John 6:48-59 New King James Version (NKJV)
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.”
52 The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, “How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you.
54 Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For My flesh is food indeed, and My blood is drink indeed.
56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.
58 This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
Bread! I love it. We. need it. My Mother baked it.
--What aroma! Crispy crust. Great taste. So good.
--Mother used to say, "Bread is the staff of life."
--Speaking not only of bread, but of Jesus, "Bread of life," and "Bread of God," as Jesus said.
--"I am the Bread of life, the living Bread.. which came down from heaven" (John 6:48).
--We need bread. We need Jesus. He is our life.
John 6 is all about Jesus. All about "bread."
--It begins with Jesus' compassion, for people.
--A crowd was hungry. Were with Jesus a long while.
--A multitude from area towns, pilgrims en route to Jerusalem for Passover. No food. Or place to eat.
--There was a lack. But a lad had a small lunch.
--"Five little barley loaves and two small fish."
--These "loaves" were more like little biscuits.
Andrew saw the lad and his lunch, took them to Jesus.
--Andrew is always bringing people to Jesus.
--Of the lunch he said, "what are they among so many people?" But Jesus gave thanks; worked a miracle!
--Jesus takes a little, and does a lot.. Still does!
--He fed a lot, and "twelve baskets left."
-—Jesus said, gather up, "so nothing is lost."
--Jesus doesn't want anything, or person, "lost."
Jesus loves us all. Teaches us to love each other.
The "following day" in Capernaum, Jesus preached in a synagogue (where we've been), to many Jesus had fed.
--To give them spiritual bread, as He did for body.
--Offering the "Bread of life" to save our soul.
Bread, or food, for the body doesn't last very long.
--We soon are hungry again, and thirsty too.
--"The Bread of life" that is Jesus lasts forever.
--It satisfies. Is beneficial. Abundantly blesses.
Too bad when one cares more for his body than soul.
--The soul is the best part, Jesus came to save.
--Let us feed fully upon Him, by faith, day by day.
Growing up, our home often had others at our table.
--Missionaries, ministers, loved ones, and friends.
--They were welcomed to "break bread together."
--I loved to listen to them. Learned a lot.
Like our Lord, some of you are great, inviting guests.
--Ready to share a meal with those who will.
--That's what Jesus did .. and does, at communion.
Several times Jesus said, "I am the Bread of life."
—Why? Because He is indeed. We better believe it.
--It is one of the fourteen "I Am's" Jesus declared.
--Takes us back to Exodus 3:14, as God appeared to Moses, identified Himself, as "I AM WHO I AM."
--He is the great "I Am," eternal, self-existing One.
--Jesus came to reveal Him. Show us what God is like.
Some ask, "How can I know Him? Know His will?"
--First, we must believe in Him. Receive Him in us.
--As Jesus said, "Follow Him." Grow in His grace.
--The way to know God's will is to say "I will" to Him.
When we do, the way to grow in grace is to feed on the Lord, in communion; and in His Word, by Scripture.
People question if Jesus cares. Cares about them.
--Of course He cares. Cares whatever we go through.
--How do we know? Showed it by His tears and prayers.
--Even now "He ever lives to make intercession" for us.
--Best of all, Jesus demonstrated it by His cross.
--Where He took the place you and I really deserved.
--But Jesus arose, as he promised, from the dead.
--As "The Bread of life," to assure that we may live!
--I like that. And the blessed assurance He gives us.
What was the purpose? So we love God, and others.
--To make us all more like the Master.
--And to take us, someday, to be with Him in glory.
--Are you His follower, my friend?
In Calcutta, India, Mother Theresa cared for the poor.
--Showed them the love of the Lord, despite opposition.
--She said, "Most of us aren't able to do great things but small things become great if done for the Lord."
--A piece of bread is a small thing, but works wonders.
If Jesus could heal diseases .. cast out demons .. walk on water .. raise the dead to life again.. and rise again from the dead Himself, He can save, forgive, anyone. When we repent, and seek to follow Him.
--God fashions us day by day more like unto Himself.
--He fed Israel in the desert daily "manna" for food!
--For forty long years. Their clothes, shoes, lasted!
--Brought them to a "land of milk and honey."
—He can feed our soul on "the true Bread of life."
This is a fantastic claim of Jesus. Only He can keep.
--"If anyone eats of this bread , he will live forever; and the bread I shall give is My flesh, I shall give for the life of the world" (v 51).
--He is speaking of His sacrifice on the cross for us.
Think of the similarity, or parallel, of life to grain.
--And grain to the Son of God.
--A grain of wheat is like Jesus' life, or any life.
--In each, God has put great possibility in that seed.
But seed has to be sown in the earth, in the soil.
--It dies, like Jesus did. Later, it comes alive!
--Just as Jesus did, the third day, to live again.
--The seedling grows .. bears fruit .. many fold.
--The grains are harvested. Threshed. Beaten, as Jesus was. Wheat separated from the chaff.
--The golden grain ground into flour. Sifted.
--Made into bread. Put in the oven of affliction.
--The dough rises. So did Jesus!
--To be our "Bread of life." You see the similarity.
A picture of what Jesus went through. What we face.
--All to "transform our lowly body that it may be conformed to His glorious body" (Phil. 3:21).
--So we may be able to live godly, harmoniously.
--We are given "great and precious promises that through these you may be partakers of the divine nature, we read in II Peter 1:4.
--It comes to us by "feeding on Christ" in His Word.
What is your picture of Jesus? That we portray?
Seek His love and likeness. Be like "The Lord Jesus."
Life is so brief, at best. Often filled with trouble.
--So many hardships, heartaches, and sorrows.
--We need all the love .. joy .. and peace of God.
--To share it, cheerfully and lovingly, among friends.
That is what the Christian life is all about.
--Coming to church, to worship, is all about.
--What Jesus is all about. What we should be about.
People differ on things, as some questioned Jesus.
--"How can He give His flesh to eat?" (v 52).
--These were taking Jesus' words too literally.
--Jesus was not saying we actually eat His actual body!
--That's cannibalism. Besides, Jewish Law forbids.
Jesus was illustrating, picturing, representing truth.
--When He said, "This is My body," He meant like it.
--To represent it. Away to remember it. But not it!
We use that expression in our communication, a lot.
--For instance, I show you a photo of my wife, family. --I say, "Here is my wife. This is my family."
--You understand, the picture only represents them.
--A likeness of them, to remind use of their love.
When the disciples broke bread that night, Jesus in His flesh was right there with them.
--They did not eat His actual body - neither do we.
--But some people believe it.
In communion, the change is not in the elements but us.
--Bread does not change. Still bread. Always will be.
--Nor does Jesus change. We should, as we partake.
The miracle comes in us! In remembrance. Renewal.
--In confessing our sin, and consecration to the Lord.
--In committing to a closer walk with Christ.
--Our Savior is greater than any tiny piece of bread.
--By His Spirit, He can be with us, as we partake.
Is Jesus your Savior? Then let's break bread together.
--If not saved, why not now? He says, "Come to Me."
--Joy and peace is ours, when we do.
--Assurance of His love, blessing, and eternal life.
--You'll be forever glad!
Wilbert D. Gough, ThD., DD. 344