Notes for my ‘I Am the Bread of Life’ Harvest talk on I AM sayings by Jesus


I Am the Bread of Life

Harvest talk [1st Oct 2017]  on I AM sayings by Jesus.

Readings – John 6  22-69; 2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT

Recording of the talk here for a few weeks   http://www.ascensionbath.org.uk/sermons/

 

  • Bread, the smell brings many emotions and feeling to our minds.

It makes me remember eating freshly baked bread when on holiday as a child

What does it make you think off?

There are lots of different breads and lots of different foods.   Which do you prefer and why?

In the end you make a choice and then eat the bread, you do not just look at it and think how nice it might be.

 

You make a choice and go with it.

 

  • Jesus said ‘I AM the bread of life’ to the crowd when they wanted to see more miracles

What did he mean?

they could hardly eat him for breakfast could they

Well its like this

Food and drink are important for life, God supplied them both to the Israelites in the desert, see Exodus 16 & 17. However both are perishable and need replacing all the time

But even back then God, I AM, said that there was more to life than food and drink, there was a soul food needed as well, something that makes us whole. They needed a relationship with God

Jesus is saying that He is this Spiritual food, that He is God, ‘I AM’. [see Exodus 3]

47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever;

 

If we fill ourselves on Jesus just as we fill ourselves daily on food and drink then we will have eternal life with God, I AM.  And unlike bread Jesus never goes off/perishes He is for ever.

We do not need to go and find Him each day once we have decided to give ourselves to Him then He is with us for ever.

The one who brings eternal life.

 

Many people like to hope that there is more to life than just being here, they hope that they will see the people they love again.

In Jesus this is true.

He is the Bread of Life, the one who will give you eternal life.

 

 

  • Lots of things go into making your daily bread as well as a lot of work.

However you eat it and later you will be hungry again

 

With Jesus ‘The Bread of Life’ you eat and are filled.

And you only have to make a decision to do it once you are then

Filled with the fullness of knowing God personally. He becomes eternal  food for your soul

Filled with the Spirit of God

 

Explain how this changed my life.

 

 

  • Many found what Jesus said hard to swallow, it was not what they expected

They thought that they knew Him and his parents.

They thought that they knew who and what the Messiah would be like and Jesus didn’t fit that idea

But did they really know Him?

Do all of us understand who Jesus is?

 

Many people, including some here, think they understand what the Christian faith is about and how Jesus fits into it.

 

But like these people some have it wrong.

Jesus: What’s important …… is that my Father is now offering you the real bread from heaven. The Bread of God came down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Just as bread from heaven gave life to them in the desert.

Jesus is saying He is like that bread, giving life to those lost in the world.

Those who want eternal life and need the right food to get to it.

Jesus is clearly saying that He came from God, is God and brings us the food we really need, Himself

 

  • John 3 [Msg]

16-18 “This is how much God loved the world: He gave his Son, his one and only Son. And this is why: so that no one need be destroyed; by believing in him, anyone can have a whole and lasting life. God didn’t go to all the trouble of sending his Son merely to point an accusing finger, telling the world how bad it was. He came to help, to put the world right again. Anyone who trusts in him is acquitted; anyone who refuses to trust him has long since been under the death sentence without knowing it. And why? Because of that person’s failure to believe in the one-of-a-kind Son of God when introduced to him.

 

So some say- Master, give us this bread!

Some ask for it others turn away

Jesus: I am the Bread of Life. The person who lines themselves up with me won’t ever hunger or thirst. I’m explaining this because even though you’ve seen me in action, you don’t really believe me.

Seeing Jesus in action performing miracles isn’t important, in fact many who saw or still see miracles does not convince many.

Jesus is saying that, He goes on to say that it is about faith in Him, Trusting in Him that counts.

Do you believe that Jesus is ‘I AM’  God?

John 14:6-7 The Message 

6-7 Jesus said, “I am the Road, also the Truth, also the Life. No one gets to the Father apart from me.

 

 

  • When we choose to follow Jesus he becomes part of us.

Like bread which is more than the sum of its ingredients, we become more than we are.

We become part of the family of God.

We become adopted into His family we become more than we are.

 

 

  • Food and drink are important to life, but often we think there must be more to life than eating, sleeping and work.

Many rich people say they seem to have everything but are still missing something.

The same is true of people with addictions, they are looking for something to fill their hole.

 

Jesus is the missing part, He is the bread that fills the empty parts of us

 

When I encountered Jesus I found that I did have holes, I didn’t know I had, to fill and he filled them

 

I keep refueling myself on Him day by day, He is the bread of my life

 

 

  • I finish looking at this by looking at what that means for each of us

What feeding on Jesus means for the way we live our lives. After all it must change something in us.

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT

6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[c] 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”[
d]

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[e] in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving-the needs of the believers in Jerusalem[f] will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.15 Thank God for this gift[g] too wonderful for words!

Today we think of Harvest, how much we have each received from God this last year.

We acknowledge that God provides.

Our food; Drink; Homes; Families; Work; the Environment; Sun and Rain;

If we accept that, then as followers of I AM we are called upon to share from our harvest with others who have done worse than us.  And there are always people who are worse off than us.

 

As we receive the Bread of Life from Jesus so we share our harvest with others

God gives freely to us, and we are to do the same.

 

My own experience is that no matter how little I have if I share and give away I always have enough for myself as well.

Before I was a Christian, that was not always true, God blesses those who give from their hearts rather than holding on to it all for themselves.

 

Lets Pray

 

Quite some bread!   Vicar’s weekly notice sheet thought

Most of us love the smell of bread! Many supermarkets deliberately bake it on site to induce a feel good factor. Well, we hope you enjoy the smell of bread here today baked and shared by the children! But then Jesus did say, “I am the bread of life”….. Indeed just before the day he said those words, he’d famously fed the crowd of 5,000 or more with bread and fish. Well now, that crowd was Jewish, and they understood the bit in their history where Moses had fed them with bread too. You may have heard of ‘manna’ yourself – bread miraculously provided by heaven when they were hungry in the desert. So they understood Jesus wasn’t just going to become their expert local baker! For bread, however wonderful it is, doesn’t last very long (foodies take note!). No he was talking about bread that ‘that really feeds your lasting life’ as we’ve translated it today. He went on to talk about the people eating Him, not loaves of bread. They, and we, might well ask what does that mean?! Jesus explained, “The person who lines themselves up with me won’t ever hunger or thirst.” Do this, he said, and you will enter real life as his Father in Heaven intends it to be. Listen to me, he says, and you will see and hear what this real life is about. A phrase I love from today’s words of Jesus reads, “My part is to put them (you) on their feet alive and whole at the completion and end of time.” This is some bread! Do we understand Jesus’ generosity here? We call each other at Harvest time to be generous, and Jesus says to each of us first receive my generosity to you. I came to give you the Bread of Life.

 

John 6 –Reading as a Drama

4 people start at back of church, Jesus and Disciples at front

Person 1: Hey, Jesus’ disciples left in the boat without Jesus.

Person 2: Where’s Jesus now?

Person 3: Let’s get into another boat and go and look for him.

Mime getting into boat and travel down aisle in boat. Get out of boat on carpet, and see Jesus and disciples.

Person 4: Rabbi, when did you get here?

Jesus: You’ve come looking for me not because you saw God in my actions but because I fed you – and for free. Don’t waste your energy striving for food that goes off. Work for food that sticks with you, really feeds your lasting life. The Son of Man and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.

Person 1: We want to perform God’s works too. What should we do?

Jesus: Commit yourself to the One God has sent – that gets you in on God’s works.

Someone do a visual / noisy science experiment (miraculous work)

Person 2: Show us a miracle if you want us to commit ourselves to you.

Person 3: Yea, Moses fed our ancestors with bread from heaven in the desert.

Jesus: What’s important is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but that my Father is now offering you the real bread from heaven. The Bread of God came down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Person 4: Master, give us this bread!

Jesus: I am the Bread of Life. The person who lines themselves up with me won’t ever hunger or thirst. I’m explaining this because even though you’ve seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me and I hold onto them and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to do my own thing but to do the will of the One who sent me.

The real thing my Father wants is for anyone who sees the Son to trust who he is, and what he does – and then lines themselves up with him to enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion and end of time.

Person 1: How can he say, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven?”

Person 2: Isn’t this the son of Joseph?

Person 3: Don’t we know his mother?

Person 4: How can anyone be expected to believe him?

Jesus: You’re not in charge, the Father who sent me is. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Then I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. Anyone who has spent any time really listening to the Father and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally—to see and hear it. No one has seen the Father; only I have seen him – but you can see me!

Whoever believes in me has eternal life. I am the Bread of Life – living bread come down from heaven. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But anyone who eats this Bread will live – forever! This Bread I offer so the world can live is myself, my flesh-and-blood self.

Person 1: What a load of rubbish!

Person 2: How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?

Jesus: Let me repeat this to be clear: You must eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood or you can’t have eternal life. Its real food and real drink and anyone who eats and drinks me enters into me and I in him. I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the true bread that came down from heaven.

Person 3: This is tough teaching, too tough to swallow.

Person 4: How can anyone accept it?

Jesus: Does this throw you completely? Sheer muscle and willpower don’t make anything happen. But every word I’ve spoken to you is a Spirit-word, and so it is life-making. But some of you are resisting, refusing to have any part in this.

No one can come to me on his own, it’s only as a gift from the Father.

Person 1: I don’t want to hang around with Jesus any more.

Person 2: This is too hard.

People get back in boats and go back to where they came from. Jesus turns to his disciples

Jesus: Do you also want to leave?

Peter: Master, who would we go to? You have the words of real life, eternal life. We’ve already committed ourselves, confident that you are the Holy One of God.

This is the Word of the Lord

All Thanks be to God

 

John 6

Jesus, the Bread of Life

22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. 23 Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man[f] can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

30 They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[g]

32 Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them. 38 For I have come down from heaven to do the will of God who sent me, not to do my own will. 39 And this is the will of God, that I should not lose even one of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them up at the last day. 40 For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.”

41 Then the people[h] began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 But Jesus replied, “Stop complaining about what I said. 44 For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up. 45 As it is written in the Scriptures,[i]‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 (Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)

47 “I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 Yes, I am the bread of life! 49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. 50 Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”

52 Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked.

53 So Jesus said again, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. 54 But anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise that person at the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 I live because of the living Father who sent me; in the same way, anyone who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 I am the true bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will not die as your ancestors did (even though they ate the manna) but will live forever.”

59 He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Many Disciples Desert Jesus

60 Many of his disciples said, “This is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?”

61 Jesus was aware that his disciples were complaining, so he said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what will you think if you see the Son of Man ascend to heaven again? 63 The Spirit alone gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing. And the very words I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64 But some of you do not believe me.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning which ones didn’t believe, and he knew who would betray him.) 65 Then he said, “That is why I said that people can’t come to me unless the Father gives them to me.”

66 At this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him.67 Then Jesus turned to the Twelve and asked, “Are you also going to leave?”

68 Simon Peter replied, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words that give eternal life. 69 We believe, and we know you are the Holy One of God.[j]

 

2 Corinthians 9:6-15 NLT

6 Remember this—a farmer who plants only a few seeds will get a small crop. But the one who plants generously will get a generous crop. 7 You must each decide in your heart how much to give. And don’t give reluctantly or in response to pressure. “For God loves a person who gives cheerfully.”[c] 8 And God will generously provide all you need. Then you will always have everything you need and plenty left over to share with others. 9 As the Scriptures say,

“They share freely and give generously to the poor.
Their good deeds will be remembered forever.”[d]

10 For God is the one who provides seed for the farmer and then bread to eat. In the same way, he will provide and increase your resources and then produce a great harvest of generosity[e] in you.

11 Yes, you will be enriched in every way so that you can always be generous. And when we take your gifts to those who need them, they will thank God. 12 So two good things will result from this ministry of giving-the needs of the believers in Jerusalem[f] will be met, and they will joyfully express their thanks to God.

13 As a result of your ministry, they will give glory to God. For your generosity to them and to all believers will prove that you are obedient to the Good News of Christ. 14 And they will pray for you with deep affection because of the overflowing grace God has given to you.15 Thank God for this gift[g] too wonderful for words!

 

 

 

 

 

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