Message: Jesus, The Bread of Life
Scriptures: John 6:28-40
I’m catching up on some 2017 sermons which haven’t been posted. This is message 1 of 7 in a Lenten sermon series entitled I AM Jesus. It was offered 3/05/17 at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota Florida. I’m sorry, no recording is available, just the notes.
Lenten Sermon Series – I AM Jesus
Who does Jesus claim to be? Join us this Lent as we explore his seven I AM statements from the Gospel of John.
Click Here for a Reader’s Theatre version of John 6:28-40, which includes a contemporary or traditional sung response.
Late Night Snack
Ever go to the refrigerator, open the door and stare. You’re hungry but you don’t know what you want. So you nibble on something, but it just doesn’t do the trick.
You close the door, you’re still hungry, at least you think you’re hungry. You could actually be bored, stressed, sad, exhausted, thirsty, lonely… You walk away, but a few minutes later you’re back. You open the door again hoping something new has magically appeared. You nibble some more of this and some of that, but you’re not satisfied.
Hunger is a good gift of God. It’s built into us to remind us we need something- food and water. Without hunger, we will die.
Hunger in our stomach is a good gift of God. There’s a deeper hunger which is also a good gift of God- a hunger in our souls. As the hunger in our stomachs reveals we need food, so the hunger in our souls reveals we need something. That something is a someone, Jesus the Bread of Life, the only One who can satisfy.
This is what Jesus was trying to explain to the huge crowd in today’s scripture reading. The day before, Jesus was teaching, sharing the Good News of God’s grace and hope. It grew late in the day. Rather than send everyone away for dinner, Jesus performed a miracle. A child offered his lunch, 5 loaves and 2 fish. Jesus received them, gave thanks, blessed them, and they were multiplied to feed over 5000 people.
So the next day, did the crowd come to saving faith? No. The crowd didn’t follow Jesus out of devotion and thanksgiving. They followed Jesus around the Sea of Galilee for another meal. They only wanted Jesus as consumers- entertain us again with your stories, feed us again for free.
Jesus, be like Moses
Moses freed the people from their oppressors
Moses brought down bread from heaven
Moses fed an entire nation for decades
John 6:32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
The classic temptation is to turn something into something it’s not, including Jesus
We turn food into something it’s not
- We eat for comfort instead of for hunger.
- We self-medicate with food and suffer from eating disorders in hopes of finding some control.
- We have food insecurity and food deserts in a culture of plenty
- We overprocess food, twisting a healthy blessing into something that makes us sick
- We’re served huge portions and at the same time huge amounts of food is wasted
Professor and Author Jeffrey Sachs reminds us, “For the first time in history, we have as many people dying of obesity as dying of starvation.”
The classic temptation is to turn something into something it’s not and to seek temporary things for what only Jesus can supply
Need rest, buy sleep- best bed, sheets pillows
Need joy, buy entertainment
Need relationship and belonging, buy companionship
Need a home, a safe place, buy a house
Need satisfaction, buy food and drink
It the classic first temptation of the Devil to Jesus in the Wilderness
Jesus, turn something into something it’s not meant to be to satisfy your need
Jesus, fulfill the need in your own strength
Jesus, become a consumer
Matthew 4:1 Jesus was led up by the Spirit into the wilderness- to be tempted by the devil. 2 He fasted forty days and forty nights, and afterwards he was famished. 3 The tempter came and said to him, “If you are the Son of God, command these stones to become loaves of bread.”
4 But he answered,
“It is written, ‘One does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”
Moses didn’t supply the freedom and the bread, God did
Jesus wasn’t sent to be dinner and a show
Jesus came to satisfy the deepest needs and the deepest hungers of all time
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty…. 40… All who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day
Come. Lent is the season where
- We come face to face with your deepest need- salvation.
- We come face to face with the truth, asking God to reveal what is false, create in us clean hearts, and to fill us with what truly satisfies.
- Where we refocus our appetites on God and what pleases God, rather than ourselves.
- Where we feast on Jesus and are nourished by his grace.
We receive bread into our body and it sustains life. We receive Jesus into our soul by grace through faith and it sustains life forever. Jesus is the bread of life. Come to him.
I’m excited to now offer mp3’s of my Sunday messages. A huge thank you to Sean and my brothers and sisters at Trinity United Methodist Church, Sarasota for all their help in making this possible. If you’re ever in Sarasota, please drop by for worship Sundays at 9am or 10:30am, or join us live on our Facebook page at 9am Sundays, or drop by during the week for a chat or small group. You and those you love are always welcome.
sermon © 2017 Lisa Ann Moss Degrenia
Contact Lisa for posting and publication considerations.