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Jesus Is... - The Bread of Life, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram
The Truth Network Radio
March 14, 2024 6:00 am

Jesus Is... - The Bread of Life, Part 1

Living on the Edge / Chip Ingram

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March 14, 2024 6:00 am

Two of the most important questions you may ever ask are: Who is Jesus? And why does He matter to me? In this program, Chip Ingram launches a series he’s co-teaching with his son, Ryan, Jesus Is. They’ll walk through 7 passages in the book of John, where Jesus described Himself – and explain what they reveal to us about Jesus’ character, deity, and authority.

Main Points

Significance of Jesus' declaration of "I AM"

  • Jesus is the explanation and revelation of God to the world.

The bread

  • Only Jesus can finally and fully satisfy the hunger of the heart.
  • You cannot solve a spiritual problem with a physical solution.


  • Jesus is the source of meaning and purpose in your life.
Broadcast ResourceAdditional Resource MentionsAbout Chip Ingram

Chip Ingram’s passion is helping Christians really live like Christians. As a pastor, author, and teacher for more than three decades, Chip has helped believers around the world move from spiritual spectators to healthy, authentic disciples of Jesus by living out God’s truth in their lives and relationships in transformational ways.

About Living on the Edge

Living on the Edge exists to help Christians live like Christians. Established in 1995 as the radio ministry of pastor and author Chip Ingram, God has since grown it into a global discipleship ministry. Living on the Edge provides Biblical teaching and discipleship resources that challenge and equip spiritually hungry Christians all over the world to become mature disciples of Jesus.

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The most important question you may ever ask is this. Who is Jesus? Not who people say He is, but who did He say He was? Who did He claim to be?

And why does it matter? Brand new series. Stick around. Welcome to this Edition of Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Living on the Edge is an international teaching and discipleship ministry focused on helping Christians live like Christians. Now as many of you know, Chip's our regular Bible teacher for this daily program, but for this new series, he's sharing the mic with his son Ryan Ingram.

Ryan is the late pastor at Awakening Church in San Jose, California. In the coming handful of programs, they'll walk through the Gospel of John, identifying seven key places where Jesus described Himself and explaining what these I Am statements reveal to us about Christ. But before we get going, to help you get the most out of this series, download our message notes. They contain an easy to follow outline, scripture references, and more. Get them under the broadcasts tab at, tap, fill in notes. But with that, let's join Ryan as he launches our series, Jesus Is, with his message, The Bread of Life. Go in your Bible to John chapter six. I first met my wife, Jenny, her name's Jenny, and I first met her at a college hang, not too dissimilar to what we're having tonight at our house.

So college students, you never know. I remember it like it was yesterday. It was a Hawaiian luau theme, and it was a potluck style at our church, and she showed up with pineapple fried rice that was actually, she had it in the bowl used as the pineapple. Pineapple was the bowl hollowed out.

I mean, creative, right? And I remember seeing this beautiful blonde by the food table dropping off this pineapple fried rice. I'm like, I got to talk to her. You know, I made a beeline at two things I love, her and food.

And so there's right next to each other. We stayed by that food table the entire time and talked. I don't remember anything else about the luau except for talking to her and pineapple fried rice.

That's it. And now here's the problem is when we were dating or at least met, this was in the season where you didn't have really cell phones. There was no social media, Instagram, Facebook, MySpace.

Napster wasn't even around yet, you know, and I made a critical error. I didn't get her phone number. Yeah, yeah. And I really wanted to know who this girl is. You know, I met her.

Jenny Eckergren was her last name. And so I began to ask all these friends, and I'm like, dude, this girl, she's amazing. She's beautiful. Like, do you know anything about her? And I asked guys, which was probably the wrong way to do it, because all of the other guys had crushes on her as well.

They're like, yeah, she's amazing. But I wanted to get to know her, and one night, it was over the summer, I was leading worship for the high school ministry at the time. And again, remember, no cell phones or anything like this. We had high school students show up on Saturday night. We had Saturday evening services, and they would show up, and we would rehearse for Sunday morning high school group. And they showed up, and then Jenny came kind of after church with some friends. She said, hey, some of our friends are going bowling tonight. And I was like, uh-huh.

Would you want to come? Uh-huh. And so I did what every responsible 19-year-old would do. I turned to that group of high schoolers and said, practice is canceled.

The spirit will move. And I look back on that. They didn't have cell phones? How did they get home?

Like, what a terrible person. But it was a great night. It was a great night. And so we went bowling, and you know, when it's with friends, you don't really get to know the person very well. And then after that, just her and I went out to Java Junction Coffee in Santa Cruz. It's still there.

You can go there. So we sat there until it closed, and I just got to know this girl, who eventually became my wife. And it just was this driving question throughout the summer. It just was like, I want to know you. Like, there's something about you I want to know.

And I kept asking, who is this girl? Like, there's something there. You know, at the very beginning, we said for us as a church, in fact, it feels almost silly to say, like, what we want to do as a church. It feels silly because, like, this is what the church is. This is what we as followers of Jesus are. But so this is what we're going to be about, that we really, really want to know Jesus. Like, not just know about Him, know information about Him, but like personally, intimately, transformatively know Him.

Like, fall more in love with Him. And get to know Him in such a way that we just begin to do the kinds of things that He would do if He were here with us. You know, I actually think every single person on the planet should ask who is Jesus? Like, who is He really?

I actually think if you have any intellectual integrity, you have to ask that question. Who is this man that literally divided history, that is still intriguing, compelling to us to this day? Who is the person, this man, that was this carpenter turned rabbi who lived in a very obscure part of the Roman Empire, eventually was executed by the empire itself, and yet 2,000 years later, we're talking about him and billions of people gathering around the world because of him.

Like, at some point, you have to ask who is this man? Now, I think even a better question, maybe even a more important question, is who does Jesus say that He is? Like, not just who do we think He is and we all have some ideas and like, oh my, I have this, but who does Jesus say that He actually is? You know, in John's gospel, there's four gospels, by the way, Matthew, Mark, Luke, and John. They're all telling the life of Jesus from different perspectives. In fact, Matthew is writing to a Jewish audience, so really declaring Jesus as Messiah. Mark is writing to a predominantly Roman audience, and so it's really this action-packed Jesus. Let's see, Luke, he's the doctor, he's the historian, he's really writing to the skeptic. And John, well, John's writing to people in Asia Minor around Ephesus, and when he's describing his interaction and writing about the story and the life of Jesus, he's writing to the philosophical, the Hellenistic, the cultured, and he's writing fundamentally so that we might not only know him but believe in him. And as he writes the account of Jesus' life, there's actually seven different places where Jesus says specifically who He is.

Like, you don't have to wrestle with it. Like, if you're sitting down with coffee with Jesus, and you're like, Jesus, who are you? And He would go, I am. And He does this seven different times. And He says, I am the bread of life, I am the light of the world, I am the good shepherd, I am the gate, I am the vine, I am the resurrection and the life. Jesus, who are you? The first thing that He wants to reveal and tell us, I am the bread of life.

Now let me give you a little context. In fact, we're going to read just a section of Scripture, and so I want you to kind of get ready as you're listening to me. So if you have your Bibles or open your phones to John chapter 6, we'll begin in verse 25. John chapter 6, verse 25.

The context for this statement, just the day before, Jesus was feeding the 5,000s. He's out in the wilderness. People flock to Him. They find Him.

He feeds 5,000 people, and then He sends His disciples on to Capernaum, but He stays and prays, and then He literally walks on water, and nobody sees it but the disciples. And so He shows up on to the scene in Capernaum, and everybody has been looking for Him, trying to get a piece of this miracle worker, this bread multiplier, this person that's going like, Hey, you know what? You can make bread. We want you as our leader.

Because by the way, anyone who can manufacture bread like that will never go hungry. In fact, we don't even have to work anymore. This is great.

You're great. We want you. And so even in this context, there's some deeply political undertones as the people are looking for a political leader and one who will provide for them. And here's where we pick up the story. John chapter 6, verse 25. When they found Him on the other side of the lake, they asked Him, Rabbi, when did you get here?

Because they didn't see Him walk on water. Jesus answered, and I love this, He doesn't answer their question. How often Jesus does this, by the way, read the gospels, it's fascinating. Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs I performed, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.

You got fed and you wanted more. Verse 27. Do not work for food that spoils, that perishes, but food that endures to eternal life. Don't spend your life striving after things that will eventually fade away and are of no eternal value.

Strive after that which will last forever, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him, God the Father has placed His seal of approval. So now they're going to ask a different question. Then they asked Him, what must we do to do the works God requires? Their translation or our translation of this is literally, what are the eternal life kinds of things?

And in our context, in their context, they're asking, there must be something we have to do. Jesus has answered, the work of God, notice this, the work of God. What is the work of God? Is this, to believe. Not to be better, not to do better, not to earn it, but to believe in the one He has sent me.

Verse 30. So they asked Him because they weren't ready to believe in Him. And this is what we do when we're confronted with Jesus in such a way where we're like, you know what?

This is making me a little uncomfortable. I don't really want to believe in the one who sent me because that means I have to change my life. So let's change the topic. So they asked Him, what sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you?

What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. I don't think it's a good idea challenging Jesus, but here they went. Jesus said to them, very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. Sir, they said, always give us this bread.

What you gave us yesterday must have sucked then because I'm still hungry. Give us that bread. Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life.

Whoever comes to me will never go hungry and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. The first declaration Jesus gives to us in revealing who He is, if you really want to know Jesus, what is He like? He says, I am the bread of life. There's so much here and in the rest of the chapter, I actually just want to unpack the six words in our time together today.

I am the bread of life and who is Jesus and what it means for us today. You're listening to Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram. Our guest teacher today is Ryan Ingram. After the teaching, he and Chip will join us in studio to talk more about today's message, so stay with us for that. For more details about the ministry of Living on the Edge, visit

That's Well, here again is Ryan Ingram with the rest of his message. When Jesus began, and I said there's seven I am statements, this spoke so much deeper to the original audience, the original hearers than it does today. When Jesus said, I am, here's what He is saying to His audience. Jesus is the explanation and revelation of God to the world. He says, I am, I am, I am the explanation. I am explaining what God is like.

No, it's even better than that. I am the revelation. I am revealing exactly what God is like. When you see Jesus, when I see Jesus, when we look at Him, you do not just see a good man, you see God in flesh man. And so if you want to know what God is like, look at Jesus. If you want to know how God feels about injustice and the poor and the oppressed, look at Jesus.

If you want to know how God will respond to self-righteous jerks, look at Jesus. See, that phrase I am is actually rooted all the way back into the Exodus story. Moses, he was wandering in the wilderness and he was tending sheep on the far side of the mountain. And he sees this burning bush and it doesn't burn up, he's curious, he goes over to it, and God speaks to him from amidst this burning bush that's not burning up. And he calls Moses to be the liberator of the people of Israel and he's like, who am I? And God's like, no, you don't get it. It's all about me, not you.

It doesn't matter. I called you, so go. And then eventually Moses gets to the point where he's like, okay, but what's your name? Like who am I to tell sent me? A name in the ancient day actually was a revelation of a person's character and who they are, their identity. And so when he's asking what's your name, he's not just saying I want to be able to have a name. I want to know who you are, what you're like. And then God reveals himself and he gives Moses his covenant name.

Three times he says this. He says, I am who I am, Yahweh. I am who I am.

I am has sent you. And sometimes I think Moses got to be going like, okay, thank you, I am. You told me I am. What does that even mean? The Lord, the God of your fathers. This is my name forever. The name you shall call me from generation to generation. This word Yahweh, I am, it's ever existing one, uncreated, sovereign creator of all. It's interesting when they translated the Hebrew scripture into the Greek.

It's called the Septuagint. The phrase, the Greek phrase they use is ego emi. And this is the very phrase Jesus uses seven different times to say this is me. I'm God. I am Jesus, the ever existing one. I am the uncreated creator. I am the sovereign one walking this planet in flesh, in person, eternal, immutable, which means changeless and active.

I am, I am actively engaged and involved. When Jesus says, and if you're gonna sit down with coffee with him, he's gonna begin with I am. I'm the explanation and the revelation of God to this world.

And what does that mean? I'm gonna explain it even more, Jesus says, because I am goes so far. But let me explain it and give you a picture. I am the bread. In fact, all seven of the pictures are very visceral, tangible. And so if you don't have any understanding of the Jewish background, you can actually get the picture.

And then if you do understand some of the Jewish background, it brings so much more depth and meaning to it. He says I am the bread where Jesus is saying only Jesus, only me will finally and fully satisfy the desires of your heart. I will finally and fully satisfy. This picture of bread is the picture of the very sustenance of life. It's like we need food to survive and without it, we can't. And Jesus is saying I am the very sustenance of life. And when the Israelites were wandering in the wilderness, they show up on Mount Sinai with most of the bread and when they were wandering in the wilderness, they show up on Mount Sinai with Moses.

They get the law, these commands, and then they wander for 40 years. God gives them manna, this heavenly bread that came down that provided for them when they were in the wasteland, when they weren't able to provide on their own. And as they got further away from Mount Sinai and from that wandering moment for the Jewish people, the bread, that manna, actually began to become synonymous with the law of God that came down from Mount Sinai. And so when the Jewish people began to talk about the very bread, they began to have this metaphor that was connected to the very words of God that bring life, that this manna is really connected to the Torah and his very words of life that are bringing life. And the Greek thinker who would be reading this in the Hellenistic culture would understand the bread as this symbol of the wisdom, and the wisdom of the world, and the wisdom of the gods that actually is life-giving. And Jesus is saying, yeah, I'm all of it.

I'm all of it. I'm the sustainer of life. I'm the wisdom of life. I'm the very word of God. In fact, that's the reason John would begin and say in the beginning was the word, and the word was with God, and the word was God. Moving on to John 1 14, he'd say, and the word became flesh and made his dwelling among us. I am the bread of life.

And what our hearts need more than anything else is to recognize that only Jesus can finally and fully satisfy the desires of our heart. He actually gives us some description of what Jesus is saying. He actually gives us some descriptors of what kind of bread this is. He says it's true bread. It's heavenly bread. It's living bread. What kind of bread am I?

Well, it's true. It's true bread as opposed to fake or substitute bread. It's genuine.

I'm authentic. It's heavenly bread as opposed to earthly or temporal. It's eternal kind of bread.

It's living bread as opposed to dead or lifeless or poison. You know, we have built inside of us cravings and desires. And I think there's some of us that kind of think that the Christian life is somehow the oppression of desires, and that's not Christianity at all. That's actually Buddhism more than that. And then there's also this idea of desires that in our culture and day is the exploitation of desires, and that's hedonism, where you give way to all your desires. In fact, in Christianity, God says, I created your desires, and they're actually good in the context upon which I created them. In fact, they're to point to the deeper longing that you need. You ever notice that as you eat, you're satisfied, but you're never fully satisfied because eventually you're hungry. A little bit later, you know, today I'm gonna have some lunch because I'm gonna be hungry, but I ate breakfast this morning, and yet later I'm hungry. I'm never fully or finally satisfied. And Jesus says it points to the longing of our soul and heart that one day that someone might fully and finally satisfy and says, I'm here.

I'm here. This is Living on the Edge with Chip Ingram, and you've been listening to the first part of our guest teacher, Ryan Ingram, the message, The Bread of Life, from our series, Jesus Is. He and Chip will join us shortly to share some additional thoughts on what we've heard. It's been said that one of the wonderful things about knowing God is that there's always more to know. So even though God is infinite, it can still be a joy for us to learn more and more about who He is. And that's what Chip and his son, Ryan Ingram, are doing in this series based in the Gospel of John. Join us as they highlight seven phrases Jesus used to tell us about God.

Join us as they highlight seven phrases Jesus used to describe Himself that gave us a more spectacular glimpse into His character, authority, and love for us. If you missed any part of this series, catch up through the Chip Ingram app or at Our Bible teacher, Chip Ingram, is with me now.

And Chip, take a minute and talk about this new series you taught with your son, Ryan. What's the purpose behind it? You know, the purpose is so simple. There's been such turmoil in the world, a sliding view of values, morality, sexual confusion. And my son and I were talking and he said, Dad, I'm going to do something I've never done. And I said, what's that? He said, we're going to focus on the person of Jesus for an entire year. We're going to teach through the Gospels. We're going to teach what He said. We're going to actually focus on Jesus Himself, what He taught, why He taught it, who He is. And you have to know He's pastoring a very young church.

Maybe the average age is 28, super multicultural, the heart of the Silicon Valley, Bay Area, all kind of spirituality from all kind of backgrounds. And it was so exciting to get to partner with Him. And what we did is we taught the seven great I Am statements where Jesus says, I am, referring back to that classic word where God speaks to Moses. And He says, I am that I am.

That's my personal name. And then Jesus comes and fills in the blanks. This is going to be a great series. This is one you might want to share with both friends, family, and maybe even some people that, you know, maybe don't know the Lord.

And you want to reach them the most refreshing, positive, attractive person who has ever lived, is Jesus the Christ. And this series is who He claimed to be, what He provides, and who He really is. I think you're going to love it. I couldn't agree more, Chip. So I hope all of you can join us for each message in this series. And as we get started, let me encourage you to invite a few friends to listen with you, either through the Chip Ingram app or at

We all could benefit to better understand who Jesus is. Well, with that, here again is Chip with our co-teacher for this series, Ryan Ingram. Well, welcome back to the program, Ryan. It is so fun to, one, for me to get to teach at Awakening and partner with you. And it's really exciting for you to come and share this series that we did together with the Living on the Edge family. And as we get going, would you take a few minutes and talk to us about the phrase, I am. Why are these two words so vital to our understanding of who Jesus really is? Especially as we kind of walk through seven of these, kind of help us understand why those two words matter so much. Well, thanks so much, Dad.

It is great to be back with you and the Living on the Edge family. Well, like I said in my sermon, I am, or Yahweh, is the covenant name that God gave to Moses and the people of Israel. It was actually so sacred for Jewish people that they wouldn't even speak his name out loud.

I mean, even the scribes, before they would write the name Yahweh as they were making copies of the Hebrew scriptures, they would actually bathe, put on clean clothes, and use a brand new pen. I am is God's sacred, holy, personal name. A name in the ancient day told you about a person's character, who they are. I am tells us first that God is eternal. There was never a time when he was not. He has always existed from eternities past and always will.

J.I. Packer, in his classic, Knowing God, writes, This name is not a description of God, but simply a declaration of his self-existence and his eternal changelessness, a reminder to mankind that he has life in himself and that what he is now, he is eternally. I am reveals that God is eternal, the uncreated creator.

It also tells us that God is immutable, or that he's unchanging. He cannot change and get better. He is perfect in every way, and he cannot change for the worst.

James 1.17 says, Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows. And so God's heart for you never changes. His mood doesn't change. He's not fickle. He will never go back on his promises.

He's consistent in every way. And finally, I am tells us that God is active. Theologian Sigmund Mowinckel writes, To the Hebrew, to be does not just mean to exist as all other beings and things do as well, but to be active, to express oneself in active being. The God who acts, or I am the God that really acts, and Jesus, I am in the flesh, is the God who acts on our behalf, who made the first move, who was moved by love and came to seek and save the lost. You know, the great reminder for us today is that God is eternally, consistently active in our lives.

We spend so much time and energy trying to measure up and be enough. May we rest in the truth that God already is enough. I am is with you today. Great word, Ryan.

Thanks. Just before we close, I want to quickly thank those of you who regularly give to Living on the Edge. You're making a big difference in helping Christians live like Christians. But if you're benefiting from our ministry and haven't started giving yet, let me encourage you to join the Living on the Edge team. Now, you can do that by setting up a recurring donation at, or by calling us at 888-333-7200. Or by calling us at 888-333-6003. That's 888-333-6003. Or visit

App listeners, tap donate. And thanks for doing whatever the Lord leads you to do. Well, join us next time as Ryan Ingram continues our series, Jesus Is. Until then, I'm Dave Drouie, thanking you for listening to this Edition of Living on the Edge. We'll be right back.
Whisper: medium.en / 2024-03-14 05:42:09 / 2024-03-14 05:53:50 / 12

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