Monday, January 20, 2014

Bread of Life, Daily

Give us day by day our daily bread. (Luke 11:3 KJV)

Pastor’s last three sermons were from Mark 6. Sunday evening we moved from the feeding of the five thousand in Mark 6 to that same story in John 6, continuing to talk about bread. At least a portion of the crowd has followed Jesus from Tiberius to Capernaum. They had a question:

Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? (John 6:28 KJV)

Now, that may sound as though they understand something miraculous had happened and they wanted to learn more:

Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (John 6:29 KJV)

That answer was unacceptable to many, just as it is unacceptable to many today:

They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? (John 6:30 KJV)

The feeding of five thousand raised questions – what’s the next sign? What can you do that’s better? What more can we have? Jesus then moved into a parable. In Matthew Jesus explains the “Why?” of parables:

Therefore speak I to them in parables: because they seeing see not; and hearing they hear not, neither do they understand. And in them is fulfilled the prophecy of Esaias, which saith, By hearing ye shall hear, and shall not understand; and seeing ye shall see, and shall not perceive: (Matthew 13:13-14 KJV)

The remainder of John 6 is simply awesome. The Jews speak of the manna that kept their people alive, but Jesus tells them it came from His Father. Even with that manna, the people eventually died. Then it gets real to me as Jesus explains:

… I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. (John 6:35 KJV)

He speaks further – then comes the verse I chose for part if my logo. My testimony that I believe Him when Jesus said:

I am that bread of life. (John 6:48 KJV)

My reaction is not that of the crowd that followed Him. Although they had experienced miracles, they could not accept His words:

These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum. Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you? (John 6:59-61 KJV)

Many remain offended today. They join with those in what my pastor described as the saddest verse in the Bible:

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. (John 6:66 KJV)

That still happens today. People who have heard the message, and walk away without listening. Sadder, though, are those who responded to the message, made a public profession of their faith, then walked away. Knowing the answer, Jesus still asked the twelve:

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? (John 6:67 KJV)

I think of Peter, who answers first:

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God. (John 6:68-69 KJV)

Not long after that, Peter denied Jesus, three times before the cock crowed. That’s not the end of Peter's story – and it shouldn’t be for us, either. All it takes is living with our daily bread of life. Read, pray, understand more. Do not walk away.

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