This Weeks Notes ~ August 8, 2021
So what does Jesus mean when he says, “I am the Bread of Life?” Well, he simply means that we are not satisfied spiritually unless we know Jesus. We are not spiritually satisfied unless we have Jesus in our lives. On our own, we will try to fill ourselves with that which does not or cannot satisfy our deepest longings. In other words, we cannot survive spiritually without Jesus.
Everyone has a need to belong, to have a purpose, to be loved, but so many people are looking in all the wrong places to satisfy that need. Sometimes people can be extreme and they are looking to things like drugs or alcohol to satisfy their needs for love and belonging. Often we look for things that do not at first seem harmful, the accumulation of things, social media or self-serving and selfish ways of being. Eventually we can become slaves to those things.
Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” He is saying that ultimately, he can satisfy our deepest needs and longings. Jesus can make us feel “full” and overflowing with blessing. To live physically, we need bread, or rice, or noodles, or potatoes, or whatever is your staple food. But to live abundantly, spiritually and eternally, we need Jesus, who is ‘the bread of life’, Jesus is always ready to welcome you to his table.
In Christianity, bread is one of the most powerful symbols. Bread is a gift from God. Moses fed his people in the desert with food which fell from heaven. During the “last supper”, bread became the body of Christ. When Jesus multiplied the bread to feed the crowds, bread became a sign of sharing.
“I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35) is one of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus. Jesus used the same phrase “I AM” in seven declarations about Himself.
“I am the bread of life” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51). Jesus makes a statement about who He is, and He backs it up with something He does. In this case, Jesus states that He is the bread of life just after He had fed the 5,000 in the wilderness. At the same time, He contrasts what He can do with what Moses had done for their ancestors: “Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die” (verses 49–50).
“I am the light of the world” (John 8:12; 9:5). This second of Jesus’ “I am” statements in John’s gospel comes right before He heals a man born blind. Jesus not only says He is the light; He proves it. Jesus’ words and actions echo Genesis 1:3, “And God said, ‘Let there be light,’ and there was light.”
“I am the door” (John 10:7 and 9). This “I am” statement stresses that no one can enter the kingdom of heaven by any other means than through Christ Himself. Jesus’ words in this passage are couched in the imagery of a sheepfold. He is the one and only way to enter the fold. Jesus is the Good Shepherd.
“I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11, 14). With this “I am” statement, Jesus portrays His great love and care. He is the One who willingly protects His flock even to the point of death.
“I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus made this “I am” statement immediately before raising Lazarus from the dead. Again, we see that Jesus’ teaching was not just empty talk; when He made a claim, He substantiated it with action. He holds “the keys of death and the grave” (Revelation 1:18). In raising Lazarus from the dead, Jesus showed how He can fulfill Yahweh’s promise to ancient Israel: “[God’s] dead shall live; their bodies shall rise”. Apart from Jesus, there is neither resurrection nor eternal life.
“I am the way and the truth and the life” (John 14:6). This powerful “I am” statement of Christ’s is packed with meaning. Jesus is not merely one way among many ways to God; He is the only way. Scripture said that “Jesus alone is the source of life; He is the Creator and Sustainer of all life and the Giver of eternal life.
“I am the true vine” (John 15:1, 5). The final “I am” statement in the Gospel of John emphasizes the sustaining power of Christ. We are the branches, and He is the vine. Just as a branch cannot bear fruit unless it is joined in vital union with the vine, only those who are joined to Christ and receive their power from Him produce fruit in the Christian life.
Jesus is the bread of life, and our partaking of the Lord’s Supper is a testimony to that fact. That Jesus is the bread of life, is a claim of Jesus’ fundamental live-giving relationship to the world.
PRAYER OF THE DAY
God of sustenance, Provide us with your living bread daily so that we might be brought to eternal life. Help us share your living bread with all who will receive it. Amen.
Join us Sunday morning at 11:00, In-Person and online as we talk about “The Bread of Life”.
“I don’t know how, but I know WHO!”
Grace and Peace, Pastor Nelda
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