Jesus Is The Bread of Life! (John 6:35-51)
Eleventh Sunday after Pentecost Trinity Lutheran Church
12 August 2012 Murdock, NE
+ Jesu Juva +
Wow! What a sermon! Incredible! Did you hear it? Did you catch what Preacher Jesus categorically proclaimed? Do you have ears to hear? Or are you offended?
The sermon is mind blowing! Mindboggling! How can Jesus preach like that? Isn’t He just Joseph’s boy? Who worked in the carpenter’s shop? Who made our tables and chairs? Our bowls? We know His parents. Mary and Joseph are just like all the rest of us! Now listen to Mamma’s boy! Good grief! No one ever dared to preach like this! Who does He think He is? He is either crazy, insane, demon possessed or He really is who He claims to be!
Well, let’s hear what He said. He boldly declares without any reservation or hesitation: “I am the bread of … life!”
“OK. A little weird but who isn’t these days?”
Wait, there’s more!
“He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty … I am the bread that came down from heaven … I am the bread of life … here is the bread that comes down from heaven which a man may eat and not die.”
“WHAT? He’s making promises that only God can make! That’s not just weird. It borders on the blasphemous!”
Oh, but He’s not done. Listen.
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. [In fact], my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day. ”
“Whoa! Never go hungry? Never thirst? He is bread from heaven that gives eternal life? And all you have to do is “believe” in Him? Really? Foxes have holes and birds of the air have nests but He has nowhere to lay His head yet He expects me to believe all this? He’s dressed in rags! He doesn’t even have one loaf of bread on Him! And He invites me to believe eternal things?”
Yes, that’s right! Absolutely! Listen again!
“I am the bread of life! The bread of life come down from heaven! Eat this bread and you’ll live forever! I’ll raise you up from your graves on the last day! And for those of you who still don’t get it let me be blunt: The eternal life and death defying bread that I’m talking about IS MY FLESH WHICH I WILL GIVE FOR THE LIFE OF THE WORLD!”
What’s that? Did I hear some grumbling out there? What was that? Sounds too good to be true you say? Like some late night infomercial or web ad? Like some huckster peddling a wonder bread that promises everything but delivers nothing? Like some false prophet who claims to be divine but who is only a man like the rest of us?
Does Jesus’ sermon make you uneasy? Nervous? Does His heavenly manna preaching offend you? Eternal life giving manna? Antidote from death manna? Scandalized? Are you getting ready to leave? Why are some of you warming up your arms? Why are some of you picking up rocks the size of softballs? You’re not going to start throwing them, are you?
Put the rocks down! Don’t go there! Ever! Quit your grumbling and acting like Old Testament Israel! It’s time to listen! It’s time to believe!
Jesus is a man! But more! More than a carpenter! He is God Himself! Son of the Father! Yes, that’s right! Jesus is God! Who has taken on human flesh and blood to save the world! To save you! His bread of life sermon is about Him being the Savior! Of sinners! A whole world full! Including you and me!
So hold on there! Let go of the rocks! Please! Just listen! And believe! In Jesus! After all, “Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him COMES TO ME [JESUS]!” And: “He who believes has eternal life.”
Yes, Jesus is living bread! He is living water! He is the Food and Drink that carries you all the way to eternal life! He is the Food and Drink that bears fruit in the resurrection of your body on the last day! Jesus is the Meal and Beverage that sustains you as you wander in the desert of this world until you reach the Promised Land of heaven! “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.”
Jesus! Bread from heaven! There is nothing like it in the entire world! That includes the Canadian food that was all the rage when I was in Canada a few weeks ago. It’s called Poutine: French fries and cheese curds smothered with beef gravy. You could travel with Anthony Bourdain and participate in his No Reservations episodes, like the one to Penang, Maylaysia where he gobbled up fish head curry or the time he went to Spain to eat its exquisite and most expensive seafood from a can! You could stow away with Andrew Zimmern on one of his Bizarre Foods shows. But none of the foods they eat hold a candle to the meal that comes down from heaven: Living Bread of Life Jesus! Anythony Bourdain’s marvellous titbits and Andrew Zimmern’s bizarrest of meals – eat it all and you still die!
Jesus, however, is THE food that you eat for life! Eternal life!
From the first lady Michelle Obama on down there is this mania about what you are allowed to eat! Or not to eat! Diets come and diets go! Jenny Craig! BFD (Baby Food Diet) that Demi Moore, Ashton Kutscher and Paris Hilton have tried! Nutri System! The French Dukan Diet supposedly observed by Kate Middleton, Penelope Cruz, and Jennifer Lopez! And then of course, NYC Mayor Michael Bloomberg has supposedly commanded NYC hospitals to hide baby formula because mothers are only supposed to breastfeed!
Go ahead! Try one! Try them all! Not one of these eating programs will save you death! I guarantee it. The cemetery outside is proof! No one has escaped it yet!
Except, of course, … this Food! The Bread of Life! Living Bread come down from heaven! Jesus-Bread! Believe in Him – and you will live forever! No other food or drink can make such a claim! Not even any of Bourdain’s or Zimmern’s delicacies!
Where you can find this Bread of Life! Living Bread Jesus is given away for free here at church! Trinity Lutheran Church here in Murdock, Nebraska is the breadbasket of this community! The church is the breadbasket of the world! Here, every Sunday, Living Bread from Heaven Jesus is handed out! Heaping chunks! Huge slices! For dying sinners! In order to give you life – the very life of Jesus Himself – the life that went into death on the cross but is now risen from the dead and sits at the Father’s right hand with death itself and all hell in submission to Him!
To believe in Jesus is to eat the living bread from heaven! Jesus is food for eternal life. He gave His flesh into death for the life of the world! The cross was the oven in which the Bread of Life was baked!
So, put down the rocks. Stop your grumbling. Open up your hands, your hearts, and your mouths. Get up and eat! Jesus is the Bread of Life! Jesus is the Living Bread Come Down From Heaven! Jesus gave His flesh for your life and for your food.
Today in the text Jesus is saying to you: “Get up and eat! Believe in me. Feed on me. Without me as your living bread, your journeying in this wilderness world will be way too much for you! You can’t feed yourselves for eternal life! Let me be your food and drink! So take this bread in My Supper. Eat it. It is my body given for you! Drink from this cup in My Supper. It is my blood shed for you – for the forgiveness of all your sin!”
In the strength of this food and the promise that goes with it you journey from Holy Baptism through the wilderness of this world to the Promised Land. Led by Jesus Himself. Fed by Jesus Himself. Fed with Jesus! He promises that you will not die but be raised on the last day and have eternal life! And He will do it! For He is your God who went into death with all your sin in His body and then who rose never to die again!
Happy believing! Happy eating!
In the Name of Jesus.