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Wonder Bread! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig
The Truth Network Radio
March 26, 2023 6:00 am

Wonder Bread! - Part A

Connect with Skip Heitzig / Skip Heitzig

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March 26, 2023 6:00 am

The Hostess Company has for years advertised that its Wonder bread "helps build strong bodies 12 ways" and that just two slices has the calcium of eight ounces of milk and the fiber of 100% whole wheat. Wow! The crowd that Jesus was speaking to would have loved that! But our Lord presents something to them far greater than what they were wanting. He knew what they needed.

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Now that statement, I am, is something I want you to take note of because you will find in the Gospel of John there are seven I am statements of Jesus. This is number one. I am the bread of life.

Welcome to Connect with Skip Weekend Edition. Food is a pretty big part of any sort of ministry, isn't it? How often have you heard of a church that mentions coffee and donuts on Sunday, or how many times have you been to some sort of church event where there was food? And when it comes to youth ministry, well, you can imagine trying to get anything done if pizza didn't exist. And Jesus also used food in his ministry.

Today we'll cover verses 30 through 50 of John Chapter 6. So if you'll open your Bibles, Skip Heitzig gets us started by reflecting a bit on the popularity of cookbooks. Hey, did you know that cookbooks are some of the most widely published and widely read books?

I didn't know that until this week. Cookbooks. That must be because we love to eat.

That's true, isn't it? We all love to eat. Then the U.S. Census Bureau tells us that the largest category of establishments in America, the largest category, is the category called eateries. Eateries. Restaurants, cafes, bistros.

Largest category of establishments in America. That must be because we love to eat. And then if you look at the Bible, it's interesting that so often the Bible, even Christ himself, uses analogies from food.

This being one of them. I am the bread of life passage. The other most famous one is found in Revelation Chapter 3, verse 20. Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone will open the door, I will come in and eat with him, sup with him. Jesus must know that we love to eat. And it's true, we do love to eat, and because we love to eat, it shows. And so we have to fight the other battle, don't we, of the dieting. In fact, did you know because we love to eat that dieting is a 35 billion dollar per year industry in our country? And it amazes me that diets come out all the time, these new diets.

It's sort of the same rhetoric, but with a new label. When I cruise, and I'm not a good TV watcher, I'm a bouncer, I spend a few seconds on each channel. The more channels, the better. But I'll hear these advertisements. New miracle diet pills, eat anything you want, and shed those unwanted pounds, but wait, there's more. Act now, and we'll double the order.

You know how that goes. One man went to a doctor for advice. He wanted to get on a diet.

He knew that he should. He was afraid of what his doctor would tell him, so he asked his doctor to devise a diet that would let him eat anything he wanted. Well, the doctor smiled at his patient and thought about it a moment, and he said, okay, try this. Go ahead and eat whatever you want and eat as much as you want, but don't swallow. That's your diet. Another man said, I have the best diet in the world.

I eat like crazy one day, and then I starve myself the next. His friend said, well, that's interesting. How do you feel? He said, I feel good every other day. But now, immediately, he said, but now imagine having a bread that tastes incredible, that makes daily life wonderful, that saves you, secures you, and makes you live forever, and is non-fattening.

That would indeed be Wonder Bread. That would indeed be the best kind of life and meal to have, and that's what we look at in our verses today. Now, I want to give you a little heads up, because I think it'll help you understand the Gospel of John in general. John shows us a pattern, or at least this is a pattern of John's writing. When he describes a miracle, he describes a miracle, but then he describes in great detail the sermon that comes after the miracle. So we have a sign first, and sermon. In fact, the way John writes it, the sign is a setup for the sermon. There is first some miraculous work that Jesus does, a demonstration followed by a declaration.

Here's a few examples that you've already noticed. In John chapter 2, all the signs that Jesus did in Jerusalem was a setup for the speech that he gives to Nicodemus on what it is to be born again. That's John chapter 2 and 3. In John chapter 4, the sign of Jesus being able to read and tell all of the intimate details of the Samaritan woman's life, that's a miracle, was the setup for his message to her on drinking living water.

Remember that? Then in John chapter 5, there is the miracle of the man at the pool of Bethesda who was there 38 years. Jesus healed him. That sign was the setup for a long message Jesus gave to the audience on the four-fold witness of who Jesus Christ was.

Now we have the same pattern. Jesus feeds the 5,000, better yet the 15,000 or so, and that sign was the setup for a long message on the bread of life. Now this is unique to John, and here's something else. When John writes about miracles, he adds less details than the other gospel writers. He just basically says, this miracle happened, matter of fact, but this is what he said afterwards, whereas the other gospel writers fill in more details. So it's almost as though he wants to get through the miracle quickly and give you what is most important, the sermon. The sermon. It's not really what he did that he focuses on, but what he said after what he did.

That's very important. Now why would he hurry through the miracle and spend all the time on the words? Well it's simple because the miraculous signs merely reveal Christ's power, but the words that Jesus says afterwards reveal his plan, his purpose, and his person. See if you have a miracle but no explanation about the miracle, it's like that was cool.

That's about it. That was powerful. That demonstrates who he is, but he explains who he is and his plan and his purpose in his words. So we want to look at verse 30 through 50 today, and we want to look at three ingredients. The message is Wonder Bread. We want to look at the menu.

What is this bread? We want to look at the meal. How do we enjoy this meal?

How do we approach this table? And then finally the master plan. What will this bread do for us? Verse 30. Therefore they said to him, what sign will you perform then that we may see it and believe you?

What work will you do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert. As it is written, he gave them bread from heaven to eat. And then Jesus said to them, most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but 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. They said to him, Lord, give us this bread always.

Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger. He who believes in me shall never thirst.

But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the father gives me will come to me and the one who comes to me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of the father who sent me that of all he has given me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. This is the will of him who sent me that everyone who sees the son and believes in him may have everlasting life.

And I will raise him up at the last day. And then the Jews complained about him because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. And they said, it's not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know. How is it then that he says, I have come down from heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said to them, do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up at the last day.

It is written in the prophets and they shall all be taught by God. Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the father comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the father except he who is from God, he has seen the father. Most assuredly I say to you, he who believes in me has everlasting life. He who believes in me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the man in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven that one may eat of it and not die.

Now let's just get in our minds the flow of events so we know where we're at. Jesus the day before fed the 5,000. Only the men were counted so that's why we say there were at least 15,000 people that Jesus miraculously fed.

Well that was in the evening time. After that was done Jesus marches his disciples to the shore of the Sea of Galilee, puts them in the only boat that is there, sends them away into a storm that would come later. Meanwhile Jesus climbs back up the hill by himself away from the crowd with his father and he prays. Sometime in the middle of the night in the fourth watch Jesus meets his disciples by simply walking on the water to them and as soon as he gets in the boat the boat is again miraculously at their destination.

That would be Capernaum. The next day in Capernaum that crowd looking for Jesus searches for him, searches for him, finds him in Capernaum and confronts him and we saw that last time, last week when we were together. Now this follows and Jesus talks about the bread of life. So let's look at that.

That's on the menu. What is the bread of life? Jesus says and I'll just point out two places. Verse 33, for the bread of God is he, it's a person who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Verse 35, I am the bread of life. Now why does he say that? He says that because they come asking him a question, right? Verse 30 is the question they ask. I want you to notice this. What sign will you perform that we may see it and believe you?

What work will you do? That's the question they ask Jesus, okay? So what's wrong with that question? They just saw the most humongous sign the day before and they're going we want a sign. You know it's like so what part of the miraculous free lunch didn't you guys get? You just saw a sign.

We want a sign. But this time they are comparing Jesus to Moses. Now why are they doing that? They say Moses did that.

What are you going to do for us? Here's the reason they did it. Because they remembered that Moses in Deuteronomy chapter 18, you can look at it later, predicted that the Messiah would come. And here's the language he used. He said for the Lord your God will send to you another prophet like me.

Him you shall listen to. That was the prediction of the coming Messiah. All the rabbis interpreted it as such. So he predicted another prophet like him. Verse 14 of John chapter 6, they said truly this is the prophet who is to come. This is the guy Moses said would come. But in asking Jesus the question and saying what they said to him, they are marginalizing what Jesus just did the day before in his miraculous feeding.

You know what they're saying? They're going well you know Moses fed us every day for 40 years. So you had a good start yesterday.

But keep it coming. So Moses must be greater than you are. Now something else you may not know, the rabbis taught that when the Messiah comes he will give manna to people. Just like Moses had done. Well they lived with that thinking. So now they're asking so you fed us one day. And by the way Moses brought it from heaven you just took existing materials and reproduced it.

So they're marginalizing Jesus miracles. Now go back in your mind to the manna in the wilderness. That was the stuff that fell from heaven every day.

And it was like little tiny balls that looked like coriander seed the Bible says. And they could take it and they gathered it. They could grind it. They could shape it. They could bake it. They could do a number of things with it. And I suppose you'd have to get very creative since it's the same meal every day for 40 years.

Right? I'm sure Mrs. Moses had her book a thousand and one ways to prepare manna. There's manna souffle. There's manna casserole. Manicotti would be a favorite. For dessert of course it would be manna bread.

Sorry. And so Jesus responds to this question and he corrects their thinking in three ways. He says number one it was God that brought manna down from heaven. Not Moses. Moses walked outside of his tent every day looked around and went wow like everybody else did. He didn't do it.

God did it. That's number one. Number two the manna was just physical food that sustained their physical life but had no value for any eternal purpose. That's why he says in verse 49 your fathers ate manna and they're dead.

All it did was temporarily sustain them physically. And number three the true spiritual nutrition that you need is found in a living person not a loaf of bread. And he said I am. I am the bread of life. Now that statement I am is something I want you to take note of because you will find in the gospel of John there are seven I am statements of Jesus. This is number one I am the bread of life. Number two will be found in chapter eight I am the light of the world. And then number three will be in chapter 10 I am the door to the sheepfold. And then the next one is I am the great shepherd or the good shepherd also in John chapter 10. And then the next one is I am the resurrection and the life John chapter 11. And then the next one is I am the way the truth and the life John chapter 14 and the seventh one is I am the true vine. That's John chapter 15.

This is the first one I am the bread of life. So Jesus says that to them and then you'll notice verse 34. Then they said to him Lord give us this bread always.

You see they still do not get it. They are still thinking in physical terms physical bread. You know here's Jesus talking about bread that's wonder bread it's the best bread I have super bread and they're going great it's fantastic so hook us up this guy's a walking bakery.

Give us this bread always. Now you've had this experience haven't you that you've shared with people and you've talked to them about spiritual truth and spiritual life and it's like they're like deer in the headlights they don't get it they do not connect they don't have the capacity spiritually speaking to understand that's what's going on here. Jesus speaks to them about real life now speaking of life look at verse 33 again for the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.

Think about that for a moment. The bread that Jesus is speaking about isn't the bread they're speaking about right they're speaking about physical loaves of bread he's speaking about himself a whole different kind of bread now when he talks about life he's talking about a different kind of life they're thinking physical life he's thinking in different terms right now this is so important and I've shared with you before it bears repeating the word that Jesus uses here is very particular it's the Greek word zoe zoe now listen carefully there's three Greek words translated the same one English word life one word is bios or bios we get the word biology or biosphere from it it's physical life it's physical natural human life bios bios it's where most people spend most of their energy and concern a gallop poll asked people if you could change one thing about your life what would it be what would it be almost universally the answer was my appearance not my personality not my spiritual being but my appearance that's number one number two the second Greek word is psuke we get the term psychology from it or or whatever that that preface psychology psycho analysis psychotic it means your personality your inner life your thought life but the third word is this word it's zoe and this is a word that takes our focus off of the earth and sends it heavenward it's more eternal life it's a quality of life that is spiritual life that will last forever that's the word that Jesus uses here zoe the life that I give is real life now Jesus uses this term not only here but a number of places one of the most famous ones is I am the way the truth the zoe life more than biological or thought life the life and I think there's one thing Jesus said in John 10 that sort of sums it all up nicely he said I have come that they may have life zoe and have it more abundantly or in super abundance or to the max or overflowing or to the brim that's the kind of life he's speaking about I've come so that the whole world might have real life to the brim overflowing now how many people do you know that really live like that to the brim overflowing life abundantly Henry David Thoreau once said most men lead lives of quiet desperation not to the brim here's the sad thing so many people connect Christianity with the very opposite of living life to the brim they see Christianity as something that really takes the flavor out of life that takes life away from you I remember when I first became a Christian I told an acquaintance of mine that I had committed my life to Christ and I'm now serving Christ he turned to me and said oh I'm so sorry to hear that now he was being very snide but I knew what he was saying he was saying well I guess your fun life really ends doesn't it you can't really have any fun anymore because now you're a Christian I had to assure him the fun has just begun this is real life and I think Christians ought to portray that if indeed they're feasting on this bread Billy Sunday used to say if you have no joy there's a leak somewhere in your Christianity life so that's the menu that's what that bread is it is Christ himself and he gives life you know it's interesting that when you read about Jesus he actually had a lot in common with today's modern church insofar as how he went about doing things yes food was part of his ministry but it wasn't what really changed people's lives it was the power of his message that did that not his power to feed people loaves and fishes and we'll continue with his story next time but for now we're going to have to wrap things up with this reminder about our resource package we want to tell you about a powerful resource that will help you understand and follow God's will it's Pastor Skip's eight message package discovering God's will you have the spirit of God living in you and he will guide you he says with his eye and do you realize God is more interested in guiding you than you are in being guided so as soon as you say Lord I want to take and and be ruled by your peace and rooted in scripture and and I want to honor your name he's right there to direct your steps Skip Heitzig's discovering God's will package includes message titles such as guardrails to knowing God's will and navigating another year as part of eight full-length teachings by Skip we'll send you this powerful resource as thanks for your gift to expand Connect with Skip Heitzig to reach more people in major U.S. cities so request your resource when you give and start to make your life count for God's kingdom just call 800-922-1888 or visit connectwithskip.com slash offer that's connectwithskip.com slash offer we'll talk more about the true wonder bread of Jesus the things that he said not the food he provided so I hope you can join us next time right here in Connect with Skip weekend edition a presentation of Connection Communications. Make a connection, make a connection at the foot of the cross and cast all burdens on his word. Make a connection, connection, connection. Connecting you to God's never-changing truth in ever-changing times.
Whisper: medium.en / 2023-03-26 04:11:22 / 2023-03-26 04:19:58 / 9

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