of eternal life. It comes from our belief in God.

3. But it also comes from the boundless power of God.

[1] In vs. 37&44, only God has the power to draw us to Him.

*In vs. 37, Jesus said: "All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out." Then in vs. 44: "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day."

[2] Only God has the power to draw us to Him. -- And only God has the power to keep us forever.

*So in vs. 39&40, Jesus said:

39. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day.

40. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.''

*God is going to raise up our bodies on the last day. Death does not have the final word for those who believe in Jesus Christ!

*Many years ago I knew a young husband who went through a terrible battle against cancer in his esophagus. His name was Mark, and he was a great guy. Mark was a strong believer who kept a positive attitude in spite of the suffering he was going through.

*I have always remembered the last time Mark went into Glenwood Hospital. I think his dad was with him when he got on the elevator. Mark smiled and said: "Seventh floor please." Well, Glenwood only has six floors, -- but Mark was ready to go to a higher place! He was ready to go home to Heaven. And he trusted in the Bread of everlasting life to take Him there. Mark knew that his life was guaranteed forever by the Lord Jesus Christ.

CONCLUSION:

*God wants us to trust Him too, completely, in all things. That's why He gives us a God-sized guarantee about the most important thing: Eternal life. As we go to God in prayer this morning, make sure you have it.

(1) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "Jehovah/Yahweh - I AM" by Marc Kelley - Exodus 3:1-15

(2) Adapted from SermonCentral sermon "Thou Shalt Call His Name I AM" by Jerry Shirley - Exodus 3:10-15

(3) Sermons.com email illustration 03312003

(4) Original source unknown

(5) 2001 illustration from Leonard Sweet found on Crosswalk.com

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