Jesus jabbed the hornets’ nest. He was messing with Moses. Jesus said the bread their forefathers received under Moses was not the true bread from heaven. Father was now giving them the true bread from heaven. Jesus didn’t come to give bread. Jesus came to be bread. The bread of God is a person, a HE, not some manna morsel.”Jesus declared, ‘I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.

PALM SUNDAY
By Pastor Delbert Young

I Am the Bread of Life – Palm Sunday sermon

Bread of Life

audio

I Am the Bread of Life

Scriptures: John 6:26, John 6:27, John 6:28-29, John 6:32-35, John 6:41-42, John 6:37-39, John 6:43-44, John 6:51-56, John 6:60-61, John 6:66, John 6:67-71

It’s Palm Sunday. Traditionally, I speak concerning the last week of the life of Christ, or perhaps the cross itself. This year I wanted to take a look at a very perplexing passage from one of the seven “I Am” statements made by Jesus in the Gospel According to John. I will explain what an “I Am” statement is next week for our Easter sermon. No need in taking the time for this and doing it again next week especially when there is so much I want to talk about today. This has been one of the most complex studies I’ve done in a while. To cover it, I’d need to teach the entire seventy-one verses of the chapter requiring at least four lessons. Instead, what we’ll do today is pull out a few points relevant to us.

LOOKING FOR JESUS Jesus said, “I am the bread of life” the day after he miraculously fed five thousand hungry people to their fill by multiplying two fish and five pancake size pieces of bread (Joh 6:9-10) with twelve baskets of food left over (v13) – one for each apostle. The crowd followed him to the other side of the lake (v25) where Jesus was teaching and preaching “in the synagogue in Capernaum” (v59). They asked him, “When did you get here” (v25). They knew he wasn’t in the boat with the twelve. Instead of Jesus saying, “I walked on the water,” Jesus began jabbing a hornets’ nest. I have to ask why Jesus did this. He knew he would be stung.

John 6:26 Jesus 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.

They were not looking for Jesus because the signs told them he is the Son of God and Christ. They were looking for him because he filled them with free food. Jesus wasn’t precious and central to them. Jesus was useful to them. He could do things for them. Why are people looking for Jesus today? Why are you looking for Jesus? Next Sunday the Easter crowd will fill churches with thousands of people looking for Jesus. Why are they looking? Within each of them and within each of us is an insatiable hunger and thirst every day. We attempt to fill it with natural things, but nothing fills the hunger and thirst. When we get what we thought would fill us, we find it didn’t and we want more. There is a correct reason to look for Jesus. It’s when the signs in your life tell you he’s the Christ the Son of God. You’ll get so much more than a meal. You get a basket of blessings feeding you every day.

WORK TO BELIEVE Then Jesus said this.

John 6:27 Do not WORK FOR food that spoils, BUT FOR food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you…

Wait a minute! What’s this work for stuff? I thought eternal life is free?

John 6:28-29 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the WORKS GOD REQUIRES?” Jesus answered, “THE WORK OF GOD IS THIS: TO BELIEVE IN THE ONE HE HAS SENT.”

Believing in Jesus is work. Jesus said it is. I can’t do anything to earn my salvation (Eph 2:8), but there is work involved to believe. I don’t care what anyone says, its work to load your family Sunday mornings and get to church. It’s work to keep my priorities in order. Its work to cut your right hand off when you’re right handed. Its work to gouge out your own eye (Mat 5:29-30). Its work to slice out time to pray, read God’s word, to love some people, and to develop my faith and belief. But, if you will, life is satisfying and fulfilling. You make wise and enlightened decisions. You are protected by God. You find you green pastures of life and still waters of peace. You have a raised resurrected life now. You know the way and truth of God. Your life is fruitful and productive. Life is far better. Jesus said work to believe.

I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE The crowd wanted natural food. They reminded Jesus about manna quoting from Exodus 16:4 as the “bread from heaven.” Their thought was God fed our forefathers every day except the Sabbath and we’re hungry again today, so give us another meal like Moses did.

From their ravenous desire of “feed me, give me,” Jesus preached one of his most offensive sermons.

John 6:32-35 Jesus 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. For THE BREAD OF GOD IS HE WHO COMES DOWN FROM HEAVEN and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.” THEN 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.

Notice coming to Jesus is related to believing in Jesus. You can’t believe if you don’t come. People say they believe, but do nothing about coming. “Well I can’t find a church I enjoy.” You’re telling me of the hundreds of churches in our county, you can’t find one? No. You don’t believe. I don’t care what you say. Believing involves work.

Jesus is jabbing the hornets’ nest. He’s messing with Moses. Jesus didn’t come to give bread. Jesus came to be bread. The bread of God is a person, a HE, not some manna morsel. Jesus said the bread their forefathers received under Moses was not the true bread from heaven. Father was giving them the true bread from heaven. “Jesus declared, ‘I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.'” If you believe in me, you will never go hungry and never be thirsty.

I know some of us love bread, but none of us perceive bread the way those people perceived bread. To us bread is a side dish. To them bread was the precious, the central, and main dish. Everything else on the table was around the bread. Jesus said he is the precious, central, and main food for our lives. He is life. Feed on him. True life will be in you. He is eternal. You can be eternal if you feed on him. He alone will satisfy your hunger and your thirst for life. Every desire you’ve ever had or will have is but an echo of your longing for him. Your soul was made for him to fill. When he is your bread of life, he will make certain you acquire everything else you need. He is the “I AM.”

Jesus is not a side dish. He is not dessert. If you expect eternal life Jesus cannot be only Sunday lunch. Nothing in the world compares to Jesus. Every day when you hunger or thirst for him, he will fill you again with baskets full. This is the thought of The Bread of Life, but there is so much more around this in his sermon.

BREAD FROM HEAVEN

John 6:41-42 At this THE JEWS BEGAN TO GRUMBLE about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They 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’?”

He had the hornets’ nest stirred. They began to grumble. Over and over, again and again, eight times Jesus said he came from heaven. We, theologically, grasp it, but they didn’t and he didn’t explain. Jesus isn’t going to explain everything to us. We all have questions, but much of belief is simple faith. Do you believe Jesus came down from heaven? Is he God? This is vital if he is to become The Bread of Life to you. I was watching Bill O’Reilly interview the Muslim man, Haaz Sleiman, who plays the part of Jesus in National Geographic’s movie “Killing Jesus.” O’Reilly asked him if he took away any Christian principles from playing the part. Sleiman said of course he would. He’s always appreciated the teachings of Jesus and his love. This is good, but it’s not believing Jesus came down from heaven. It’s not until you feed on the bread that came down out of heaven eternity will come into your soul. “He’s was a good man.” Or, “I love his teachings, etc.” is good, but eternity comes into your soul when he’s God, the Bread of Life, who came down out of heaven.

FATHER GIVES AND DRAWS. JESUS KEEPS AND RESURRECTS

Jesus seemed to intentionally keep jabbing the hornets’ nest and they were now buzzing – grumbling, but instead of backing away from the hornets’ nest, he jabs it again.

John 6:37-39 All that THE FATHER GIVES ME WILL COME TO ME, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away… (39)And 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.

John 6:43-44 “STOP GRUMBLING AMONG YOURSELVES,” Jesus answered. “NO ONE CAN COME TO ME UNLESS THE FATHER WHO SENT ME DRAWS HIM, AND I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY.

This is major. Jesus told those Jews there was no reason for them to get upset. They couldn’t make the decision to come and believe in Jesus anyway. “No one can.” The only ones who can are those the father first chose to give to the Son and draws to the Son.These and these alone are those Jesus will not lose and will raise the last day to eternal life. Did you get it? It’s different from what we’re told.

Have you ever wondered exactly how your salvation worked? I mean how it was you came to Christ? You experienced the drawing of God. What this means is Father God chose you, gave you to Jesus, and then drew you to Jesus. You did not simply show up at church one day and decide to become a Christian. How many people have you seen who tried to come to Jesus, but it didn’t work? Here is the amazing part. Once chosen, given, and drawn, Jesus will never lose you and he will raise you the last day. This is the will of God! This is as close to an altar call as Jesus gets.

What did you do when you experienced the draw of the Father? You came to Jesus. You know exactly what Jesus means. You can’t explain it to anyone. The simplest way to explain it is to say you had a hunger and a thirst nothing you’d experienced satisfied, but once you ate the bread of life, your deepest hunger stopped and your deepest thirst was quenched. Jesus became central, precious, and your main dish.

EAT MY FLESH AND DRINK MY BLOODJesus gave the hornets’ nest one more jab.

John 6:51-56 I 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.” THEN THE JEWS BEGAN TO ARGUE SHARPLY AMONG THEMSELVES, “HOW CAN THIS MAN GIVE US HIS FLESH TO EAT?” Jesus 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. WHOEVER EATS MY FLESH AND DRINKS MY BLOOD HAS ETERNAL LIFE, and I WILL RAISE HIM UP AT THE LAST DAY. For MY FLESH IS REAL FOOD and MY BLOOD IS REAL DRINK. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him.

Here is a thought about the last day resurrection. How many days are after the last day? None! Not seven years. Not three-and-a-half years. This throws a monkey wrench into any dispensational “great tribulation” teaching. Does Jesus saying his flesh is real food and his blood is real drink sound like a metaphor to you? Jesus explained. It certainly did not sound like a metaphor or a metonym to those listening.

First they grumbled (murmured – KJV) – gogguzo {gong-good’-zo} – to murmur, mutter, grumble, say anything against in a low tone. Now they argue (strove – KJV) – machomai {makh’-om-ahee} – to fight, of armed combatants, or those who engage in a hand to hand struggle. I have to ask, why did Jesus say this? Could he have said anything more offensive to them? Was he talking about cannibalism (Lev 17:10-16; Deu 12:16; 15:23)? We know about communion and have an idea of what he is talking about, but not them. This was absolutely shocking to those listening.

John 6:60-61 On hearing it, many of HIS DISCIPLES SAID, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you?

Of course it offended them.

John 6:66 From this time MANY OF HIS DISCIPLES turned back and no longer followed him.

Disciples turned back. These were not casual followers. This bread of life sermon was extremely offensive.

John 6:67-71 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. WE BELIEVE AND KNOW that you are the Holy One of God.” Then Jesus replied, “HAVE I NOT CHOSEN YOU, THE TWELVE? YET ONE OF YOU IS A DEVIL!” (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)

Jesus asked, “Do you want to leave too?” They couldn’t. They were chosen, given, drawn, kept, and would be raised the last day. It’s also interesting why he put the part about Judas in here. This was over a year before the Judas’ betrayal. The point is God is sovereign. He said to them and is saying to you today, “I want you to know the devil cannot do anything without my knowing.”

How about you and The Bread of Life? Why are you looking for Jesus? Do the signs tell you he is God the Son who came down out of heaven? Are you working to believe? Is he the precious, central, main dish on your table? Has Father chose, given, and drawn you to Jesus? Is he drawing you? Are you eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of Man? If you are there is eternal life in you. Jesus will keep you and you will be raised the last day.

Other Related Sermons:

Revelation Chapter 19, Marriage Supper of the Lamb, White Horse, King of kings, and Lord of lords, sermon video

Revelation Chapter 18, Jerusalem Babylon the Great – sermon video audio notes

Revelation Chapter 12, Woman with Child, Great Red Dragon, War in Heaven – video audio notes