4th June 2019

I Am The Bread Of Life

“I am the bread of life.”
John 6:48 (NKJV)

Did you know that the words “ I am “ are used 2026 times in the NIV translation of the Bible? If you ever struggle to get to sleep, try counting them! Of those 2026 times, 497 are in the New Testament and 102 “I am’s” are found in the book of John. In this short series we will look at just seven of them, all of which teach us about God.

This first one was stated by Jesus shortly after he had fed the 5000, which you will find in verses 1 to 13 of John 6. In verses 26-27, Jesus rebukes the crowd for following him because they had been fed physically, and tells them “to seek food which endures for everlasting life.” This was a puzzle to them (verse 41), as they had no idea of Jesus’ real identity.

Bread was important to them as part of their diet, but they were also aware that bread took work to produce. Unlike today, when we simply buy a loaf at the supermarket, they had to grow the wheat, grind it into grain and then make a loaf. So knowing Jesus could apparently make bread, from 5 loaves, sufficient to feed 5000 people, they wanted to know the secret. Their focus was entirely physical and material, as ours can be sometimes as well.

But Jesus wanted to teach them and us, an important spiritual lesson. In verses 35-40, and 43-51, He explained that His statement, which He made twice, in verse 35 and 48, was not about physical food but about spiritual food, that would lead to eternal life. In verses 53-58 He explained that symbolically “eating his flesh and drinking his blood,” is about us letting Jesus into our lives, deeply and intimately, by faith. Our physical life is sustained by physical food and drink—go without either or both for a day and we feel the effects immediately. Although we too often forget and drift away, we also need spiritual food on a daily basis. That spiritual food is Jesus Christ, taken in daily through prayer, bible study, fellowship and occasional fasting. There is nothing complicated or difficult about it, it is simply accepting and understanding, by faith, that Jesus is the Bread of real, everlasting life.

Gracious, loving Father, help us to really understand what you have done for us through Jesus Christ—to really understand His love for us, and to seek a closer spiritual relationship through faithfully surrendering our lives to Him and daily eating that spiritual bread we need. In Jesus name we pray.

Study by Keith Hartrick

About the Author:
Keith Hartrick is an Elder in Grace Communion Church – Leeds, and serves on the Church Council there.

Local Congregation:
Grace Communion – Leeds
Garden Village Welfare Association Community Centre
Pendas Way
LS15 8LE

Meeting Time:
Saturday 2PM

Local Congregational Contact:
Malcolm Arnold
Phone: 01484-312347
Email: malcolm701@googlemail.com

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