All this because when Jesus miraculously fed the 5000 and said I AM the BREAD He was saying:
- God blesses all of life. The multiplied barley loaves and fish were divinely created, and the satisfaction the people experienced must have been like no other in their lives. The food Jesus made for them was perfect, not tainted by the Fall and its consequent corruption of all the earth through sin.
- Thiswasthemostpublicofallmiracles.Thiswasoverwhelmingtoall who saw Jesus do it. Why? Because no miracle seems to have made such an impression on the disciples as this, because this is the only miracle of Jesus which is related in all four gospels.16
- Jesus offers a totally new life to all. I am all you need because a God who can feed 5000 like that can do anything! Think about it: Jesus with a word multiplied the molecular structure of those humble barley cakes and pickled fish! It is this creation power that he brings to our lives. “Therefore, if anyone is in Christ, he is a new creation; the old has gone, the new has come!” (2 Corinthians 5:17).
- Nothing is beyond Christ’s reach! And finally, nothing is impossible physically or spiritually for Jesus Christ. No one is beyond his redemption. Christian, if you are willing, there is no moral flaw in your life which God cannot heal.
Please join me in John 6:1-14; 31-35
WHAT DID GOD DO IN THE WILDERNESS!
“I am the Bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:41–51). The manna17 God provided for the Israelites during the Exodus is a picture of Jesus as the “living Bread.” When God’s people traveled through the wilderness, they had to depend on God to provide their food supernaturally. God provided the food in a way that would also teach the people something about their relationship with Him. Every day God gave enough food for that day. No one could gather more than a day’s supply. There had to be a continual, constant dependence on God; He was the only source of sustenance.
WHAT WAS IT LIKE?
Jesus transports us in His 1st I AM declaration to a spot 3,500 years ago in the Sinai Wilderness. The Camp of Israel was at least 81 square miles just for 600,000 fighting men and their families! That is the equivalent of a square camp ground containing solid rows of tents from Lewis Street on the West to Elm Street in BA on the East, from 21st street in the north to 101st street in the south. That would put us today in the tabernacle in the center of the camp! (NOTE: The Exodus march at 5 people wide would have stretched 225 miles long. If they traveled 50 wide they would have been 22.5 miles. For a missions note, our world of 6 billion would be @ 100 wide 45,000 miles long!)
HOW BIG WAS THE TASK?
Now here is the unbelievable need these people had. For nearly 40 years of their WILDERNESS WANDERINGS, ISRAEL under the leadership of MOSES wandered through the dry, sun baked arid wastelands of the Sinai. No lush green gardens, no stores and grain elevators to draw from and yet to feed three million people would take 1300 box cars of food each day or a train 9 1/2 miles long!
So what does Jesus say in John 6:48? I AM the Bread of LIFE. I am all you ever need. And, just like the bread of God that came down from heaven, I can deliver my bread of life anywhere you ever get! WOW!
Twenty-three times in all we find our Lord’s meaningful “I AM” (????????, Gr.) in the Greek text of this gospel (4:26; 6:20,35,41,48,51; 8:12,18,24,28,58; 10:7,9,11,14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1,5; 18:5,6,8). In several of these, He joins His “I AM” with seven tremendous metaphors which are expressive of His saving relationship toward the world. IN other words, the Christian life may be described in these seven declarations of Jesus. A believer is described by Jesus in seven profound ways. The perfection of Christ our God is seen in the seven “I AM’S” in John’s record of Christ’s life and ministry. Christ has given His own eternal life (John 17:2), but He has also given them the revelation of the Father’s name (John 17:6). The Old Testament Jew knew his God as “Jehovah,” the great I AM (Ex. 3:11–14). Jesus took this sacred name “I AM” and made it meaningful to His disciples: “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35); “I am the Light of the world” (John 8:12); “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11); etc. In other words, Jesus revealed the Father’s gracious name by showing His disciples that He was everything they needed.
- A Believer is: HUNGERING FOR JESUS AS MY BREAD OF LIFE.“I AM the Bread of life” (6:35,41,48,51).
- A Believer is: WALKING WITH JESUS WHO LIGHTS MY PATH OF LIFE. “I AM the Light of the world” (8:12).
- A Believer is: ENTERING THROUGH JESUS WHO IS MY DOOR TO LIFE.“I AM the Door of the sheep” (10:7,9).
- A Believer is: STAYING WITH THE GOOD SHEPHERD WHO IS THE SAVIOR OF MY LIFE. “I AM the Good Shepherd” (10:11,14).
- A Believer is: RESTING IN JESUS WHOS RESURRECTION GAVE ME ENDLESS LIFE. “I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (11:25).
- A Believer is: FOLLOWING THE WAY OF JESUS, BELIEVING THE TRUTH OF JESUS, AND LIVING THE LIFE OF JESUS. “I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life” (14:6).
- A Believer is: ABIDING IN JESUS WHO IS MY SUPPLY OF ALL I EVER NEED. “I AM the true Vine” (15:1,5). Psalm 92
I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE(6:35)-He FEEDS OUR STARVING SOULS, but apart from Him is only unsatisfied hunger. The internal gnawing pain that hunger brings is the illustration of our condition apart from Christ. He alone feeds our soul and satisfies our hungers, all else is emptiness, hopelessness and empty mirages. Jesus said I am your food that satisfies, I am the Bread you need. I have settled the longings of your soul, I can satisfy all the hungers of your life. What do you really hunger for?
I AM THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD(8:12)-He LIGHTS OUR DARKENED SOULS, but apart from Him is only impenetrable darkness. Jesus said I am the Light, I have settled the darkness of fear, the darkness of death, the darkness of dying, it is all settled by Me!
I AM THE DOOR OF LIFE TO MY SHEEP(10:7,9)-He INVITES us lost sheep back into God’s Family, but apart from Him is only hopeless exclusion. Jesus said I am the Door of Life, all your security and access needs are settled, by Me! In the ancient world there were sheep folds built of stones or made from caves, dotting the hills and valleys of Israel. The door was made so that the shepherd himself would lay down at night and become the door so that no sheep could wander out without stumbling over him and no predator could slip in without stirring him. So Jesus says I keep you safe from harm and secure from wandering away from my salvation!
I AM THE GOOD SHEPHERD(10:11)-He LEADS US HOME, but apart from Him is only aimless wandering. Jesus said I am the Good Shepherd who died, I have settled the issue of the unknown. I am your companion through life and death. Jesus gives us the perfect example of how to live and how to die!
I AM THE RESURRECTION AND LIFE(11:25)-He pours upon US endless LIFE, but apart from Him is only endless dying. Jesus says I am the Resurrection, I am the Life. I have settled the issue of Hope, you can count on me, hope in me all through life and into death!
I AM THE WAY, TRUTH & LIFE(14:6)-He secures us in the way of endless life, but apart from Him is only endless lostness. Jesus said I am the way, I have settled the issue of your home. I am making it, your very own room, and the minute that it is ready I am coming to get you!
I AM THE TRUE VINE(15:1)-He NURTURES us through life, apart from Him is only continual withering. Jesus says I am the Vine, your source of life and health. The state of your health is all in my hands. I will provide for you living grace, enduring declining life grace, and dying grace. Each just when you need them! If the vine speaks of all of life as one growing season, then we should get more fruit filled the older we get (ala Psalm 92), if it is many seasons then life is a succession of growing /pruning /bearing /resting and then growing/pruning…
Now this morning, meet Jesus who is the great I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE!
I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE (6:35) – He FEEDS OUR STARVING SOULS, but apart from Him is only unsatisfied hunger. Our hungers and thirsts of life are settled by Jesus.The internal gnawing pain that hunger brings is the illustration of our condition apart from Christ. He alone feeds our soul and satisfies our hungers, all else is emptiness, hopelessness and empty mirages. Whatever we hunger for reveals what we are. What are your secret hungers? Do they resemble the flesh or the spirit? Jesus gave a list of what those who hunger to sow to the Spirit desire. Remember them?
WHEN JEUS CALLED HIMSELF THE BREAD OF GOD FROM HEAVEN HE WAS SAYING THAT THE MANNA EXPLAINS WHO HE IS. PLEASE TURN WITH ME TO EXODUS 16
Exodus 16 should always be read in connection18 with John 6, for the manna from heaven is a type of Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life. Jesus also noted that manna illustrates the written Word of God on which God’s pilgrim people feed from day to day
1ST JESUS WAS GREATER THAN MANNA. When Jesus called Himself “the Living Bread,” He was not claiming to be exactly like the manna. He was claiming to be even greater!
|Old Testament Manna||Jesus the Bread of Life|
|1. The manna only sustained life for the Jews||1. but Jesus gives life to the whole world.|
|2. The Jews ate the daily manna and eventually died||2. but when you receive Jesus Christ within, you live forever.|
|3. When God gave the manna, He gave only a gift||3. but when Jesus came, He gave Himself.|
|4. There was no cost to God in sending the manna each day||4. but He gave His Son at great cost.|
|5. The Jews had to eat the manna every day||5. but the sinner who trusts Christ once is given eternal life.|
|6. But those that did eat manna hungered again, died at last, and with many of them God was not well-pleased||6. whereas those that feed on Christ by faith shall never hunger, and shall die no more, and with them God will be for ever well pleased. The Lord evermore give us this bread!19|
Just noting the Hebrew word manna, we see it means “What is it?” (v. 15). This helps us realize that the Jews could not explain this new food that God had sent. What a parallel to Paul’s exclamation of Christ when he wrote ,” in 1 Tim. 3:16 “Great is the mystery of godliness, God was manifest in the flesh.” Jesus in human flesh is a mystery, but it is a beautiful mystery revealed when we stop to consider how the manna pictures Jesus Christ:
JESUS IS SO MUCH LIKE MANNA.
- GOD USED MANNA TO REFLECT Christ’s humility because it was small (v. 14), which speaks of His humility; for He became a baby, and even a servant.
- GOD USED MANNA TO REFLECT Christ’s eternal nature because it was round (v. 14), which reminds us of the circle, symbol of His eternality; for Jesus Christ is eternal God (John 8:53–59).
- GOD USED MANNA TO REFLECT Christ’s holiness, because it was white (v. 31), a reminder of His purity and sinlessness; He is the holy Son of God.
- GOD USED MANNA TO REFLECT Christ’s sweetness, because it like honey was sweet (v. 31). “Taste and see that the Lord is good” (Ps. 34:8). Note in Num. 11:4–8 that the “mixed multitude” that went with the Jews did not appreciate the taste of the manna but asked for the “leeks, onions, and garlic” of Egypt. They were not satisfied with simple manna. They “ground it, beat it, and baked it,” but then it tasted like “oil” and not like honey. There is a spiritual lesson here for us; we cannot improve upon the simple Word of God (Ps. 119:103).
- GOD USED MANNA TO REFLECT Christ’s feeding us (v. 35). It was satisfying and strengthening, for the nation lived on manna for nearly forty years. All that we need for spiritual nourishment is Jesus Christ, God’s heaven-sent Bread. We are to feast on the Bread that will never leave us hungering.
WHEN JEUS CALLED HIMSELF THE BREAD OF GOD FROM HEAVEN HE WAS SAYING THAT THE MANNA ILLUSTRATES HOW HE CAME
- Exodus16:1-3reflectsthatJESUSCAMETOAWORLDTHATDIDNOTOBEY HIM JUST LIKE Manna came to a rebellious people (vv. 1–3). What poor memories Israel had! They had been away from the bondage of Egypt only six weeks and had already forgotten God’s many mercies. They murmured against Moses and against God (see 15:22–27), and they longed for the fleshly diet of the old life; yet God in His grace and mercy supplied them with bread. Verse 4 could well have read, “I will rain fire and brimstone upon those ungrateful sinners!” But, no, God proved His love toward them by raining bread upon them. See Rom. 5:6–8. Someone has calculated that to supply six pints (an omer) of manna each for two to three million people daily would have required four freight trains of sixty cars each. How generous God is to us!
- Exodus16:4reflectsthatJESUSCAMEFROMHEAVENJUSTLIKEMANNA CAME FROM HEAVEN. It was not imported from Egypt, or manufactured in the wilderness; it was given from heaven, the gift of God’s grace. Jesus Christ came down from heaven (John 6:33) as the Father’s gift to hungry sinners. To say that Christ is “just another man” is to deny the teaching of the whole Bible that He is God’s Son sent from heaven. These come from heaven, as the manna did, and are the support and comfort of the divine life in the soul, while we are in the wilderness of this world. It is food for those only that follow the pillar of cloud and fire.
- Exodus16:13a“inthemorning”reflectsthatJESUSCAMETOASIN DARKENED WORLD JUST LIKE MANNA CAME AT NIGHT. The people gathered the manna early each morning, for the manna fell at night. This suggests the darkness of sin in this world when Jesus came. It was night when Jesus was born, for He came to be the Light of the World (John 8:12). And it is still night in the hearts of all who have rejected Him (2 Cor. 4:1–4). Also as Luke records Jesus came as the sunrise on a sin blackened world Luke 1:78-79 Through the tender mercy of our God, With which the Dayspring from on high has visited us; 79 To give light to those who sit in darkness and the shadow of death, To guide our feet into the way of peace.” NKJV
CAME BY A SUPERNATURAL BIRTH JUST LIKE MANNA CAME ON THE DEW (vv. 13–14). Just as Numbers 11:9 implies the manna lay atop the pure dews, and the dew kept the manna from being defiled by the earth, so the Virgin birth of Jesus through the Holy Spirit brought Jesus to earth, unstained by sin (Luke 1:34–35). Had Jesus not been born of the virgin, He could never be called “that Holy One.”
- Exodus16:13c“allaroundthecamp”reflectsthatJESUSCOMESTOWHERE WE ARE JUST LIKE MANNA FELL RIGHT WHERE THEY WERE. How easily accessible the manna was to the Jews! They did not have to climb a mountain or cross a deep river; the manna came where they were (see Rom. 10:6–8). Jesus Christ is not far away from sinners. They can come to Him at any time.
WHEN JEUS CALLED HIMSELF THE BREAD OF GOD FROM HEAVEN HE WAS SAYING THAT THE MANNA ILLUSTRATES WHAT WE MUST DO WITH JESUS CHRIST
- BELIEVERS FEEL THE NEED TO RECEIVE CHRIST. There is a spiritual hunger within that can be satisfied only by Christ (John 6:35). It was when the Prodigal Son said, “I perish with hunger” that he decided to go back to the father and seek forgiveness (Luke 15:17–18). Much of the unrest and sin in the world today is the result of unsatisfied spiritual hunger. People are living on substitutes and rejecting the nourishment that God freely provides (Isa. 55:1–3).
- BELIEVERS STOOP TO RECEIVE CHRIST. The manna did not fall on the tables or on the trees but on the ground, and the people had to stoop to pick it up. Many sinners will not humble themselves. They will not bend! They will not repent and turn to the Savior!
- BELIEVERSPERSONALLYTAKEJESUSFORTHEMSELVES.Thehungry Jews were not fed by looking at the manna, admiring it, or watching others eat it; they had to pick it up and eat it themselves. Christ must be received inwardly by faith if the sinner is to be saved. This is what Christ meant in John 6:51–58 by “eating His flesh and drinking His blood.” John 6:63 makes it clear that Christ was not speaking about literal flesh and blood, and John 6:68 tells us that it was His Word that He was referring to. When we receive the Word inwardly, we are feeding on Christ, the Living Word. It is to be gathered; Christ in the word is to be applied to the soul, and the means of grace are to be used.
- BELIEVERS TAKE JESUS WHILE THEY CAN. (v. 21). “Seek the Lord while He may be found!” is the warning of Isa. 55:6 (NKJV). “Today if you hear His voice…” the writer of Hebrews exhorts. The manna disappeared when the sun became hot, and this suggests that the day of judgment will arrive when it will be too late to turn to Christ (Mal. 4). It also suggests that, as believers, we must get our spiritual nourishment from the Word early in the day as we meditate on it and pray. We must every one of us gather for ourselves, and gather in the morning of our opportunities, which if we let slip, it may be too late to gather.
JESUS IS ALL I NEED: Christ My Vine from the Gospel by John
- BELIEVERSALWAYSFEEDUPONJESUS.OncewereceiveChristasSavior, we are saved eternally (John 10:27–29). It is important, however, that we feed on Christ to have the strength for our pilgrim journey, just as the Jews fed on the Passover lamb (Ex. 12:11ff). How do believers feed on Christ? By reading, studying, and meditating on His Word. God invites each of us to get up early in the day and gather from the Word the precious manna to nourish our souls. We cannot hoard God’s truth for another day (vv. 16–21); we must gather fresh food for each new day. Too many Christians mark their Bibles and fill their notebooks with outlines, yet never really feed on Christ. The manna they gathered must not be hoarded up, but eaten; those that have received Christ must by faith live upon him, and not receive his grace in vain. There was manna enough for all, enough for each, and none had too much; so in Christ there is a complete sufficiency, and no superfluity.
Note that the spiritual manna (Christ) accomplishes more than did the physical manna that God sent to the Jews.
- The OT manna sustained physical life, but Christ gives spiritual life to all who receive Him.
- The OT manna was for the Jews only, but Christ offers Himself to the whole world (John 6:51).
- It did not cost Moses anything to secure the manna for Israel, but to make Himself available to the world, Christ had to die on the cross. How sad it is that most of the people in the world walk on Christ as if he were unused manna on the ground, rather than stooping to receive Him that they might live.
The daily gathering of the manna was God’s test of Israel’s obedience (v. 4), and it is still God’s test for His people. Those Christians that begin their day with the Bible, gathering spiritual food, are the ones God can trust and use. Alas, many Christians still hunger for the carnal diet of the world! (v. 3) And many expect the pastor or the Sunday School teacher to gather the manna for them and “spoon-feed” them. The test of our spiritual walk is this: do I think enough of Christ and His Word to start my day gathering manna?
18 The manna points are adapted from Warren W. Wiersbe, Wiersbe’s Expository Outlines on the Old Testament, (Wheaton, IL:
36 JESUS IS ALL I NEED: Christ My Vine from the Gospel by John (Matt. 4:4).
37 JESUS IS ALL I NEED: Christ My Vine from the Gospel by John