First Lesson: 1 Kings 19:3-8:
3Elijah was afraid and ran for his life. When he came to Beersheba in Judah, he left his servant there, 4while he himself went a day’s journey into the wilderness. He came to a broom bush, sat down under it and prayed that he might die. “I have had enough, Lord,” he said. “Take my life; I am no better than my ancestors.” 5Then he lay down under the bush and fell asleep.
All at once an angel touched him and said, “Get up and eat.” 6He looked around, and there by his head was some bread baked over hot coals, and a jar of water. He ate and drank and then lay down again.
7The angel of the Lord came back a second time and touched him and said, “Get up and eat, for the journey is too much for you.” 8So he got up and ate and drank. Strengthened by that food, he traveled forty days and forty nights until he reached Horeb, the mountain of God.
Psalm 34 on Page 80 in Christian Worship
Taste and see that the Lord is good;
blessed are they who take refuge in him.
The eyes of the Lord are on the righteous
and his ears are attentive to their cry.
The angel of the Lord encamps around those who fear him,
and he delivers them.
The righteous cry out, and the Lord hears them;
he delivers them from all their troubles.
The Lord is close to the brokenhearted
and saves those who are crushed in spirit.
The Lord redeems his servants;
no one who takes refuge in him will be condemned.
Glory be to the Father and to the Son
and to the Holy Spirit,
as it was in the beginning,
is now, and will be forever. Amen.
Second Lesson: Hebrews 5:11—6:3:
11We have much to say about this, but it is hard to make it clear to you because you no longer try to understand. 12In fact, though by this time you ought to be teachers, you need someone to teach you the elementary truths of God’s word all over again. You need milk, not solid food! 13Anyone who lives on milk, being still an infant, is not acquainted with the teaching about righteousness. 14But solid food is for the mature, who by constant use have trained themselves to distinguish good from evil.
1Therefore let us move beyond the elementary teachings about Christ and be taken forward to maturity, not laying again the foundation of repentance from acts that lead to death, and of faith in God, 2instruction about cleansing rites, the laying on of hands, the resurrection of the dead, and eternal judgment. 3And God permitting, we will do so.
Gospel Lesson/Sermon Text: John 6:41-51:
41At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43“Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44“No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
Sometimes I think that if I had my druthers, I’d eat nothing but junk food. It tastes so good. However, we know that junk food is not the sort of thing that will maintain our health and wellness. This is the sort of thing that Jesus was getting at in his Bread of Life Discourse.
Jesus Is the Bread of Life
I. The world offers junk
II. Only Christ offers food that lasts
I. The world offers junk
- This took place right after the feeding of the 5000 when the people looked for him
- They wanted him to keep feeding them like he did on that extraordinary day
- In fact, they wanted Jesus to be a bread king – one they would serve for food
- They pointed out that God had fed their forefathers manna in the wilderness
- Jesus told them that this would only sustain them for so long in their lives
- He told them that they ate the manna and they had died a long time ago
- However, he had something to offer them that would give them eternal life
- They started grumbling because Jesus was telling them that they needed him
- If they didn’t have him, they couldn’t approach the Father in heaven
- This was because they were feasting on spiritual junk food – their own works
- It is so easy in this world to feast on spiritual junk food, false teaching & nature
- Only Christ offers food that lasts
- What did Jesus mean when he told those people that he was the bread of life?
- He meant that he, and he alone, could sustain their lives for all eternity
- That would be made official when he gave up his life as the one sacrifice for sin
- He told them that they would have to eat his flesh and drink his blood
- What did he mean by that? They, as we’ll see, just didn’t get what he said to them
- This meant taking Jesus in when we are brought to faith in him rather than us
- This is something that we can’t do on our own, comes from the heavenly Father
- He is the one who established this plan and he is the one who sends the Spirit
- God is the one who feeds us this heavenly food through his precious Word
- It is also given to us in a very real way when we receive the Lord’s Supper. Amen