Eternal Savior Lutheran Church

A member of the Lutheran Church - Missouri Synod

2688 North Park Drive
Lafayette, CO 80026
303-665-6105
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August 5 – The Bread God Gives You – John 6:22-35

Introduction:  Grace be to you and peace, from God our Father, and from our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ.  Our text is the Gospel Lesson just read, from John 6.  We begin with prayer.

Dear fellow disciples of our Savior and Lord, Jesus Christ:

  • All of us have certain broad ranging goals and hopes that dictate and determine our everyday lives.  We don’t always think about them, and we don’t necessarily think about them on a daily basis.  But from time to time we review what we are doing and whether or not it is getting us closer to what we really want to accomplish in life, and what we want to get out of life.
  • Of course we always have to have some concern about our “daily bread,” just getting along from day to day, week to week, and month to month.  This is plain old practical common sense, and every responsible person has to insure that they are taking care of themselves and taking care of those whom they are responsible for, those dependent upon them.  But there is always a larger picture, which most of us are aware of, and it is important – defining ultimately what our life is all about, what we are all about as individual people.
  • Jesus mentions two different things that people tend to focus on – and reminds us that all blessings in life come from God’s hand.  He speaks of “food that perishes” and in contrast “the food that endures to eternal life.”  The people He was speaking to were identified as people who were principally interested in “the food that perishes,” that is, all of the things that pertain to this earthly life – actual food, possessions, wealth, privilege, prestige, and earthly prerogatives.  He urges these people to instead “labor for the food that endures to eternal life,” and He quickly reminds them that this “food” is given by “the Son of Man,” and cannot be received in any other way. 
  • As we consider His Words, we too then are challenged to consider our “focus” in life – whether it is principally on the short term, the things that perish, or whether it is principally on that which “endures to eternal life.”  Again, this is quite a substantial and existential question, and our decisions will effect and determine who we are and the nature and value of our existence, and even the nature of our eternal future beyond our life in this world.

 

I.  Jesus Clearly Teaches That The Most Important Bread Which God Gives Us Is Jesus Christ, The Bread of Life

 

Text:  “My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is He Who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.  . . .  I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.”

   

A.  This Bread of Life Is Received By Faith – And This Faith Is The Work Of God, The Work Which He Does In Us

 

Text:  “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him Whom He has sent.”

 

B.  This Gift Of God, Faith Which Receives Jesus The Bread Of Life Endures To Eternal Life

 

Text:  “Labor for the food which endures to eternal life.”

 

Statement: 

  • It does not involve much labor on our part to receive Jesus – the gifts of forgiveness, eternal life, peace with God.  Jesus Himself taught:  “Come unto me all ye that labor and are heavy laden, and you will find rest for your souls.  . . .  for My yoke is easy, and My burden is light.”
  • The fact is, the gift of faith in Jesus is the work of God Himself – which He provides for us through His Word and Sacraments – baptism, the washing of regeneration and renewal of the Holy Spirit, and His Word, for “faith comes by hearing and hearing by the Word of God.” 

Application:

  • But this blessing is available to us only where the Word is being proclaimed and the Sacraments are administered – namely, at church, within the fellowship of Christian worship.  And this is the principle purpose of Christian worship – the strengthening and upbuilding of our faith. 
  • This is “eating the Bread of Life” Who comes down from above, given to us by our Father; it is the Lord Jesus Christ Himself.  And by this food we have eternal life and salvation – which obviously is far more important, enduring, and valuable than mere earthly food, or earthly possessions.
  • So let us make sure that we understand these things – and that we not become arrogant and think that we can do as we please, and accomplish whatever we want to on our own.  For as we see:

 

II.  This Gift Of God, The Bread Of Life, Is Given To Us Through The Servants Of Jesus Christ

 

A.  Just As The Manna And Meat Came To The Children Of Israel By Means Of God’s Servant, Moses

 

B.  So Also Jesus, The Bread Of Life Comes To Us By God’s Word Supplied To Us By His Prophets And Apostles

 

Eph. 2:19,20  “So then you are no longer strangers and aliens, but you are fellow citizens with the saints and members of the household of God, built on the foundation of the apostles and prophets, Christ Jesus himself being the cornerstone.”

 

C.  And Jesus Christ, The Bread Of Life, Comes Directly To Us Today Through His Pastors And Teachers

 

Epist.:  “He who descended is the One Who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.  And He gave the apostles, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers.”

 

Statement:

  • At first thought this might seem somewhat strange to us – that Christ would appoint people to bring Him to them, to feed them with the very Bread of Life.  This is, however, exactly what Jesus commissioned Peter to do, following His resurrection, when He instructed Peter to “feed My lambs.”  Then again, I suppose there is much about the way God has ordered  the gift of His salvation and the restoration of eternal life to human beings that we find strange – including Jesus coming in the flesh as a man, and suffering and dying for all sins as “the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.”  And many people have found it strange that Christ would come to us in bread and wine, giving us His true body and blood for the forgiveness of sins.  But this is what God did with the Lord Jesus Christ, and this is Jesus’ own decision as to how He wills to feed human beings with Himself, the Bread of Life. 

 Application:

  •  So regardless of our feelings, this is how things are – and in that God is love, we might want to remember that all of His provisions for our good and welfare, including the giving of His gift of faith through His Word and Sacraments, must be for our greatest good.  What is bestowed upon us in His Word and Sacraments is forgiveness, peace with God, and eternal life – and these are no small blessings! 
  • And so we should consider carefully any thoughts of grumbling or rebellion – we dare not reject Christ by rejecting those who bear Him to us!  What if the Children of Israel in the wilderness had rejected what God provided for them through the ministry of Moses and Aaron?   They would have starved to death!   The very same thing is true of those who absent themselves from the fellowship of worship and the ministry of the church!
  • And of course one of the greatest temptations to forsake the fellowship of worship is this whole matter of “working for the food that perishes,” busying ourselves with temporal matters instead of insuring that our souls are fed with the Bread Of Life each week!

 

Conclusion:

 

  • So take consideration of what it is that you want your life and your being to be about – mere temporal things, the food that perishes, or the Bread of Life which endures to eternal life!  It is obvious and apparent what God desires for us!  May we love and care for ourselves as much as He does – so that we heed His Word and receive His wisdom! 
  • Then we also will be happy to receive the most important things first – the things that pertain to God’s righteousness and His kingdom.  And we will also rest assured that all of these other things, the food that perishes, the necessities of earthly life, will all be added to us!
  • In this way all praise, honor, and glory will be given to God – as we continue to be nurtured and nourished in faith by Christ Himself.  Amen.

 

Votum:  And the peace of God, which surpasses all human understanding, shall keep your hearts and minds in the true faith, which is in Christ Jesus, even unto life everlasting, Amen.