Jesus, the Bread of Life,
Jesus, the Bread of Life,
Author - AGRI
Jesus, the Bread of Life, Our Daily Bread
The LORD is my shepherd, I shall not be in want.
2 He makes me lie down in green pastures, he leads me beside quiet waters,
3 he restores my soul. guides me in paths of righteousness for his name's sake.
4 Even though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil, for you are with me; your rod and your staff, they comfort me.
5 You prepare a table before me in the presence of my enemies. You anoint my head with oil; my cup overflows.
6 Surely goodness and love will follow me all the days of my life, and I will dwell in the house of the LORD forever.
A few weeks ago we looked at Christ as our Shepherd, and how as sheep we are cared for and how that translates itself into our human side. To recap, we will not be abandoned or forgotten by our Shepherd, we must allow ourselves to be led and given the things we need when given to us and not go looking elsewhere.
In Human terms this means being able to identify what is a need and what is a want. Even if we see something is a need, and even a desperate need, this again does not necessarily mean we will get it when we think we should or even at all.
We also must be prepared to give things up and not be angry with God when we loose things or find ourselves in a situation where we are seemingly at rock bottom. There are many reasons that we are humbled into certain situations, do we take the things we do have for granted, do we forget to thank God for the things we have and receive?
We looked how Satan went to God and accused Job was only as devout and honouring to God because of his wealth and popularity. God told Satan to take them away from him to prove this. We should be challenged with this, how would we react?
This session we will now explore this a little bit further.
Lets read Psalm 23 again,
The Lord is my Shepherd, I shall not want. Fine! But as I said last time, Is The Lord your Shepherd? Do you follow other shepherds or just wonder around on your own?
Let us take this time to just read John 10:1 to verse 27, I wasn’t going to do this, but it’s a wonderful thing to read and where I will be referring to a couple of these verses, it is best to read it all in context.
1"I tell you the truth, the man who does not enter the sheep pen by the gate, but climbs in by some other way, is a thief and a robber.
2The man who enters by the gate is the shepherd of his sheep.
3The watchman opens the gate for him, and the sheep listen to his voice. He calls his own sheep by name and leads them out.
4When he has brought out all his own, he goes on ahead of them, and his sheep follow him because they know his voice. 5But they will never follow a stranger; in fact, they will run away from him because they do not recognize a stranger's voice."
6Jesus used this figure of speech, but they did not understand what he was telling them.
7Therefore Jesus said again, "I tell you the truth, I am the gate for the sheep.
8All who ever came before me were thieves and robbers, but the sheep did not listen to them.
9I am the gate; whoever enters through me will be saved. He will come in and go out, and find pasture.
10The thief comes only to steal and kill and destroy; I have come that they may have life, and have it to the full.
11"I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep.
12The hired hand is not the shepherd who owns the sheep. So when he sees the wolf coming, he abandons the sheep and runs away. Then the wolf attacks the flock and scatters it.
13The man runs away because he is a hired hand and cares nothing for the sheep.
14"I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me—
15just as the Father knows me and I know the Father—and I lay down my life for the sheep.
16I have other sheep that are not of this sheep pen. I must bring them also. They too will listen to my voice, and there shall be one flock and one shepherd.
17The reason my Father loves me is that I lay down my life—only to take it up again.
18No one takes it from me, but I lay it down of my own accord. I have authority to lay it down and authority to take it up again. This command I received from my Father."
19At these words the Jews were again divided.
20Many of them said, "He is demon-possessed and raving mad. Why listen to him?"
21But others said, "These are not the sayings of a man possessed by a demon. Can a demon open the eyes of the blind?" 22Then came the Feast of Dedication at Jerusalem. It was winter,
23and Jesus was in the temple area walking in Solomon's Colonnade.
24The Jews gathered around him, saying, "How long will you keep us in suspense? If you are the Christ, tell us plainly."
25Jesus answered, "I did tell you, but you do not believe. The miracles I do in my Father's name speak for me,
26but you do not believe because you are not my sheep. 27My sheep listen to my voice; I know them, and they follow me. 28I give them eternal life, and they shall never perish; no one can snatch them out of my hand.
29My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all[d]; no one can snatch them out of my Father's hand. 30I and the Father are one."
Lets go back to verse 14, Christ say "I am the good shepherd; I know my sheep and my sheep know me”
Christ does not say, I am the good shepherd I know my sheep, but some do not know me, some do not want me and many reject me, no Christ says , I know my sheep , and they know me. Christ also puts conditions on to our relationship with him in order to reap the blessings and rewards that will be ours for obedience. Our relationship with God, is not one way, its not all take take take and just do what we like, the condition with being one of Christ sheep is that we must hear his voice, Christ identifies us as such in verse 27, “My sheep hears my voice; I know them and they follow me.”
If we want to be part of the flock then we must follow, otherwise how can we be part of the flock? If we do not know Christ if we do not follow or obey, then we obviously are not one of these sheep, and therefore how are we to be provided for and cared for?
John 6 – 5 loaves –2 fish
Lets look for a moment at the miracle of 5 loves and 2 fish. A huge crowd comes to listen to Jesus , come lunch time everyone is hungry, a small boy offers all he has, that selfless act resulted in baskets of fish and bread that did not run out until everyone had their fill.
IN evening, disciples head of by boat to Capernaum. Leaving Christ on the shore. A storm blows up, the disciples are scared, but Christ comes to them by walking on the water and the storm is calmed.
Next day the crowd go looking for Christ, they know only one boat left and Christ was not on it, eventually they get to Capernaum, and are surprised to see Christ there.
We now pick this up at verse 25.
25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"
26Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
28Then they asked him, "What must we do to do the works God requires?"
29Jesus answered, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent."
30So they asked him, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?
31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"
32Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.
33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
34"Sir," they said, "from now on give us this bread."
35Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.
37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.
38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me.
39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day.
40For my Father's will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day."
41At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, "I am the bread that came down from heaven."
42They said, "Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, 'I came down from heaven'?"
43"Stop grumbling among yourselves," Jesus answered.
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.
45It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.'[d] Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me.
46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father.
47I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life.
48I am the bread of life.
49Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died.
50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die.
51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world."
This is of course saying to us many things, and we can spend many hours just doing that and come up with many sermons and studies. However being pressed for time, I will just stick with the subject we are looking at.
The people went looking for food and to be entertained, they completely missed the point, they completely missed the power of God working through Christ, they even missed the significance of Christ appearing in Capernaum. A Great shame I think.
If Christ is the bread of life, then how are we to get this? Well we saw from the earlier verses from John, that Christ feeds his sheep, if we are to be fed by Christ with the bread of life, then before we can be fed by this , we must know Christ our shepherd, and more importantly Christ then must know us, only then can we be given this and much more.
However, food is all very well, and yes, this can be taken to be physical food , pslam 37 v 25 I was young and now I am old, yet I have never seen the righteous forsaken or their children begging bread.
This means that those obedient to Christ and follow, will never go hungry, although you maybe a sheep, and think you know the Shepherd Christ, you can end up getting lost and miss a few feeding times. Those who do not get lost and keep close to Christ and know him, will be fed and watered, in human terms this is both physically and spiritually.
However, we must not expect everything to drop into our laps, we are not to sit and wait for God to give everything to us on a plate, otherwise we then become lazy sheep, and what happens to lazy sheet who do not move? Well they get left behind don’t they, so although you may be wondering where your next meal will come from, God has given you ways and means to obtain your meal, even if it means having to sell a family heirloom or something else. God does test us in these ways, as we saw with Job
Food is all very well, but Drink is also important and Christ will also keep our thirst quenched, and just like the bread, this is open to all to take and be fed if they believe and follow. Carrying on with John 6
52Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, "How can this man give us his flesh to eat?"
53Jesus said to them, "I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you.
54Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
55For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
56Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.
57Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever."
This Water of life, this drink all mankind a can be quenched with, is also dealt with earlier in John when Jesus meets the Samaritan woman.
John 4 Jesus and Samaritan woman
John 4 5-26 So he came to a town in Samaria called Sychar, near the plot of ground Jacob had given to his son Joseph. 6Jacob's well was there, and Jesus, tired as he was from the journey, sat down by the well. It was about the sixth hour.
7When a Samaritan woman came to draw water, Jesus said to her, "Will you give me a drink?" 8(His disciples had gone into the town to buy food.)
9The Samaritan woman said to him, "You are a Jew and I am a Samaritan woman. How can you ask me for a drink?" (For Jews do not associate with Samaritans.[a])
10Jesus answered her, "If you knew the gift of God and who it is that asks you for a drink, you would have asked him and he would have given you living water."
11"Sir," the woman said, "you have nothing to draw with and the well is deep. Where can you get this living water? 12Are you greater than our father Jacob, who gave us the well and drank from it himself, as did also his sons and his flocks and herds?"
13Jesus answered, "Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, 14but whoever drinks the water I give him will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life."
15The woman said to him, "Sir, give me this water so that I won't get thirsty and have to keep coming here to draw water."
16He told her, "Go, call your husband and come back."
17"I have no husband," she replied.
Jesus said to her, "You are right when you say you have no husband. 18The fact is, you have had five husbands, and the man you now have is not your husband. What you have just said is quite true."
19"Sir," the woman said, "I can see that you are a prophet. 20Our fathers worshiped on this mountain, but you Jews claim that the place where we must worship is in Jerusalem."
21Jesus declared, "Believe me, woman, a time is coming when you will worship the Father neither on this mountain nor in Jerusalem. 22You Samaritans worship what you do not know; we worship what we do know, for salvation is from the Jews. 23Yet a time is coming and has now come when the true worshipers will worship the Father in spirit and truth, for they are the kind of worshipers the Father seeks. 24God is spirit, and his worshipers must worship in spirit and in truth."
25The woman said, "I know that Messiah" (called Christ) "is coming. When he comes, he will explain everything to us."
26Then Jesus declared, "I who speak to you am he."
. Back to pslam 23 again, v 3, “He restores my soul” and “my cup runneth over” in verse 5.
When our stomachs our empty and our mouths are dry, what do we do?
We eat and drink, and do so daily, so why is it , that although we have our initial fill of the spiritual side of things when it comes to God, why do we stop going back for more? Our souls are often broken and hurting, how can we expect to be healed and restored over time if we do not go and get our daily fill and dwell in the love of the shepherd? Our cups can overfill non-stop, how full are your cups though? Many of our cups are often are nearly empty, so why do we never bother getting a top up?
If we do not eat, we will die, if we do not get our spiritual food and drink , then we will eventually die spiritually. Therefore It is important we get our spiritual nourishment everyday. But how do we do that.
Prayer is all very well, but that will not feed us completely, reading the Bible will not feed us unless we try to understand what we are reading and/or allow the Holy Spirit to act upon it and show us, reciting popular verses and other religious texts spoken out of religious conviction without feeling etc will also not help fed us, it is the Holy Spirit, Jesus Christ, God, who will feed us.
Of course there is nothing wrong with reading or speaking popular things out, they give great comfort and help to people, but unless you allow the Holy spirit to speak to you, then its not food for our growth, its not real substance or daily bread, we need something we can learn from or be challenged by. Do we feed out children baby food all their life? no of course not, so it is with our Christian life, we can not just sit doing the same basic things we must learn to grow, repeating same things over and over and over will not make us grow.
We must learn to sit and listen for God to speak to us, show us things, the Holy Spirit to prompt us and show us. It is also vitally important to share with other Christians, attend Church and learn from those appointed to lead and teach us.
But be warned, not all you will hear is from God, Satan lies and deceives, thoughts can come from either yourself, God or demons, learn to recognize which is which. Loyal sheep know the voice of their shepherd, we must lean to know our shepherds voice.
Not all you will be taught will be correct, you must check with things you have been taught against the Bible, if the Bible contradicts what you have been told, then it is obviously a false teaching.
So make time each day, how much time do we set aside to play games, do the things we like? Yet struggle to find a minute of our time to sit in presence of God and listen, if you do not hear anything, just sit and listen, just seek God, even if its just a peace and warmth you feel, it is all good.
Finally I will share with you a website and resource for your daily bread, its from RBC ministries, theres online resources and a 2 monthly booklet, daily online study too. Well worth a look. http://www.rbc.org/odb/odb.shtml
Oh Lord, we thank you that you are the bread of life, that you gave your life on the cross for us all. We pray that you will give us the strength, patience and conviction to seek you more, learn to sit still and listen, and to get our daily bread from you, that you will feed us and nourish us with your word and love. Amen