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Novi, Michigan 48375
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Who is Jesus?
John 6:35, 41-51
This is the Gospel of the Lord.
Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst." If we follow Jesus we will find God, truth and life. In this mornings gospel He is speaking more directly to the people who are following Him. They have been following Him, looking for bread to eat; He tells them that He is bread from Heaven. They and we need to eat bread in order to live, but Jesus is telling the people and us that we need to invite Him into our lives each day in order to sustain our spiritual life. We must feed on the Word of God, savor it and then we can be satisfied by it. Our faith is about getting personal with Jesus.
The people, specifically the religious leaders, were unsure about who Jesus was. Jesus had said, "I am the bread from heaven." They said amongst themselves, "This is Jesus, the son of Joseph. We know his father and mother. How can he say, 'I came down from heaven'?" To them He was a carpenter's son from Nazareth; they didn't believe He was the son of God. To protect themselves they rejected the messenger so that they wouldn't have to believe the message He had come to share. We too can have a hard time accepting a message such as this. It's hard to believe the story of Gabriel telling Mary that the Holy Spirit was to come over her and she would then conceive and bear a son that would be the child of God.
It is this same Holy Spirit that comes to us to urge us to believe in Jesus and then we need to learn more about Him through study and worship. It is God who does the urging and seeks us out. It is then up to us to believe and accept Him into our lives, we can't do this unless He first comes to us.
In our lesson Jesus refers back to a verse in Isaiah "All your children will be taught by the Lord, and great will be your children's peace." This is an Old Testament view that in the Messianic kingdom all would be taught directly by God. We can be taught directly by Him by reading our Bibles, our worship time, sharing our beliefs with others, and the thoughts we receive from the Holy Spirit. Have you ever said something and then wondered where those words came from? If you ask God to speak through you and then figuratively step aside, He can speak volumes through you. When I write a sermon or a prayer I begin with the prayer, "Father please let these be Your words and Your message." Sometimes when I read back over them I know the message has to have come from Him, because I don't recognize them as my thoughts.
This can also happen when we are talking to someone. Sometimes God gives us just the right words at the right time to help someone in a difficult situation. Make it a practice to pray for God to guide your thoughts and words as you go through your day.
I received the following in an email:
When we really do accept that Jesus is God's Son, then we can have the eternal life that He came to give us. Our forefathers ate manna when they were in the dessert, this gave them food and life for that day. We however can have "The bread of life" and have eternal life by believing that Jesus is the bread that came down from heaven. The people Jesus spoke to then, those of us hearing His words now, and those who are yet to come can receive this bread from heaven. In receiving this bread we must pay the price of giving up our lives to Him and to share what He has taught us with others.
We must develop a personal relationship with Jesus. Just like in our other relationships we need to put forth some effort to get to know Him. We need to read His words in the Bible and share with others what these words mean to us. We also need to learn from others what their faith means to them. By this sharing in our conversations and in our worship services we all can grow closer to each other and to God.
I heard about a very intellectual woman having trouble with various Christian beliefs, especially in saying the Apostles Creed. One day she said "Well, I've just decided to stop thinking about Jesus and start living with Jesus. I've decided that, though there is so much that mystifies and troubles me about what I don't know about Jesus, I need to go with what I know, which is Jesus."(2) Think about this when you receive communion the next time. That you are being fed the bread of life, that through this heavenly meal you are being fed, nurtured and strengthened through your faith in Jesus Christ.
1. Holy Bible, New Living Translation, (Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House Publishers, Inc.) 1996.
2. Pulpit Resource by William H. Willmon August 13, 2006 pg. 33
©Jann Martin 2006