John chapter 6 is one of the richest chapters in the Bible. Not only does it tell the miracle of Christ miraculously feeding the multitude with only a small amount of food, but it then goes on to show one of Christ’s greatest sermons/teachings in all of scripture. Christ, building off of the miracle of just feeding a multitude of people with only a child’s lunch, delivers a message in the synagogue in Capernaum in which He reveals Himself as the Bread of Life. Of course, if you are familiar with this story, this teaching of Christ caused some of His disciples to walk away and never follow Him again (John 6:66). Believing that Christ meant that they were literally to eat Him, they missed the metaphor and believed that eating the bread which Christ had revealed Himself as was not palpable to their law or taste.
“I am the Bread of Life,” Christ tells those following Him. What does this mean though? The most simple answer to that question is that Christ was using metaphor to say that just as you, a human being, need bread to eat in order to sustain your life, you must have Him, the Son of God, in order to live spiritually both here on Earth and in eternity. He is the Bread of Life.
Much time could be spent discussing the fact that Christ is the bread of life, but I want you to read this today. Eating is an act that takes something raised or prepared outside of our body and makes it organic. It becomes a part of you. When you put that food in your mouth, the body takes the parts that are valuable and necessary for survival and uses it to nourish you. It then becomes part of you.
In language, we use the idea of eating to discuss how we process information. We make statements such as; “I will have to chew on that,” “I can’t swallow what you are saying,” or “Let me digest what you have told me.” This idea of eating words means that we take what we have been told, process it, and those words become a part of us. It’s food for thought so to speak.
The same is true with God’s word. In Deut., Jeremiah, and the Psalms, the word of God is represented as an object which mankind is to devour as food. Ezekiel and John were both instructed to eat scrolls of God’s word in order to be better able to teach the truth. As Christians, we must keep in mind what Christ means when he states “I am the Bread of Life.”
Christ is the Bread of Life. Christ is the Bread of Life. Christ is the Bread of Life. Break that down. We must eat Christ to live. Not literally as the crowd thought, but His word, His gospel, His love. We must eat that bread, all the time. Christ saves us, but not just the first bite. He sustains our life.
Imagine in your stomach today you were hungry and I opened my door to you and I said “Come, eat.” I fed you all of the bread that day that you could eat. You get so much that you had to undo a belt loop. You would be full of bread. As you leave I tell you to come back later and that I will feed you more. Then you come back one week later and you have forgotten or failed to eat within that time span on your own. Maybe you didn’t know where to find the food or maybe you weren’t sure what food it is you are supposed to be eating. Regardless, when you get to my door, you will be famished.
I let you in. You come and sit at my table where I fed you the week before. I may even have the same plates sitting on my table as before. Then we proceed to talk. We talk about politics together. We talk about our spouses and our children. We talk about the wars and natural disasters in the world. We even talk about how all of these issues affect the ability of people to even get food. Then, I stand up, offer my hand for shaking, and point you to the door. Unfed.
Do you see what just happened. Yeah, the first time I got you in my door I gave you something sustaining, something that provided you life. I gave you something that would fulfill you but this next visit, I decided to give you something different. Sure, all of the things we discussed were important to you and your life but I didn’t give you anything life giving and you walked away just as starved as you were before.
As Christians and church leaders, we need to remember this. I can read every book in the world on current issues in Christianity, prayer intercession, miracles, good deeds, and evil men, but none of these can give life. Who is the Bread of Life? Jesus Christ. We must feed ourselves and one another this bread. As a Christian, if you are hearing sermons in your church that are not the Bread of Life, then you are leaving church each week starved. You may not even know it. If you are teaching people how to be better Christians rather than who is the very source of anything that is Christian, then you are intentionally holding the only food that can sustain people just within arms length of their mouth. STOP.
Let us begin feeding one another and the world the Bread of Life. Feed me Christ. Feed the world Christ and His gospel.