ABUNDANCE- JOHN 6
INTRODUCTION: Have you ever worried about money? Will I get a good job, or a better job…will my job be there in 5 years…will I be able to retire…will there be S.S….will I get swallowed up by health care…will I be able to help my children get through school…will I have enough money to pay this month’s bills…will I have enough to feed my family…sometimes we worry…and I suspect it doesn’t matter the social status you are in, sometimes we worry about finances. It can be overwhelming. It can even cause you to do some stupid things: maybe you go shopping and shop till you drop because then you are feeling free and you are not worried about the budget…and then the credit card bill comes…and the binge shopping has binge has binge guilt. Or some people, especially those from the great depression years just do without…and keep everything. Most of us have worried about money…about the issue of abundance and scarcity.
-1- Christ is the giver of bread. The scripture today begins by telling us that it was near Passover…this is a communion…a Passover story. Christ saw the crowd coming to Him and so he asks Philip, where shall we buy bread for all these people…and Philip…8 months wages won’t even cover everyone getting a bite. And Andrew says hey there is this boy who has five loaves and two fishes. And the people sat down…and they were fed…Some people probably had traveled for a distance to see Jesus…and they may have been tired, hungry. There may have been some people who did not get to eat the way we eat here in America…and they were not used to being full. This was a crowd which probably understood scarcity. And they sat down and ate till they were full, they were satisfied. Gather up what is left-and they gathered up 12 baskets. Christ is the giver of bread.
We are looking at the 7 miracle stories in John…1st water to wine, 2nd….officials son…3 take up your mat…now almost the second cycle...BREAD. …he blessed the bread…he gave thanks…it was eucharist.
Christ is the giver of bread…bread….fish…cover fish.
Now the Jewish teaching at the time believed that a Messiah would come…He would be the new Moses…He would lead the people out of bondage…and He would provide the people with manna, with bread from heaven. They knew the stories of their forefather in the desert wilderness and the wandering and the wondering…how will we have food…and God sent them bread, manna from heaven and told them…listen take only enough for one day…on Saturday you can take more, enough for Saturday and Sunday…on the Sabbath there will be no Manna from heaven…a day of rest…so gather just enough for one day…more, it will just go bad..
Give us this day, our daily bread. So the people saw the miracle and they thought God has sent us His prophet, He is the Messiah and we will follow Him …and He will provide us with bread. Christ is the bread giver. But Christ wants to be more to you than your friendly grocer….He is more than a free source of bread. The people come later in this chapter and they basically ask Him for more bread. They are thinking of Him as the new Moses….they are thinking of their experience as the second Exodus.
-2- Jesus says: I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE.
This is my body…take eat. Jesus is saying…I am more than Moses. Moses gave you bread from heaven. I AM THE BREAD FROM HEAVEN.
Bread-word…I am the eternal word…in the beginning was the word and the word was from God and the word was God. I AM THE ETERNAL WORD.
Now the Word in John 6 goes onto say that people had trouble with this saying from Jesus. People asked him how can you have descended from heaven. We know your parents…are you not Joseph’s Son…we know your mother and Father.
Jesus-everyone who listen to the Father and learns from him will come to me. You come to me and you will have eternal life.
Now listen, you eat the bread from heaven and you will not die. This is not normal bread, this is eternal bread. This is not bread that will mold…this is eternal bread.
I am the bread of life…unless you eat my flesh and drink my blood, you have no life inside of you.
Now listen: the early Church was accused of cannibalism….no wonder.
I am the bread of life. Listen…Allow the presence of Christ to get inside of you…internalize the truth of Christ…eat the bread…it goes inside…it nourishes you…it becomes a part of you…you are what you eat. Allow Christ to be your truth…allow the presence of Christ to be in your DNA. How does that happen?
-It begins when you confess with your mouth and you believe in your heart that Jesus Christ is Lord. Now John 6 is such a neat chapter is such a neat chapter of scripture.
This passage has been called the desertion in the wilderness. When the multitudes heard Jesus teach this…I am more than Moses…I will give you eternal bread…when they heard this many of them left. They deserted Him.
This passage has also been called the CONFESSION OF PETER AND THE DISCIPLES. Oh I love this…the synoptic…Mark, Matthew, Luke speak of the confession of Peter…who do you say I am…thou art the Christ…and Jesus warned them that He would suffer and die. He warned them that they would desert Him. In this passage He shares that one of you will betray me…not only desert me…one of you will betray me.
Will you also desert me? Where would we go? You have the words of eternal life. That is part of the great confession…oh there might be times when we still struggle, there might be times when we are still overwhelmed…there might be times when things are not going our way…or what we think is our way…but you are Lord Jesus…where else would we go? You have the words of eternal life.
Jesus: I am God…I am the bread of life…I am the Word…now some will turn aside…some will come to Jesus only as long as there is free bread…I AM GOD…accept Him…Believe in Him…
-3-CHURCH…realize that accepting Christ mean internalizing the truth of Christ…allow Christ to get in your DNA. Internalizing the truth of Christ means among other things that YOU HAVE A NEW PERSPECTIVE ON LIFE. Today’s miracle…I call abundance. Those who believe in Christ enter into the abundant life…the devil came only to kill and destroy…I came that you may have life, and have it abundantly.
HE IS OUR BREAD…GIVE US THIS DAY…OUR DAILY BREAD. In Christ there is a life of abundance. In Christ there is security. He is Lord. In Christ there is a sense of abundance which is deeper than the balance of your checkbook. He is Lord, He is our security. Now Christ does teach us about abundance. He teaches us about wealth management. In Christ we learn the difference between wants and needs. He teaches us to trust Him.
Christ teaches that read wealth is found in Him. He gives us a security that frees us from the need to shop till we drop…we gain our sense of joy in Him, not what we consume. As a Christ we make better choices. I don’t have to drive a fancy car to have fulfillment. Learn to experience the real joys, real meaning in life. Learn that life may throw us some challenges but Christ is our sense of security.
Christ is my abundance.
There is multiplication of life and life experience and life opportunities in Christ. In Christ I am freed up to celebrate life and through Christ I can see opportunities while others don’t. In Him freed up to do new things to experience new relationships, to have truly an abundant meaningful life. Secure in Him. Learning to see life as abundance. In Him there is enough security to see others who are successful and to think, wow praise God…to rejoice with them and to be open to the blessings God also has for you. In Christ there is abundance. And Christ wishes to multiply faith in you. The miracle of bread is the miracle of abundance.
-4-ABUNDANCE IS TO BE SHARED.
Give us this day our daily bread. Abundance is not to be hoarded. Share.
Church-I think we are blessed…I am thankful for growth…I see God at work…are you seeing it…
Invite a friend…Palm Sunday…Easter…
Share with family, friends…coworkers…friends at school…Share.
Invite a friend…challenge you to get to 125.
Jesus…you have the words of eternal life.