TITLE: “I Am The Bread of Life”
PROPOSITION: In this lesson we will study Jesus statement, “I am the bread of life.”
We will look at:
1) The significance of the bread,
2) the source of the bread,
3) the supping of the bread, and
4) the supply of the bread.
OBJECTIVES: Each person should be able to understand the meaning of the statement, “I am the bread of life” and how that statement applies to them as individuals.
AIM: To answer the question, “Who is Jesus” through looking at Jesus own words about himself.
1. Read: John 6:35
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
2. About the Text:
1) The background to this statement is the feeding of the 5000.
2) At the end of this feeding, they wanted to take Jesus by force and make him king.
3) Jesus had left them to go across Galilee.
4) They followed him and came to the other side.
5) Jesus accused them of following only to satisfy their empty bellies.
6) He then refocused the conversation upon more spiritual matters.
7) It is within this context that this statement is made.
3. About the series.
1) This is a first in a series of lessons on what Jesus said about himself in the book of John.
2) These statements are known as the “I Am” statements.
3) These statements are significant because they give us an understanding of the relationship we need to have with Jesus.
I. The Significance of the Bread of Life–What does the bread mean? (John 6:35).
1. Bread is a universal commodity.
1) Every country in the world has some form of bread.
2) Even in ancient times they made bread and bread has been found fossilized in many archeological dig.
3) Bread is this associated with life, health, nourishment, and prosperity.
2. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.”
1) This is an exclusive claim. You can’t get this kind of bread anywhere else.
2) John 14:6 “Jesus saith unto him, I am the way, the truth, and the life: no man cometh unto the Father, but by me.”
3) Jesus said that he was the Son of God. Matthew 27:43 says that Jesus said he was the Son of God.
4) John 1:34–John the baptizer bore record and said, “This is the Son of God.”
5) Jesus said, “He that hath seen me hath seen the Father.” (John 14:9).
6) Peter said in Acts 4:12 “Neither is there salvation in any other: for there is none other name under heaven given among men, whereby we must be saved.”
7) You cannot reconcile these statements of Jesus with statements from other religions that Jesus was merely a good man.
8) Jesus said, “Neither be ye called masters: for one is your master, even the Christ.” (Matthew 23:10).
9) Isaiah wrote concerning Him, “For unto us a child is born, unto us a son is given: and the government shall be upon his shoulder: and his name shall be called Wonderful, Counselor, The mighty God, The everlasting Father, The Prince of Peace.” (Isaiah 9:6).
10)There is only ONE Master, Lord, Savior, and God and He is Jesus the Christ, the Messiah, the Anointed One.
11)He and He alone is the bread of life.
3. Who was Jesus? In this context . . .
1) He is the one who gives the meat that leads to eternal life (v.27).
2) He is the one whom God, the Father, has sealed (v.27).
3) He is the one whom God, the Father, has sent (v.29, 40, 57).
4) He is the one on whom you must believe (v.29).
5) He is the TRUE bread from heaven (v.32).
6) He is the one who came down out of heaven (v.33).
7) He is the bread that gives life to the world (v.33).
8) He is the bread of life (v.35, 48).
9) He promises to quell our hunger and quench our thirst (v.35).
10) He is the one who does the will of the Father (v.38).
11) He is the one who will raise up those who believe on him in the last day (v.39, 40).
12) He is the Son (v.40).
13) He is the one who declares the Father’s will (v.40).
14) He is the one who grants eternal life to those who believe on him (v.40, 47).
15) He is the one to whom men come who have learned of the Father (v.45).
16) He is the one who has seen the Father (v.46).
17) He provides the bread of which those who eat will not die (v.50, 51).
18) He is the LIVING bread which came down from heaven (v.51).
19) He is the one who gives his flesh, which is the bread, for the life of the world (v.51).
20) He is the one who gives his flesh and blood for meat and drink (v.54, 55).
21) He is the one who dwells in the one who eats his flesh and drinks his blood (v.56).
22) He is the one in whom the one who eats his flesh and drinks his blood dwells (v.56).
23) He is the one who lives according to the Father (v.57).
24) He is the one of whom those who partake of him will live by him (v.57).
4. What does the term “bread” mean in this context.
1) Jesus refers to the same thing as “meat” in verse 27.
2) It is that which gives eternal life (v.27, 33, 35, 48, 50, 51).
3) He says that this bread is his flesh (v.51).
4) Jesus says, “I am the bread” (v.35, 48, 51).
5) This bread is contrasted with manna of which those who ate, died (v.49).
6) Is this bread referring to the Lord’s supper? No.
a. In this context, the bread is Jesus himself.
b. It is not a loaf of bread that gives eternal life, but Jesus gives eternal life.
c. It is the teaching about Jesus which we must believe in order to be saved, namely:
a) That he was sent from God the Father.
b) That he always did the Father’s will.
c) That he represents the Father.
d) That he teaches what the Father wants us to hear.
e) That this teaching includes the fact of Jesus death, burial, and resurrection.
f) That this teaching includes the fact that those who believe in Jesus will have eternal life.
g) This is the teaching that we can feast on and eat to have eternal life.
h) Verse 45 is pivotal in this regard; it is explanatory, “It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.”
II. The Source of the Bread of Life–Where does this bread come from?
1. Out of heaven.
1) The people compare this bread to manna.
a. Manna was what God used to feed the children of Israel when wandering in the wilderness. We have record of it in Exodus 16:14-15 “And when the dew that lay was gone up, behold, upon the face of the wilderness there lay a small round thing, as small as the hoar frost on the ground. And when the children of Israel saw it, they said one to another, It is manna: for they wist not what it was. And Moses said unto them, This is the bread which the LORD hath given you to eat.”
b. According to Jewish history, there was a long-standing tradition that when the Messiah came, he would restore the miracle of the manna.
c. So, the people compare the bread that Jesus is talking about to the manna.
d. They make reference to Psalm 78:24 which says, “Though he had commanded the clouds from above, and opened the doors of heaven, And had rained down manna upon them to eat, and had given them of the (food ASV) bread (SEP) of heaven.”
e. Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven” (V.32).
2) There are only two possible locations from which this bread could come–from heaven or from earth.
3) Jesus asked the Jews concerning John the baptizer, ” The baptism of John, whence was it? from heaven, or of men?” (Matthew 21:25).
4) Jesus contrasted these two authorities in Matthew 6:19-24, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also. The light of the body is the eye: if therefore thine eye be single, thy whole body shall be full of light. But if thine eye be evil, thy whole body shall be full of darkness. If therefore the light that is in thee be darkness, how great is that darkness! No man can serve two masters: for either he will hate the one, and love the other; or else he will hold to the one, and despise the other. Ye cannot serve God and mammon.”
5) This is the bread which comes down out of heaven–it is not of or from men.
2. From the Father.
1) Jesus corrects the people’s thoughts regarding from where the bread came.
a. The people said, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” (v.30, 31)
b. Jesus said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven” (V.32).
c. Even the manna did not come from Moses, but from God the Father.
d. Manna was a type and symbol under the Old Law of God’s teaching.
e. Jesus says that this is the true bread–the teaching of the Father and that He (Jesus) was the one through whom this teaching came, exclusively.
2) Jesus teaches concerning the Father.
a. “All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day” (37-39).
a) It is the Father that brings men to Jesus. Before one can come to know Jesus, one must believe there is a God. Paul says that mankind is without excuse in this regard, “For the invisible things of him from the creation of the world are clearly seen, being understood by the things that are made, even his eternal power and Godhead; so that they are without excuse” (Romans 1:20).
b) Jesus is not seeking to do his own will, but that of the Father. He always did those things that please the Father. John 8:28-29 “Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. And he that sent me is with me: the Father hath not left me alone; for I do always those things that please him.”
c) It is the Father’s will that the saved be given to Jesus and that they be raised up in the last day. Paul says in 1 Thessalonians 4:16 “For the Lord himself shall descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of the archangel, and with the trump of God: and the dead in Christ shall rise first.” John 5:26-29 “For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man. Marvel not at this: for the hour is coming, in the which all that are in the graves shall hear his voice, And shall come forth; they that have done good, unto the resurrection of life; and they that have done evil, unto the resurrection of damnation.”
b. “No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of God, he hath seen the Father” (v.44-46).
a) The Father draws men to Jesus.
b) He does this through teaching.
c) Men must LEARN in order to be drawn of the Father.
d) When they learn, they come to Jesus.
e) Jesus himself is of the Father and the only one who has seen the Father and so he is in a unique position to reveal the Father’s will in this regard.
3) The bread of life, the true bread, the living bread, comes from the Father.
3. From Jesus.
1) Jesus says, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent” (v.29).
2) Jesus says, “I am the bread of life” (v.35).
3) Jesus also says, “He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (v.35).
4) Jesus says, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.” (v.47, 48).
5) Jesus says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (v.51).
6) Of those that believe on Him he says, “I will raise him up at the last day” (v.44).
7) Jesus is the source of salvation for all mankind. John 3:16
III. The Supping of the Bread of Life–What do we do with this bread?
1. Labor for the meat which never perishes (v.27).
1) Here we find a lesson in the contrast between the material and the spiritual.
2) We are to LABOR for the spiritual for it is eternal.
3) Ecclesiastes 5:11-16 “When goods increase, they are increased that eat them: and what good is there to the owners thereof, saving the beholding of them with their eyes? The sleep of a labouring man is sweet, whether he eat little or much: but the abundance of the rich will not suffer him to sleep. There is a sore evil which I have seen under the sun, namely, riches kept for the owners thereof to their hurt. But those riches perish by evil travail: and he begetteth a son, and there is nothing in his hand. As he came forth of his mother’s womb, naked shall he return to go as he came, and shall take nothing of his labour, which he may carry away in his hand. And this also is a sore evil, that in all points as he came, so shall he go: and what profit hath he that hath laboured for the wind?”
4) Jesus said, “Lay not up for yourselves treasures upon earth, where moth and rust doth corrupt, and where thieves break through and steal: But lay up for yourselves treasures in heaven, where neither moth nor rust doth corrupt, and where thieves do not break through nor steal: For where your treasure is, there will your heart be also.” (Matthew 6:19-21).
2. Believe on Him whom the Father has sent (v.29).
1) Jesus said that this was the “work of God.”
2) This means so much more than just a mental affirmation.
3) James writes, “What doth it profit, my brethren, though a man say he hath faith, and have not works? can faith save him? If a brother or sister be naked, and destitute of daily food, And one of you say unto them, Depart in peace, be ye warmed and filled; notwithstanding ye give them not those things which are needful to the body; what doth it profit? Even so faith, if it hath not works, is dead, being alone. Yea, a man may say, Thou hast faith, and I have works: shew me thy faith without thy works, and I will shew thee my faith by my works. Thou believest that there is one God; thou doest well: the devils also believe, and tremble. But wilt thou know, O vain man, that faith without works is dead? Was not Abraham our father justified by works, when he had offered Isaac his son upon the altar? Seest thou how faith wrought with his works, and by works was faith made perfect? And the scripture was fulfilled which saith, Abraham believed God, and it was imputed unto him for righteousness: and he was called the Friend of God. Ye see then how that by works a man is justified, and not by faith only. Likewise also was not Rahab the harlot justified by works, when she had received the messengers, and had sent them out another way? For as the body without the spirit is dead, so faith without works is dead also.”
4) A deep and abiding faith in the One whom God sent will lead us to DO what Jesus said to do.
5) Believing in Jesus, in this context, means we acknowledge his authority over our life.
6) Jesus said, “All authority has been given unto me.” (Matthew 28:18).
7) And everything we say or do must be done by his authority. Colossians 3:17.
3. Hear and learn of the Father (v.45).
1) This is the way that God teaches today.
2) We know the truth through continuing in God’s word. John 8:31-32 “Then said Jesus to those Jews which believed on him, If ye continue in my word, then are ye my disciples indeed; And ye shall know the truth, and the truth shall make you free.”
3) Jesus did not speak of himself, it was the Father’s word which he taught. John 14:10 “Believest thou not that I am in the Father, and the Father in me? the words that I speak unto you I speak not of myself: but the Father that dwelleth in me, he doeth the works.”
4) John 7:16-17 “Jesus answered them, and said, My doctrine is not mine, but his that sent me. If any man will do his will, he shall know of the doctrine, whether it be of God, or whether I speak of myself.”
5) The gospel is God’s power. Romans 1:16
6) In order to learn we must know of the teaching.
7) Wherein lies the problem? We must hear AND learn.
a. So many times, we fail to learn what God is teaching us.
b. Jesus said in John 8:43 ” Why do ye not understand my speech? even because ye cannot hear my word.”
c. The Great invitation that Jesus offers is for us to learn more about him. Matthew 11:28-29 “Come unto me . . . .”
4. Eat of the bread (v.51, 58).
1) Song, “Break thou the bread of life.”
2) Eating of the bread is learning about Jesus.
3) To do this we must study: 2 Timothy 2:15 “Study to show . . . .”
4) We must be like the Boreans who searched daily (Acts 17:11). ” These were more noble than those in Thessalonica, in that they received the word with all readiness of mind, and searched the scriptures daily, whether those things were so.”
5) We must hunger and thirst after righteousness (Matthew 5:6)
6) We must live by every word of God (Luke 4:4).
7) We must have the attitude of Jeremiah, “Thy words were found, and I did eat them; and thy word was unto me the joy and rejoicing of mine heart: for I am called by thy name, O LORD God of hosts.” (Jeremiah 15:16).
8) Psalm 119:102, “How sweet are thy words unto my taste! yea, sweeter than honey to my mouth!”
5. Eat of his flesh and drink of his blood (v.54).
1) Herein is living the life of Christ.
2) Notice that this is not just a once in a lifetime thing.
3) The Greek verb indicates that we must keep on eating and drinking!
4) Jesus said that we must follow Him. “Then said Jesus unto his disciples, If any man will come after me, let him deny himself, and take up his cross, and follow me. For whosoever will save his life shall lose it: and whosoever will lose his life for my sake shall find it.” (Matthew 16:24-25).
5) Cannot be his disciple if we do not do this. Luke 14:27 “And whosoever doth not bear his cross, and come after me, cannot be my disciple.”
6) Galatians 2:20 “I am crucified with Christ . . . .”
7) Philippians 1:20 “…that with all boldness, as always, so now also Christ shall be magnified in my body, whether it be by life, or by death.”
8) Gal. 6:14 “But God forbid that I should glory, save in the cross of our Lord Jesus Christ, by whom the world is crucified unto me, and I unto the world.”
IV. The Supply of the Bread of Life–What does this bread do to us?
1. Gives life (v.33).
1) He is the reason for living. Philippians 1:21 “For to me to live is Christ, and to die is gain.”
2) He gives us the things that we need to live if we seek him first. (Matthew 6:33)
2. Never hunger and never thirst (v.35).
1) Matthew 5:6 “Blessed are they which do hunger and thirst after righteousness: for they shall be filled”
2) Psalm 107:9 “For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness.”
3) John 4:13-14 “Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again: But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.”
3. Gives eternal life (v.27, 40, 47, 51, 54, 58).
1) John 3:16
2) 1 Tim. 1:16 “Howbeit for this cause I obtained mercy, that in me first Jesus Christ might shew forth all longsuffering, for a pattern to them which should hereafter believe on him to life everlasting.”
4. Ensures that we will participate in the resurrection (v.39, 44, 54).
1) Philippians 3:10-11 “That I may know him, and the power of his resurrection, and the fellowship of his sufferings, being made conformable unto his death; If by any means I might attain unto the resurrection of the dead.”
2) 1 Peter 1:3 “Blessed be the God and Father of our Lord Jesus Christ, which according to his abundant mercy hath begotten us again unto a lively hope by the resurrection of Jesus Christ from the dead,”
5. Puts us in the care of the Father (v.32, 37-39, 44-46).
1) Galatians 3:4-6 “But when the fullness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons. And because ye are sons, God hath sent forth the Spirit of his Son into your hearts, crying, Abba, Father.”
2) 1 Peter 5:6-7 “Humble yourselves therefore under the mighty hand of God, that he may exalt you in due time: Casting all your care upon him; for he careth for you.”
6. Puts us in fellowship with the Son (v.56).
1) 1 John 1:3 “That which we have seen and heard declare we unto you, that ye also may have fellowship with us: and truly our fellowship is with the Father, and with his Son Jesus Christ.”
2) John 14:21 “He that hath my commandments, and keepeth them, he it is that loveth me: and he that loveth me shall be loved of my Father, and I will love him, and will manifest myself to him.”
7. Enables us to live by Jesus (v.57).
1) In this life.
a. We live by him when we recognize that he holds the answers to all life’s problems. 2 Peter 1:3-4 “According as his divine power hath given unto us all things that pertain unto life and godliness, through the knowledge of him that hath called us to glory and virtue: Whereby are given unto us exceeding great and precious promises: that by these ye might be partakers of the divine nature, having escaped the corruption that is in the world through lust.”
b. We live by him when we do all things according to his authority. Colossians 3:17
2) In the life to come.
a. 1 Corinthians 15:22 “For as in Adam all die, even so in Christ shall all be made alive.”
b. 1 John 4:9 “In this was manifested the love of God toward us, because that God sent his only begotten Son into the world, that we might live through him.”
1. We place before you The Bread of Life!
1) The significance of the Bread.
2) The source of the Bread.
3) The supping of the Bread.
4) The supply of the Bread.
2. What will you do with this bread this evening? We invite you to eat and live!
1) If you are a Christian but have fallen away
a. You have taken away the nourishment that you once cherished.
b. Only through continuing to partake of the bread can you be saved.
c. Bring the Bread of Life back into your life and be restored today.
2) If you are not a Christian this morning . . .
a. You stand outside of Christ–starving for spiritual nourishment.
b. Your soul will wither and die without the spiritual food it needs to live forever.
c. Will you partake of that bread today?
d. To do so you must heed God’s plan for man’s salvation.
a) Hear the word; Romans 10:17 “Faith comes by hearing . . .”
b) Believe with all your heart; Hebrews 11:6 “For without faith it is impossible . . . .”
c) Repent of your sins (Acts 17:30).
d) Confess Jesus as the Son of God (Matthew 16:16).
e) Be baptized for the remission of your sins (Mark 16:15-16).
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