Saturday, August 11, 2012

Pentecost 11 - Proper 14

Gracious Father, Your blessed Son came down from heaven to be the true bread that gives life to the world. Grant that Christ, the bread of life, may live in us and us in Him.

Who is this Jesus? Where did He come from? Who is He? His reference to His coming from heaven caused folks to cuss, fuss, and discuss. It made them murmur, complain, and disagree.
The conversation continues to this very day. We are no different. All kinds of things are said about Jesus in books, lectures, sermons, and conversations. Who is this Jesus? When He says He comes down from heaven many continue to have difficulty in accepting Jesus as the divine Son of God. The times in which we live are incredible. While 40% of the American population remains unchurched, yet everyone has their own opinion concerning the person of Jesus Christ.     [i]
Let’s go to the directly to Jesus and let Him tell us who He is. What does Jesus have to say concerning Himself?
  1. I am from heaven. V. 41 - “They were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” John reminds us in the introduction to his gospel, “And the Word became flesh and dwelt among us,” As Jesus entered time and space He came to be your substitute. He does not merely claim to represent God. He demands that He be known to be God.

Only God can rain down bread from heaven in the form of manna. Only God can send ravens to feed a starving prophet who was holed up in a cave.

To make Himself equal with God caused many to grumble at Jesus. This is what caused many to walk away from Him. Are we to grumble too? He has promised to sustain and lead us. Do we trust Him? It takes faith to submit to His will and trust Him come what may. 

Jesus claims to have come from heaven. What’s more, He claims to have direct access to God.

  1. I alone see God. V. 46 - “Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father.” Jesus is the only one who has seen the Father. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from god. Jesus will not lay claim to anything else but to be the only begotten Son of the Father. Not one who know God. Not one who understands God. Jesus makes an exclusive claim. He is the only one who has seen the Father.

Only Jesus has seen the Father. To have seen God meant sure and certain death. Moses had to shield his face. Jesus will make the sole statement – I alone see God.

Jesus claims to come from heaven. He claims to have seen the Father. He alone is the bread of life.

  1. I am the bread of life. V.48 - “I am the bread of life.” Not to eat is to starve and die. Not to eat enough leads to weakness and disease. To eat the wrong things injures health. To eat too much results in obesity. Yet when we feat on Jesus, the bread of life we are satisfied. To feast on Jesus the bread of life a new life, which never ends begins. 

He is the one who creates life. With ten simple phrases, the entire created order was made. There is nothing that exists, whether on earth, or in heaven, which did not come by the created mouth of Jesus.

He sustains life. He spoke the universe into existence. He his promises to sustain and keep it. “As long as the earth endures, seedtime and harvest, cold and heat, summer and winter, day and night, will never cease.” (Genesis 8:22) Times and seasons, crested by the Savior Himself will never end until the end of time. This is His promise to you.

Jesus comes from heaven. He alone sees God. He creates and sustains the earth. He alone gives eternal life.

  1. I give eternal life. V. 50 – “This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.” As soon as the Bread of Life is eaten by faith, a new life, which never ends begins. Heaven is a present possession, for heaven is essentially life in Christ. In Christ, we get life now.

Do you trust these claims by the Savior? Do you believe He is God in the flesh? Do you believe He gives his life for this world? Do you believe His death on the bloody cross and an open tomb can give and sustain life?

In the midst of life, we are in death. Jesus claims if you feast on Him you will not die. Is this life possible? Jesus guarantees eternal life for you. By faith, you believe and live.

I am the living bread that came down from heaven,” Jesus said. “If anyone eats of this bread, He will live forever.” By faith, you trust Him. By faith, you receive Him. In faith, He will sustain you.

[i] George Barna survey indicates 28 percent of the U.S. adult population is unchurched, or nearly 65 million people. When the number of children living with unchurched adults is also included, the number rises to 100 million people. Barna’s latest national survey on the unchurched, conducted August 2009 through February 2010, was based upon random samples of 4,020 adults. Of those adults, 1,144 where unchurched and 703 were self-identified Christians.

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