Title:  Food for True Life


Summary:  Through miraculously feeding 5,000 people, Jesus teaches that true life and substances is found in Him alone.  Therefore, we need to turn to Christ for life, which means working for eternal food, Christ, by faith in Him who is the Word, and following his will, which is our life.


Text:  Jn 6:1-71


Scripture Reading:  Isa 55:1-4



1.  If you are hungry, which would you rather have?  Twinkie or an MRE?

          a.  I have had both MREs and C-Rations (canned food)

          b.  These are what you might call Non-Perishables

          c.  A riverboat sunk in Missouri River in 1865

                    - Excavated in 1966, the found canned food on the boat

                    - In 1977, the canned food was tested and determined to be edible

          d.  Not so with perishables, which are usually refrigerated

2.  Reality - All food is ultimately perishable

          a.  Even the Twinkie, if you consider it food, eventually will go bad

          b.  No food is forever - this is the point that Jesus makes

3.  Today's miracle story in all the Gospels - Feeding the 5,000

          a.  Jn 6:1-15 - Will look at John's version due to teaching account with it

                    - There were no MREs or C-Rations in the Wilderness

                    - Would cost over 200 Denarii - 8 months pay!

                    - v.9 - Lad 5 barley loaves & 2 fish, but what was that for so many?

                              = What kind of question was that?

                              = Do they not realize who was in their midst????

                    - (v.11-13) Jesus fed 5,000 with that lunch, 12 baskets leftover!

          b.  (v.14-15) Reaction - Truly this is the prophet come into the world

                    - Dt 18:15 - Moses said God would raise up a prophet like him

                    - Jesus is that prophet, a leader!  Going to force him to be king

          c. Jesus did not come to start a political or military revolution

                    - His revolution much more significant, powerful, lasting

                    - He came to start a revolution of the heart

                    - Throne not in Jerusalem, but in the hearts of men

                    - Evil dictators threatened by Christ, can't thwart Christ's revolution

                      of the heart

          d.  Jesus walks to the other side of the lake, crowd goes looking for him

                    - v.25 - "Rabbi, when did you get here?" - He is not just a Rabbi

                    - Reply - "You look for me not because of the signs, but because

                      you ate the bread and were full."

                    - Something more significant than a full belly

                    - Jesus came ultimately to fill the soul with life

4.  Jesus explains the significance of this sign in this chapter.  What does the

     sign say?


I.  Jesus is Divine

          A.  All of his miracles and signs demonstrate this about him

          B.  This miracle demonstrates it in a vivid way

                    1.  Look at the miracle itself

                              a.  He miraculously feeds thousands in the wilderness

                                        -  Who feeds thousands of God's people in


                                        -  Jesus is doing a recognizable action of God

                              b.  Then, there were number of baskets left over

                                        - 12 baskets - Shows there was plenty of food

                                        - 12 is also the number of tribes of God's people

                                        - 12 became symbolic number representing God's


                                        - God is among his people - Feeds them

                    2.  v.27 - Calls himself the "Son of Man"

                              a. It normally means "human," as in Ezekiel, a prophet,

                                          who was called a "son of man"

                              b. But Jesus not mean he was mere human but divine

                                        - (Mt 26:64-65) At trial, "you will see the Son of Man

                                          sitting at the right hand of power, and coming on the

                                          clouds of Heaven

                                        - High priest tore robes, said this was blasphemy

                                        - Jesus quote from Dan 7:13-14, claim to be divine

                                        - Son of Man is a title for eternal king, divinity

                              c.  Mt 9:6 - Son of Man has authority to forgive sins

                              d.  So, Son of Man is referring to his divinity

                    3.  Jn 6:38 - Jesus said he came down from Heaven

                              a.  Jn 6:46 - Even claims to have seen God!

                              b.  No human comes down from Heaven, they born on earth

                              c.  No human can see God and live!

                    4.  Jn 6:62 - What if you see Son of Man ascending from where he

                         was before?

                              a.  If he was there before, then he not just a man

                              b.  He is God

          C.  ILL:  Visited the Islamic center in Kansas City for a class

                    1.  Tour guide ridiculed the Christian faith, Yahweh, and Christ

                              a.  She claimed Christians believe in 3 gods

                              b.  Ridiculed the idea of God becoming human and dying

                              c.  Said our fake God is weak and pathetic, but Allah is

                                   strong, noble

                              d.  They failed to understand how weakness of God is

                                   stronger than the strength of men

                    2.  Those Muslims failed to understand God's grace, mercy, love

                              a.  Man breaks law, penalty had to be paid by man

                              b.  No man could pay penalty, because all sinned

                              c.  So, God became a man and paid the penalty at cross

                              d.  Why?  His love, grace, faithfulness - demonstrated

                    3.  They claim that Allah is merciful and loving

                              a.  Passages from their Quran

                                        - One of the names for Allah means, "Most-loving"

                                        - Many verses state Allah is "loving" and "merciful"

                                        - Surah 3:31 - If you love Allah, Allah will love you

                                        - Surah 3:32 - Allah does not love unbelievers

                                        - The repeated command in Quran to fight the

                                           unbelievers & infidels fits with the character of Allah

                              b.  But Yahweh doesn't just state he is loving, he

                                   demonstrated it

                                        - (Heb 1:9) You have loved righteousness and hated

                                           lawlessness (not love sinless & hate sinners)

                                        - (Jn 15:13) Greater love has no one than this, that

                                           one lay down his life for his friends

                                        - (Rom 5:6-10) God demonstrated his love in that

                                           while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us

                                        - (Mt 5:43-48) Love enemies.  Why?  God does

                                                  = If love only those who love you, what reward,

                                                     do not even the Gentiles do the same?

                                                  = Jesus condemns loving others only if they

                                                     love you, which is Allah's type of love

                                                  = Loving even enemies is God's character

                                        - (2 Tim 2:13) If we are faithless, he remains faithful

                              c.  To just state Allah is loving and merciful rings hollow in

                                   light of how God demonstrated his love and mercy

                    4.  Any wonder so many Muslims not understand love and mercy?

                              a.  They can't learn it from Allah

                              b.  Jesus, someone they claim is only a man, outdid Allah in

                                   demonstrating love

          D.  If Jesus were not both God and man, we would have no hope

                    1.  Heb 2:17 - He shared in our flesh and blood

                              a.  Walked in our shoes as a human

                              b.  As God & man, became merciful & faithful High Priest

                    2.  He is not weak at all, as God or as a human

                              a.  Trampled waves, cast out demons, healed sick, fed 5k

                              b.  Did the Jews and Romans take his life?   No

                              c.  Jn 10:17 - He laid down his life, and took it up again

                              d.  He defeated most powerful enemy - death

                    3.  Life can only come from him because he is divine


II.  Since he is divine, he is the source of true life

          A.  He is the only one that creates life

                    1.  Jn 1:3 - All things came into being through Him

                    2.  Jn 1:4 - In Him was LIFE

          B.  He drives this point home with the loves as object lesson

                    1.  v.30-31 - Discussion about manna

                              a.  Crowd wanted to see a sign in the wilderness, like manna

                              b.  But what about the feeding of the 5000???

                    2.  v.32-33 - Not Moses, but Father gives true bread from Heaven

                              a.  This bread gives life to the world

                              b.  v.49-50 - Fathers ate the manna and lived or died?

                                        - Manna could not keep them alive forever

                                        - They grew old and died just like anyone else

                    3.  v.34-35 - Discussion about the Bread of Life

                              a.  Lord always give us this bread

                              b.  Jesus said I AM the bread of life

                                        - Never hunger again or thirst

                                        - Not talking about hunger pangs, but real hunger

                                        - Will never be malnourished - picture of health

                              c.  What does this mean?

                    4.  Closer look at the bread of life

                              a.  v.51 - Calls himself the LIVING BREAD

                                        - He rose from the dead

                                        - Always lives to make intercession for us

                                        - Not like eating food that is dead, he is living

                                        - He is our life

                              b.  v.32 - Calls himself TRUE BREAD

                                        - v.55 - He is true food and true drink

                                        - True implies there is also false food and drink

          C.  ILL:  Reminds me of the story of the USS Indianapolis

                    1.  WW2 Battleship sunk between Guam and Philippines, July 1945

                              a.  Torpedoed by a Japanese sub, sank in 12 minutes

                              b.  1,196 crewmen were on board, 300 went down with ship

                              c.  900 men floating in the water

                    2.  No one had an idea that ship had sunk for days

                    3.  Those men spent 4 days in the water, with not water or food

                              a.  Nearly 600 died due to exposure, sharks, saltwater

                                   poisoning, and dehydration

                              b.  Dr Lewis Hughes, Chief Medical Officer tells about it - "When the hot sun came out, we were in this crystal clear water. You were so thirsty, you couldn't believe it wasn't good to drink.  I had a hard time convincing the men that they shouldn't drink.  The real young ones - you take away their hope, you take away their water and food - they drink salt water then they would go fast.  I can remember striking men who were drinking water to try and stop them.  They would get diarrhea, then get more dehydrated, then become maniacal. 

                              c.  out of the 900 in the water, only 317 survived the ordeal

                    4.  They were surrounded by seemingly clear blue water

                              a.  But it was not fit to drink, it would kill them

                              b.  They needed true drink, and true food

          D.  We need true drink and true food - Christ himself

                    1.  A lot of things seem to bring happiness to life, but will fail

                              a.  Sex - Prov 5:3 - Lips of an adulteress drips honey, and

                                   smoother than oil is her speech, but in the end she is as

                                   poisonous as wormwood

                              b.  Wealth & Symbols of Wealth - Eccl 5:10 - He who loves

                                   money will not be satisfied with money (always hungry)

                              c.  Friendships, popularity - Prov 18:24 - Man of too many

                                   friends comes to ruin, but there is a friend that sticks

                                   closer than a brother

                              d.  Family - Isa 49:15 - Can a woman forget her nursing child

                                   and have no compassion on the son of her womb?  Even

                                   these may forget, but I will not forget you (family will die)

                              e.  Health, Smarts - Ps 73:26 - My flesh and my heart may

                                   fail, but God is the strength of my heart and my portion


                              f.  Youth - Eccl 12:1 - Remember your creator in the days of

                                  your youth, before the evil days come and the years draw

                                  near when you will say, "I have no delight in them."

                                        - Age comes and takes away your youth

                                        - Fear God and keep his commandments, this is the

                                           whole of man

                                        - Not health, good looks, wealth, relationship,


                    2.  True life is in Christ, the bread of life

                    3.  Jn 10:10 - I came that they may have life and have it abundantly


III.  We must turn to Christ.  How?

          A.  Many misunderstand this, say things like:

                    1.  I believe in God - Yet live like everyone else

                    2.  I believe in Christ - Yet not do his will, or pick and chose his will

                    3.  I believe in Jesus - Yet refuse to accept him as the only way

                    4.  They often mean - I believe he exists, not have faith in him

          B.  Focus on several key words in the passage that says how

                    1.  v.27 - WORK not for perishable, but imperishable food

                              a.  Not wine, women, song, pleasure, wealth, health, etc.

                              b.  Need to work for what is imperishable.  How?

                    2.  v.28-29 - BELIEVE in Him who God has sent, this is God's work

                              a.  Might have expected a list of works - serve, alms, be

                                    kind, love neighbor, forgive, don't lie, steal, etc.

                              b.  Instead, centers it all on Christ

                              c.  Not just about the works, can do good works and be lost

                              d.  It is about loving Lord with all our heart - He is our life

                    3.  v.53 - EAT and DRINK Christ flesh and blood

                              a.  This is a metaphor - about being nourished by Him

                              b.  He is our abundant life, here and in eternity

                                        - Gives life as parent, spouse, employee, student

                                        - Life continues into eternity after leave this earth

                              c.  How do we eat and drink Christ?  How nourished on him?

                    4.  v.63 - WORDS of life - also related to breath, Spirit, life

                              a.  Words Jesus spoke are Spirit and life

                                        - pneuma - Spirit, breath, breath, blowing, wind

                                        - Jn 3:8 - Wind (pneuma) blows where it wishes, you

                                          heart it but do not know where it comes from.  So it

                                          is with everyone born of the Spirit (pneuma)

                                        - Rev 11:11 - Breath (pneuma) of life from God came

                                          into them (2 witnesses) and they stood on their feet

                                        - Gen 2:7 - breathed into his nostrils the breath of life

                              b.  Jesus words are life, God's breath

                                        - v.68 - Apostles - "you have the words of eternal life"

                                        - Not scientists, doctors, medicine, nutrition - We will

                                          still die anyway

                                        - Only words of Jesus are your life

                              c.  Extend this thought to Jesus personally - He is life

                                        - Jn 1:1 - Beginning was the word

                                        - Jn 1:14 - Word became flesh

                                        - Jn 14:6 - I am the way, truth, and life

                                        - His words, example & life are our life

                              d.  Extend this though to written word - It is our life

                                        - 2 Pet 1:21 for no prophecy was ever made by an act

                                          of human will, but men moved by the Holy Spirit

                                          spoke from God.

                                                  = Spirit moved people to speak God's word

                                                  = Those words were written and passed down

                                        - 2 Tim 3:16 All Scripture is inspired by God

                                                  = Inspired - theopneustos - "God breathed"

                                                  = Scripture is the breath of God

                                                  = Breath of God gives life

                                                  = Can't take a good breath, drain you, kill you

          C.  ILL:  Saw a video of Chinese Christians receiving Bibles

                    1.  Notice their reactions - Overcome with emotion, tears

                    2.  Lady in pink said, "This is what we needed the most"

                    3.  Could have received a lot of "bread," but true bread the most

                    4.  Better than breath of fresh air, it is the breath of God

          D.  Scripture is the Spirits tool for us

                    1.  To work, believe, eat & drink Christ, live in his word = LIFE

                    2.  Life is found only in our Lord



1.  If not in Christ, you not have true life.  Don't accept substitutes

          a.  Like seawater, it will kill you

          b.  We can only be nourished by the bread of life, Christ

2.  Scripture Reading - Why do you spend your money for what is not bread, and

     your wages for what does not satisfy?

          a.  Directed to those who bounce from bad relationship to bad relationship

          b.  Directed at the wealth and success junkie

          c.  Directed at the hedonist, who lives for pleasure and fulfillment

          d.  Directed at the popularity junkie

          e.  Directed at everyone who looks to anything but Christ

3.  Col 2:10 - In HIM you are complete, not worldly philosophy or any other

     worldly thing

          a.  If you want your life to be complete, need to look in right place

          b.  May "feel" okay, but person with High Blood Pressure also "feels" okay

          c.  Need to turn to Jesus (inv)

4.  If you have turned to Jesus, keep your focus on him

          a.  2 Pet 1:3 - His divine power has given us everything we need for life

               and godliness, through the true knowledge of him who called us by his

               own glory and excellence

          b.  Don't accept substitutes

          c.  If you have been looking to substitutes, STOP today, otherwise the

               seawater will kill you