[SW121] 12/28/2013 message notes by Rev. Susan J. Wynn ©2013
“The Bread of Life”
Jesus says “I AM the Bread of Life.” Believe in Him and eat Him and you will have eternal life. To believe is to believe into, an action. To eat is to take Him into yourself.
O Lord, I am here to proclaim Your excellencies! You have chosen me, made me part of a royal priesthood, a holy nation, a possession of God, so that I would go forth and proclaim the excellencies of You who called me out of darkness and into Your marvelous light (1 Peter 2:9)!
How do I do that, Lord? Your excellencies are beyond words! And You answer, “Use My words.”
And so, I begin a series of proclaiming His excellencies to you. I will speak of Your statements, Lord, in the Book of John:
— I AM the Bread of Life (today’s message)
— I AM the Light of the World (John 8:12)
— I AM the Door (John 10:7, 9)
— I AM the Good Shepherd (John 10:11, 14)
— I AM the Resurrection and the Life (John 11:25)
— I AM the Way and the Truth and the Life (John 14:6)
— I AM is the Vine (John 15:1, 5)
Why do I emphasize I AM? Because Jesus is telling His listeners that He is God in the flesh, the same God that told Moses to tell the people His name is I AM, when He spoke from the burning bush in Exodus 3:14. Beloved, He IS God in the flesh!
Jesus had just fed 5,000 with five loaves of bread and two fish. It was an amazing miracle! The disciples returned with empty baskets only to find them miraculously filled again, and there were twelve baskets full after everyone had eaten and been satisfied.
Afterwards, the people watched His disciples climb into the only boat on the shore of the sea and start across to the other side, while Jesus departed and went up on a hill to pray.
Now the crowd was amazed, because Jesus was on the other side of the sea with the disciples the next day! They did not know He had walked on the water, come to His disciples, calmed the sea and brought them immediately to their destination. (There’s a whole sermon there, for another time.)
Now to the words of Jesus:
So the crowd, in Verse 25, questioned Jesus — how did He get to the other side? As with all of us, when we ask Jesus a question, He answers by telling us our hearts.
He tells them they seek Him not because they saw His miraculous provision and know He is the Son of God, but because they want more bread. They want natural blessings from Him, food that will perish, when He offers them Himself.
And so He says that if they will believe in Him, that He is the Bread that came down from heaven, that the manna their fathers ate was just a type or a shadow of His coming, then they will never hunger or thirst.
He says if they will eat Him, they will have eternal life. To eat Him is first to believe into, that is an action! It is not just to say, “Yes, I agree that Jesus is my Savior.” It is to enter through Him into a whole new life, so when you look back at where you lived before, you see that it was mere existence. It is to take Him into yourself, to receive His very presence into your innermost being, to have Him live literally within you. That is what it is to eat of Him.
When you do this, He will give you eternal, perpetual life, life as God has it, zoe!This is not just a nice offer that we might decide to take Him up on. God sent Jesus Christ because we are all sinners in need of a Savior. We all have gone astray, every one to His own way. And our own way is rebellious against God. We are not at peace with God until we walk through Jesus Christ.
Jesus Christ is the One who erases our past sins and then changes our hearts, so that we no longer rebel against God.
If those who He speaks to in John 6 do not respond to His call, they will not have eternal life. In Verse 53, Jesus tells the crowd, who are His own people, the Jews, that unless they eat of Him and drink His blood (believe and take His life into themselves), they have no life in themselves. They do not have zoe. To those who say to you that every one has a spark of God in them, regardless of whether or not they have received Jesus, He speaks a resounding “No.”
If they do not have eternal life in them, available only through Him, He will not recognize them when they appear before Him when their bodies fall away. And they will be eternally separated from God in a place where Jesus says the worm never dies and the fire never goes out. It is the same for you.
They take offense at His words, because Jews were commanded by Moses not to eat the flesh of men or drink blood — the life was in the blood.
Again, in Verse 35, He says “I AM the Bread of Life,; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
Again, in Verse 51, He says I AM the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever . . .
He is the source of eternal life, and there is no other. And if you do not have His life in you, and your body falls away to death and you stand before Him, He will say, “I never knew you.” (See Matthew 7:23.)
He calls out to you today. Will you do as He says in Verse 40? Will you behold the Son? Will you look at Him and see Him and believe in Him and take Him into yourself? Then you will have eternal life, for He is the Bread of Life!
If you eat Him, you will have it, as long as you abide in Him (Verse 56). But who would want to turn away from Him? Who would want to sin against Him, when He comes in and gives you a new heart that loves Him with God’s very own love? Who would turn from joy unspeakable and full of glory (1 Peter 1:8)?
Who would not be glad to say, “I delight to do Your will, O God . . . Your law has been written in my heart” (Psalms 40:8). Who would not want to say, “Whom have I in heaven but You, and besides You, I desire nothing on earth” (Psalms 73:25) If you have truly received Him and eaten this Bread of Life, you will know these things!
But in the church, how many have stayed on the outside of God’s blessings, seeking natural blessings rather than eating of the Bread of Life? How many seek Him for what He can do for them or what He can give to them, rather than seeking Him just for the sake of Himself, just for the sake of knowing Him intimately?
How many have said words at an altar, and then gone astray, every one to His own way, rather than continuing to feast on Him in His word, so they will know the truth and the truth will set them free from the power of sin?
We are to continue to eat of the Bread of Life, through His Word, when we say those words at the altar. He will most assuredly lead us into all truth, by the power of His Spirit in us, if we will continue in His Word.
O church, throw your seeking of natural blessings while you remain outside the true blessing of taking Him into yourself! Throw to the moles and bats your desire to get what you want out of Him, and then go your own way!
The Lord exhorts you today, whether or not you are presently a churchgoer. He commands you to turn from the sin you are doing and toward Him. He commands you to enter through Him into eternal, perpetual life as God has it, starting here and now!
He commands you to take Him into yourself, and He will give you a new heart, one that is full of God’s actual love. You see, I take the words of Jesus very literally. I believe that when He says He and the Father will come in and dwell, He means it literally — in a spiritual way, He enters us. I know because He did that in me! I was one that sought natural things, money, career, success. But those are empty things. To be filled with the Father and the Son by the Holy Spirit is that zoe, that eternal life here and now, and all that I had sought before was nothingness. You will know it when He comes in!