Home Media Sermons by Pastor Nicki Coertze Series 12 The all sufficient bread of life . True Bread from heaven

. True Bread from heaven

TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN


John 6:30-40 (ESV) 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”


Introduction.

 

This morning we get to our last part of this sermon series, which I will preach over a few weeks. This is one of the greatest discourses that Jesus had delivered during His earthly ministry. It all relates to Jesus being the Bread of life and unless you eat of Him, you will not live forever.

 

Back to our story. Now remember this is a day after Jesus fed the multitude and it is a few hours after He walked on the water. Remember that this disobedient crowd came seeking for Jesus and when they met Him they had great interest as to how He got to the other side. Now at face value they seemed to be genuine seekers, but Jesus knowing their heart knew that the only reason they were seeking for Him was to have their bellies filled. They were just like cattle. You remember that Greek word  (Chortos) which is used for grass or wheat stalks or hay. They were foddered up and now they had to be foddered up again. Their interest in Christ was an interest based on their earthly desires and not who Christ was and could be to them.

 

Now in this discourse before us Christ more than anything else presents His deity. By that we mean that Christ is God not a god, not one of many gods, not lesser than THE God but He is the one and only God in a human body.

 

Now for John the words of Christ are of critical importance. The details of both the feeding of the multitude and the walking on water we had to find in the other gospels. It is as if for John the words of Christ are much more important than the miracles. He has no adjectives like ‘wow’ and ‘glorious’ and ‘wonderful’ to explain the miracle, he simply states it and marches on to the Words of Christ. It is what Jesus says that in the end is definitive. What He did shows who He is, but what He says defines who He is. So many people even in our day and age are so caught up with miracles, but they have no interest in what Christ says about Himself. That is why you will find that true meaty preaching of God’s Word is normally absent in these miracle crusades. But it has always been so and here in the story before us we see this same attitude with the multitude. When they saw the miracle they wanted to make Jesus King, but they had no clue what was going on, so Jesus tells them who He really is. These people never questioned His obvious power, but they were totally in the dark about His purpose and His plan and so the words of Christ had to be defined.

 

And that's just exactly why Jesus gives this discourse, to show them that His purpose is not political, His purpose was redemptive and it wasn't physical, it was spiritual.  Jesus didn't come to satisfy bodies, He came to satisfy souls.  He came to do the Father's will, a plan laid down in eternity past, and that will of God, that plan had to do with a man's soul, not his body. So all the miracle did was to set the stage for the discourse.

 

Now we saw last time that the Lord told them that they must not labour for bread that spoils, but they need to labour for food everlasting, and this bread is the bread that the Son of man will give, because He comes from God. The giving of physical bread was but a shadow of the real bread and remember, shadows never satisfy. You must eat of the real. We ended last week where they express their desire to work the works of God upon which Jesus responded that you don’t work for what He gives, you believe and it is a believing in Christ that is at the heart of the issue. The sad thing was that they still did not understand. Ok believe in Jesus, and what will He do, Give them more physical bread?

 

So let’s get to verses 30 – 40 and what we are going to see is that in response to Christ’s statement that they need to believe in Him, they make two demands and Christ gives two responses. So our points just drop out of the text by itself. So instead of them at His feet worshipping we are going to see more demands by this crowd. They have two demands, a demand for signs and a demand for more. Not too demanding, are they?

 

Demand 1: The demand for signs.

 

John 6:30-31 (ESV) 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

Now these guys have lost it. They just saw Jesus performing the greatest miracle before their eyes and they want proof. “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?" They want to see a miracle before they will believe in Jesus. What bigger sign do they want? Let’s get back to our illustration of the Polokwane sign I mentioned a few weeks ago. Last week we looked at a Disney one. What would we think if we made a ‘30 meters by twenty meters sign’ one of those with lights on it with an arrow on and we put it 20 km outside Polokwane with the words Polokwane 20km, and just to draw attention we have a live skateboarder miraculously skating up and down on it doing stunts in the sky, and then we repeat it with the same size every km. What would we think of someone arriving in Polokwane and saying to us that he didn’t see any signs?

 

That’s these guys. They had the biggest lit up, MOST glorious billboard as far as miracles were concerned and they missed it. Did you know that this is exactly the character of unbelief?  You find someone who will only believe because he saw something and it becomes a never ending story. Church family, it is impossible for the natural man to be convinced of anything in terms of signs and wonders because in his nature He is dead and under wrath. Men can be confounded and confronted with enumerable evidences of the existence of God and still not believe.

If man cannot come to the point of simple faith in Christ and His finished work, all the signs and wonders in the world aren't going to convince him.  Don’t we see exactly the same today? If God will heal my parent or my child, or if God will save my business or fill my bank account, or help me pass my exam, or help me get my driver’s license or save my marriage then I will believe. My friend God will fill your bank account and you will still walk away from Him because it is easier for a Camel to go through the eye of a needle than for a rich man to enter into heaven. Now we do know that rich people get saved as well, but you get my point.

 

This crowd had one concern and that was not to understand who Jesus is, their concern was more food and nothing else.  Look at verse 31 and you will see that they are still into the bread issue: 31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ What they are basically saying is that Moses gave their forefathers bread to eat, now if Jesus was one just like Moses, the one that Moses prophesied about, how about it?  Okay, you fed 15-20000, guess what Moses had a bigger crowd in the dessert and he fed them daily, for us to believe in you, you will have to do a little better.

 

So they were not concerned about Christ, all they wanted was free food, and all they wanted from Jesus was to prove that He could outdo Moses.

 

1.1 The reply of Christ.

 

Look at the reply of Jesus: John 6:32 (ESV)32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.” Jesus absolutely obliterates their demand with not much diplomacy. In effect Jesus is pointing out to them that they are ignorant on four levels.

Firstly it was not Moses that gave them bread. These guys did not read their OT Bibles. Does Exodus 16:4 (ESV) not say? : 4 Then the Lord said to Moses, “Behold, I am about to rain bread from heaven for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law or not.” It is the Father who gave the bread in the dessert the first time and it is the Father giving true bread now.

Secondly, they did not understand that the bread God gave in the time of Moses was not true bread, but that God now was giving His true bread which is His Son.

Thirdly, the bread that Moses gave was bread that spoiled.  Remember the story in the dessert – they could not gather more than one day’s supply or it would spoil. It was only on the day before the Sabbath that they could gather two day’s supply as God would provide that it would not spoil. Not only did the bread of Moses spoil but it could not give life eternal. In the discourse Jesus is going to promise them if they eat of Him they will live forever. They will be raised up on the last day.

Fourthly the bread of Moses was for a big crowd, but only for Israel in the dessert, but the Bread of Life is for all. There is just no comparison.  Look at John 6:33 (ESV) 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Now remember the Jews were only munching “shadows”, the “type”, but the antitype was coming, true bread, spiritual bread that conquers death and gives life to the world. The bread that came down from heaven is a clear indication of the incarnation of Christ. Jesus is that Bread that came down from heaven. John 8:42 supports that: John 8:42 (ESV) 42 Jesus said to them, “If God were your Father, you would love me, for I came from God and I am here. I came not of my own accord, but he sent me.” Christ again and again and again claims to proceed directly from God.

So they have a demand for a sign, in spite of the sign they saw the day before. They missed the biggest bill board before their eyes. Moses just pointed to the manna, Jesus created before their eyes, but they demand more and Christ shows clearly their ignorance of the sign itself and their ignorance of the purpose of the signs.

Are you desiring signs, or are you desiring Christ?

Point 2. The demand for more.

 

Well let’s see how the crowd responds to the first answer of Jesus. Again their response shows the true nature of man without the Spirit of God. Give them what they want and they want more. I would not be surprised if some of what you see today in the world of preachers having to perform miracles week after week actually started with a real work of God, and now they have to keep performing week after week to show that God or they did not lose their power.

 

Look at verse John 6:34 (ESV) “34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” This is what we call a linear command which means: “give us this bread forever from now on.” Reminds us of the same humanistic approach that we have in the song that we all know well: “guide me oh thy great Jehovah….  and then we get that humanistic statement: “Bread of heaven, bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more, feed me till I want no more.” Don’t we get it, if you eat of Jesus you will never hunger again, and if you had to keep on eating and in one sense we do, would you ever arrive at a point where you want no more?

For the crowd however they were still thinking of physical bread. They were not getting it. First they say: “prove it” and then they say: “give it”.  It was not about Jesus as the Bread of life, it was all about their demands. Do a miracle, ok you say you have the real bread from heaven, then – come on, hand it down and keep on handing it out now and evermore, until we want no more. You see, they did not understand, why because as we saw last week, the things of the Spirit are spiritually discerned and they were spiritually blind.

 

Jesus could have given into their demands if He came to establish an earthly Kingdom, but that was not the reason He came and we will now see one of the most glorious responses that this crowd could be given.

 

2.1 The reply of Christ.

I will break up the response of Christ into seven subheadings as it is so loaded with detail.

2.1.1 He is the Bread of life.

Now when you are thinking physical bread all this time, how do you handle the response of Jesus?

Look at John 6:35 (ESV) “35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”

Now how does a natural man understand this? Not only is he spiritually dead and he cannot discern spiritual things but even on an intellectual level this is difficult. It is like the concept: “The blood of Jesus washes clean”. That is scientifically impossible if physically interpreted. They said: “Keep on feeding us”, Jesus says: “eat once” and you will never hunger. I remember ABBA had a song many years ago talking about the “hole in your soul”. There might even be some with us this morning, your soul is just not satisfied, and it is continuously empty. You need to come to Jesus because when you meet Jesus only then is that hole filled, only then are you satisfied.

 

We can for example have a soup kitchen, and we can satisfy temporal needs, which is important, but if you want real “soul food” you need to eat of Jesus. In Christ you stop singing “here’s my cup Lord I lift it up Lord, come and quench this thirsting of my soul” and you stop singing “feed me till I want no more” because when you have eaten of Jesus and drunk of Jesus you are eternally satisfied. Mick Jagger in 1965 wrote a song which was sung by the Rolling Stones. It is entitled “I can’t get no satisfaction.” As believers we sing: “I’ve got a river of life flowing out of me”, because I ate and I drank of Christ and my soul is satisfied.

 

2.1.2 How do we get this bread?

 

Now notice two little words in this text which are of critical importance. You want that hole in your soul filled, you want satisfaction, what must we do to get it? Look at the two words in verse 35: “come” and “believe”. You cannot only believe in Christ, even the demons do that according to James 2:19. No you believe in Christ and you come to Him.

 

Now what does that mean? It means that you believe everything about Jesus, you believe that He is God incarnate, you believe that He is the only one who could atone for your sins, you believe in all that He did and said and you come to Him, you fall on your face, declare your own unworthiness and acknowledge that He alone can save you. The crowd never did that, they just wanted what Jesus could give them, they would not come. If you believe that Jesus is the bread and you come to Him and eat of Him, your soul will be satisfied. By the way do you realise that everything that Jesus came to give, He is. He is the water, He is the bread, He is the peace you name it. You must just come to Him. The hungry heart only needs one food, and that is Jesus Christ.  What a joy.

 

But there is something else that Jesus says in response to their demand which is so sad.

 

2.1.3 The bread is on offer for free and people still decline it.

 

John 6:36 (ESV)36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.

This crowd have seen the biggest billboard ever and missed it. They are the same as those we read about in John 5:40. They are people that seek the scriptures but they do not come to Jesus while the Scriptures are those that testify about Him. Here they see miracles but they will not come to Jesus, they just want bread. Yes, they sought after Christ but they were phony seekers. These people would not come, but Jesus has something more to say.

 

2.1.4 The elect will come.

 

Ok you guys won’t come to me. You ate the bread, you had your fill, you want to be foddered up again, and you have no interest in the real bread, but listen says Jesus: “my cause is not lost.” All sounds lost, but man and I love this. Look at verse 37: 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”

What Jesus does here is to find His rest in the doctrine of election. Does this not encourage you today, it encourages me. You share your faith, you testify about the bread that you have eaten, you pray for lost souls and you think it is a lost cause, but listen what Jesus says: “All that the Father gives me will come.” People the results are not up to us. We do all we have to, but God alone does the rest.  We can do all the ministry in the world and yet we don’t always see the response we would like to see. Never judge God’s power by the response of men. If so Jesus failed miserably on this day. You can only measure God against God, not against man’s response.

 

John 3:16 is so clear. You can get my four sermons on it but listen again: John 3:16 (ESV) 16 “For God so loved the world, that he gave his only Son, that whoever believes in him should not perish but have eternal life.” Whoever believes will not be rejected, because those are the ones whom the Father has given.

I am so glad that the responsibility of salvation rests with God, aren’t you? I remember the years I would spend more time working out an appeal so that I can get people to walk an isle as if salvation was all dependant on my abilities to convince and to draw people. Praise God that’s His department. Only He can quicken a dead man, only He can birth from above so that they can ‘come’ and ‘believe’. ‘All’ that the father gives’, John 6:37, ‘whoever believes’ John 3:16 will come and be saved.

 

Did you know that if you're a Christian you're a gift from God to His Son Jesus, and that the reason you came to salvation is because God loved you and chose you before the foundation of the world? 2 Thessalonians 2:13 (ESV) 13 But we ought always to give thanks to God for you, brothers beloved by the Lord, because God chose you as the first fruits to be saved, through sanctification by the Spirit and belief in the truth.”

Look at how Jesus speaks of His sheep in John 10:28-30 (ESV) 28 I give them eternal life, and they will never perish, and no one will snatch them out of my hand. 29 My Father, who has given them to me, is greater than all, and no one is able to snatch them out of the Father’s hand. 30 I and the Father are one. " If you are a child of God now, you should be jumping up and down out of gratitude.  You deserved judgment, but look what you got and it all had to do with the Father. We will get there but we cannot ignore John 6:65 (ESV) 65 And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.” John 6:65 (NIV) 65 “He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled him.

So what Jesus is saying to the crowd is this. Look you saw my miracles, I told you who I am, and you will not ‘come’ and you will not ‘believe’, but I will not despair because all that the Father has given me will come to me and I will not reject them. There is a golden lesson for us here. If Jesus could rest in His Father’s wisdom when it comes to the saving of men, can’t we? God’s eternal purposes will not be frustrated. There is something else.

 

2.1.5 They will not be rejected.

 

Rest assured, if they are given by the Father, they are received by Christ. Christ will not reject a gift from the Father, very simply because of verse 38 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me.” If it is the Father’s will to save someone, Jesus is in agreement with the Father and He accepts the gifts that the Father gives Him.

2.1.6 They will be kept.

One of the greatest privileges as a child of God is not only to know that I have been chosen and loved before the beginning of the world, and that I have been given to Christ who will not reject me, but what a privilege it is to know that I will be kept as well till the end. John 6:39 (ESV) 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day.”

How many will Jesus loose? What is the answer? None. How many will He cast away? None. How many will be raised up on the last day? All. What God intended before the foundation of the world will be seen in the last day, because that is the Father’s will and it cannot be thwarted. It is with that in view that we read the words of Christ in John 17:12 (ESV) 12 While I was with them, I kept them in your name, which you have given me. I have guarded them, and not one of them has been lost except the son of destruction, that the Scripture might be fulfilled.” Now remember the one doomed for destruction was Judas who was never really part of them. Even the fact that Judas left was in accordance with the Father’s will so that the Scriptures will be fulfilled.

 

2.1.7 They have a responsibility.

Now before we think that, well if it is all of God, do I have any responsibility at all? Let’s look at verse 40 which is our last verse for this morning. John 6:40 (ESV) 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

Well Christ does the will of the Father and our responsibility is to do the will of the Father and what is our responsibility? Look at it in verse 40. It is to “look” at the Son and to “believe” in Him.

It is the same as saying according to the previous verses that we will “come” to the Son and “believe” in the Son.  Now this invitation is for whom? It is for everyone just as we saw in John 3:16. It is not our job to figure out who is born from above and who not. You will know that they are when they come and believe and endure to the end.

 

So the Father’s will and the responsibility of man goes together. This is one of the glorious paradoxes in the Bible.  We have one message to the world and that is that anyone who wants to come can.

 

If you do not understand this paradox, that’s fine. There are a lot of things in the Bible that do not come easily to our finite minds, but it is as God says it is. Just remember, that everyone who looks to the Son, believes in Him and comes to Him are those that the father has drawn and given to Christ. If you want to understand it in greater detail, you can get my sermons on the New Birth in John 3. The bottom line is that from God’s viewpoint I come because He drew us, but from my viewpoint I come as if it is all my choice.  But you will not be saved unless you come to the Son and believe in Him.

 

Implications:

Tell me this morning, what is going on in your soul? Is there this hole in your soul, or are you saying with the Rolling Stones, ‘I can find no satisfaction’. You might have been running around finding all your satisfaction in the things of this world. Then it is time that you take your focus off things that spoil and focus on the true Bread of life which is Jesus Christ our Lord. He is the soul satisfier. You eat of that bread, you will never hunger again.

 

If you can sense this morning the reality of Jesus Christ, and you have a desire to believe on Him and come to Him, you know what that is?  That's the Father drawing you.  And if He's drawing you, you better come because you're to be a gift to His Son.  Put your life in the hands of the soul satisfier. He is greater than Moses, He does not only give you your daily bread but He is your soul bread, He is the Bread that satisfies the soul. Will you come this morning, will you look at Jesus and believe in Him and on the authority of God’s Word I tell you this morning that everyone who comes to Jesus and eats of this Bread will be received and will be eternally satisfied?

 

Amen!

Soli Deo Gloria

Logos Community Church: - 25 October 2015