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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PENTECOST 11 – August 5, 2018 – John 6:22-35 “THE HEAVENLY BREAD OF LIFE”

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:

  • We are quite accustomed to variety, and to having choices. At the grocery store we not only have choices between several kinds of hamburger with varying quantities of “fat” and “lean meat,” but we can also get ground turkey, ground buffalo, ground elk, and ground lamb.  And it is irritating if the store is out of just the kind of ground meat that we want.
  • Almost everything else in our life is much the same. We have a wide variety of choices as to the make and model of car that we drive.  We have a wide variety of choices as to where we will live, what town, what neighborhood, what style of home, what color, etc. 
  • Likewise, we have choice as to what we are going to spend our life doing, what our profession or line of work is going to be. We get to choose which college we’ll attend [within some limits], what we will study, if we will study hard, what we hope to do when we graduate.
  • So people perhaps naturally think that we should also have wide variety of choices when it comes to religion, and also in how we will get to heaven. And sure enough, when we look around we see that there are an abundance of religions providing us with a variety of choices.  And while most of the religions make claims of exclusivity – as indeed, Christianity assuredly does, some people are tempted to think that all religions lead to the same God, and to salvation. 
  • Such is not the case, according to the Bible. In our Epistle Lesson Paul makes clear:  “there is one body and one Spirit – just as you were called to the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all, Who is over all and through all and in all.”  Jesus said:  “No one comes to the Father except through Me.”  Peter preached:  “Neither is there salvation in any other, for there is no other Name under heaven given among men by which we must be saved.”  That Name, and Person, is Jesus Christ. 
  • In our text we see “wrangling” between Jesus and His hearers. They seemed to be sincere in seeking the “truth,” but struggled, just as we do, with the dynamics and thinking of our sinful hearts and minds which seem so natural and reasonable to us, but which in fact keep us from receiving “the work of God” and the “gift of God,” “THE HEAVENLY BREAD OF LIFE.”  This is the first point that Jesus makes:

 

I.  God Gives Us Jesus, The Bread Of Heaven

 

A.  He Also Gives Us Earthly Bread, Perishable Things, But These Are Not To Be Our Principle Ambition In Life

 

Lord’s Prayer:  “Give us this day our daily bread.”

 

Psalm 145:15,16  “The eyes of all look to You, and You give them their food in due season.  You open Your hand; You satisfy the desire of every living thing.”

 

Text:  “Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life.”

 

b.  It Is This Bread Of Heaven, That Gives Eternal Life Which Should Be Our Chief Ambition

 

Text:  “Labor for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.  For on Him God the Father has set His seal.”

 

C.  Jesus Provides Us With Redemption, And Urges Us To Believe In This Redemption From God, Which Gives New Birth To Eternal Life, An Eternal Life That Is Eternally Satisfying

 

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.”

 

Statement:  Jesus is the Lamb of God Who takes away the sin of the world.  The Father so loved us, and the whole world, that He sent Jesus to be our Savior, our Redeemer.  He urges us to know and believe this His great love for us, for whoever believes in Jesus has eternal life, and shall not come into condemnation, but has already passed from death to life. 

 

Application:  We might like to have some other “bread,” as the children of Israel did in the wilderness.  We might grow tired of the “ONE WAY” to eternal life, the gift of God, but it is what it is.  You either have it, and all its blessings and benefits, or you don’t. 

 

And while we might be interested in looking at other ways, other “works” that we might be doing for God, Jesus makes clear that there is really only ONE WORK that is important, essential for us, and that is the work that God does for us and for our salvation.  Jesus makes this clear, that:

 

II.  This Is God’s Work And His Will For Us, That We Believe In Jesus

 

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

 

A.  For This Purpose, That He Might Do This Work Of His, God Gives Us The Ministry Of His Word, By Which He Distributes Jesus To Us, Jesus Who Is The Bread Of Life – By His Word, And By His Visible Words, The Sacraments

 

Epistle:   “He Who descended in the One Who also ascended far above all the heavens, that He might fill all things.  And He gave the apostle, the prophets, the evangelists, the pastors and teachers, to equip the saints for the work of ministry, for building up the body of Christ, until we all attain to the unity of faith  and of the knowledge of the Son of God.”

 

B.  His Work Is To Make Us Mature Spiritual Adults – Having The Sound Doctrine, Not Vulnerable To Wind Or Wave Of Falsehood

 

Epistle:  “so that we all [come to] mature manhood, to the measure of the stature of the fullness of Christ, so that we may no longer be children, tossed to and from by the waves and carried about by every wind of doctrine, by human cunning, by craftiness in deceitful schemes.” 

 

C.  He Works To Enable And Empower Us To Live In Truth And Love, Growing Up Together With Fellow Believers Into Christ

 

Text:  “Rather, speaking the truth in love, we are to grow up in every way into Him Who is the head, into Christ, from Whom the whole body, joined and held together by every joint with which it is equipped, when each part is working properly, makes the body grow so that it builds itself up in love.”

 

Statement:  This is the “work of God” that He does for us by providing us with “THE HEAVENLY BREAD OF LIFE,” the Lord Jesus Christ.  It is God’s Work, God’s salvation, God’s gift of life, God’s nourishing and empowerment of new life, eternal life and salvation.  So also, this is “the one body and one Spirit . . .  the one hope that belongs to your call – one Lord, one faith, one baptism, one God and Father of all,

 

Application:  Now it might appear to people, as it does to many, that there should be “other ways,” other varieties of “spiritual life” and “salvation” that are just as valid and real.  It has always seemed this way to people who do not know and believe this great love that God has for us. 

 

This belief, that there must be variety, is, in fact, a form of cynicism and “practical  atheism,” to think that we human beings get to determine and create “God.”  What we actually create, when we initiate “spirituality,” are little false gods and false religions.  These may be of practical value when it comes to “the food that perishes” – life in this world, but it is of no eternal or even enduring worth.  In fact, such “invented” religion and spirituality is an impediment and deterrent to people actually coming to know God as He truly is.

 

Conclusion:  So consider carefully this “work of God” and “THE HEAVENLY BREAD OF LIFE” which He has given us!  If we truly understand these things, there is no way we will want variety, or any other kind of “bread.” 

 

Further, our perspective and values and priorities will change dramatically – as we enjoy that food which the Son of Man gives us, food which endures to eternal life!  Once we have fully tasted and received this food we will agree that this truly is the only food that is worth laboring for!  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.