Sunday, January 16, 2011

Sermon: John 6: 25-40 I am the Bread of Life

Is anyone hungry this morning? Did anyone not have breakfast before they came to church? Don't worry - I have some bread you can nibble on. Here's a slice or two. Oh, but it's not very fresh, is it? It's hard, and there's some bluemould on the edge of it. [Produce a fresh loaf] Maybe this would be better to eat - nice and fresh.

Just before our reading this morning, Jesus has fed over 5000 people, all using just five small loaves and two fish. It's now the next day, and the crowds are following Jesus. But it's clear they're just following him to get more food from him. Just think - you would never have to work again, just ask Jesus to rustle up some dinner when you're hungry. Their focus is on their bellies, rather than their hearts.

In verse 27, Jesus says this: 'Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.'

Just like those slices of bread a moment ago, it all goes mouldy, it all perishes. Jesus is saying don't focus on your hunger or for bread that won't really satisfy. Instead, he says, there is food that will help you live forever, because it lasts forever. If you saw this bread in Tesco or Asda when you're helping with the shopping, you would definitely buy it! But we can't get it in supermarkets. So where can we get this bread for eternal life?

In verse 33, Jesus tells us more about it: 'For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.' The bread of God is a person, one who came from heaven, and who gives us life. So who is it then?

Verse 35: 'I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.'

That phrase 'I am' is found at least seven times in John's Gospel, and it's an echo of the name of God revealed in Exodus 3 to Moses. Jesus is saying that he is God - the God who provides for his people.

Jesus gives us life, as we come to him and believe in him. We don't know much about being hungry for food (unless if your dinner is late for some reason), but you might know about being hungry and thirsty for God. Jesus promises to give us life, and will completely satisfy us, both now and for ever.

The reason Jesus can give us life is because he died for us on the cross - his body was broken on the cross for us; we remember this at Communion, as we break bread together.

If you realise that you're hungry today, come to Jesus and receive life from him. It's as easy as taking bread and eating it.

'Oh taste and see that the LORD is good!' (Psalm 34:8)

This sermon was preached at the Family Service in St Elizabeth's Church, Dundonald on Sunday 16th January 2011.

No comments:

Post a Comment