pastorjohnb

Thoughts and musings on faith and our mighty God!


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Bread of Life

Jesus, the bread of life, the bread of heaven, wants to feed us.  His food is for our spirits.   Jesus desires to pour into our hearts both to fill us with His joy and to sustain us in the hard days we all face.

The crowd in the story today is almost the same crowd who ate of the fishes and loaves the day before.  They have been physically fed by a miraculous work of Jesus and they are back wanting more.  Like us sometimes, they ask, “What must we do?”  But Jesus has no requirements.  There is no ticket to punch.  He simply wants to give us the bread of life.  Out of His great love for us, the gift of life is offered to all.

Jesus simply invites us into His presence to be fed.  We can ‘fill up’ in many ways – in worship, in prayer, in praise, in study.  At the table of the Lord we are fed.  His spirit and presence fill us up.  Oddly enough, over time we come to the place of desiring to offer our thanks. The ‘must’ becomes ‘can’ as we ask, “What can we do?”  As we are filled we come to want to share the bread of life with others through word, acts of mercy, and acts of kindness.This is our grateful response to Christ’s great love being poured into us.

As we ourselves continue to come to the bread of life, we grow to become more and more like Christ.  Out of His great love for us we are led to love others more.  In our churches, in our places of work or school, in our social settings, in or homes we will have opportunities to lead others to the table of our Lord.  This invitation is one of the greatest offers we can offer another.  This day may we find one who is lost and bring them to the table.

Scripture reference: John 6: 24-35

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Choose Life

Bread is usually a basic part of most people’s diets.  When Jesus proclaimed that He was the ‘bread of life’ those listening would have connected this to one of the necessities of life.  His Jewish audience would also connect this statement to the manna that saved their ancestors in the desert.  Jesus points out to them that that bread was also from God.

As food is a necessity for life, hunger can drive our thoughts and actions.  Jesus often spoke of meeting the needs of the those who were hungry by giving them something to eat.  Yet Jesus knew that this earthly food was only temporary.  Even though satisfied right then it was only for a moment.  So Jesus offered Himself to His audience and to us as the ‘bread of life’ – bread that satisfies a deeper hunger that resides in all of us.

Food satisfies out physical need or hunger.  But this is not the only type of hunger we face.  We all crave to be loved, to find companionship, to fit in, to be successful, to be in control, ….  The list goes on and on.  We are vulnerable to being tempted to try to fill our hungers in unhealthy and temporal ways.  The recent story of David and Bathsheba reminds us how quickly it can go bad when one gives in to the desires of our flesh.

Jesus offers Himself to us as the ‘bread of life’ in the passage today.  Through this, He offers us life abundant.  Jesus can also be our ‘living water’, rising up within us.  When we choose to walk with Jesus we are filled with His presence.  Like bread, He sustains us when we are in need or are struggling with temptations.  Like water, He quenches our thirst for all we desire.  When we choose Jesus, we choose life.

Scripture reference: John 6: 24-35