Sermon:  Make the Most of Bread and Water: Of Seawater and Twinkies


Summary:  Jesus can identify the source of our true hunger and only he can fulfill in permanently when we come to him and build our lives around him according to his purposes rather than our own.


Text:  Jn 4:7-38; 6:26-35


Scripture Reading:  Isa 55:1-3



1.  Story of Troy Driscoll and Josh Long in 15 ft boat swept out to sea

          a.  Stranded for days, found 111 miles from where they started

          b.  Water was clear, but couldn't drink it, or you would die

          c.  Sea water cause dehydration, spike in blood pressure, headaches,

               dizziness, nausea, vomiting, brain damage, and death

          d.  Like trying to quench deep spiritual thirst with things of the world

2.  People try to find satisfaction, fulfillment, and meaning

          a.  Problem is that most of what people try are deadly

          b.  They are dead ends, leave you dead inside, dead spiritually

3.  Jesus speaks to this inner longing as an inner thirst and hunger 

          a.  Everyone is hard-wired to look for something that will fulfill you

          b.  Will look at a couple of examples in scripture

4.  Message is that only Jesus can fulfill you with true life


I.  (Jn 4:7-38) Jesus gives living water

          A.  Background

                    1.  Traveling through Samaria, sat by the village well

                    2.  Women go to draw water for home, livestock, etc.

                    3.  Village meeting place, catch up on news, visit

                    4.  Usually go in morning or evening, not head of day

                              a.  Suggests that this woman is not in the "in" crowd

                              b.  She shows up at mid-day, not many people there

          B.  Jesus starts with physical thirst, moves to deeper thirst

                    1.  He has water that will completely quench your thirst

                    2.  Calls in living water, once you have it, never thirst again

                              a.  Will be an endless supply

                              b.  Become an inner spring, not have to keep looking

                              c.  She wants that water!

                                        i.  Imagine not having to go draw water any more

                                        ii.  Can avoid those gossiping crowds, the looks, etc.

                    3.  But Jesus gets personal - "Go call your husband"

                              a.  Jesus gets to the heart of her thirst

                              b.  She has had many men, including the one she living with

                              c.  She deflects this uncomfortable revelation with religious

                                   discussion about biblical issues

                              d.  Jesus brings the discussion back to her need

                                        i.  Must worship God in Spirit and in Truth

                                        ii.  Two sides of the same coin

                                        iii.  God is Spirit, this is where true life comes from

                                                  1) Spirit renews us - Tit 3:5

                                                  2) Born of water and Spirit - Jn 3:5

                                                  3) Filled with Spirit, and can sing Eph 5:18-19

                    4.  She has been drinking sea water from wrong well, never satisfy

                              a.  She needs living water, not dead water

                              b.  Jesus reveals he is the source of this water

                              c.  v.28 - She leaves her waterpot behind!

                                        i.  Jesus brought attention to a deeper thirst

                                        ii.  She has found the source of living water from the

                                             man at the well

                                        iii.  She doesn't need her waterpot anymore!

          C.  Can you relate to this, or know anyone that can relate?

                    1.  A young lady, life a train wreck, always thirsty for something

                              a.  Long string of men in her young life

                              b.  Tried to fill her jar with man after man

                              c.  Problem - Jar always would empty out, then try find more

                              d.  Never satisfied, always looking for something

                    2.  There are those who try to fill their waterpot in other ways

                              a.  Career success - Success junkie

                              b.  Lots of friends - Popularity junkie

                              c.  Substance abuse - Junkie

                              d.  And the list goes on

                    3.  Those things are like sea-water - Will destroy you in the end

                    4.  Wind up empty, hurt, disappointed, bitter, and ultimately dead

          D.  Only Jesus can fill your thirst, don't need a waterpot

                    1.  Stop trying to find fulfillment in seawater, but in Christ

                    2.  Where have you been looking for fulfillment, meaning, etc?

                              a.  Is it in a string of relationships?  Unhealthy relationship?

                              b.  Is it in money, success, popularity?

                              c.  Maybe in some sort of unhealthy, indecent habit?

                              d.  Maybe it is in projecting a certain image?

                    3.  Put down your waterpot, come to Jesus the source of living


                    4.  *Jesus speaks of hunger and thirst in several places . . .


II.  Jesus is true bread

          A.  Background

                    1.  Just fed 5,000 people in the wilderness with 5 loaves and 2 fish

                              a.  I remember trying to organize food for 50 campers in

                                   summer camp

                              b.  Imagine 5,000 people

                              c.  Jesus did this effortlessly, and there were leftovers

                    2.  People got excited!

                              a.  Reminder of what God did in days of Moses

                              b.  Fed them miraculously in the wilderness

                              c.  Delivered them from bondage, brought to new home

                    3.  (Jn 6:15) Jesus would be their new leader!   This is idolary

                              a.  Root of idolatry is making your own god

                              b.  They wanted to make Jesus into their own god

                              c.  They wanted control

                    4.  Jesus went away, that wasn't his purpose.  They followed

          B.  (Jn 6:26-35) Jesus goes beyond the surface to their true need

                    1.  They were focused on outward things

                              a.  They wanted to force him to be king - wanted control

                              b.  They followed him not because of signs, but bread

                    2.  They had been searching for false bread

                              a.  Jesus said if you eat of this bread you will die

                              b.  Even those who ate the manna in the wilderness died

                              c.  Need something more enduring that this bread

                    3.  Jesus uses the image of bread to appeal to their true need

                              a.  v.27 - It endures to eternal life

                                        i.  Other kinds of bread won't keep you from dying

                                        ii.  This bread keeps you alive for evermore

                                        iii.  v.33 - It gives life to the world

                              b.  v.35 - It is the bread of life

                                        i.  v.51 - It is living bread, Jesus himself

                                        ii.  Similar to the thought of "living water" to woman at

                                             the well in Jn 4:10

                                        iii.  Never hunger or thirst again

                              c.  v.32 - It is bread which comes down out of Heaven

                                        i.  Its origin is not from this world, but from God

                                        ii.  Nothing of this world will keep you from dying 

                              d.  v.32 - It is true bread

                                        i.  Implies there is such thing as untrue bread, false

                                        ii.  There are many, many kinds of bread

          C.  Think about all the different kinds of bread there are

                    1.  Go to the store to get bread on shopping list.   What kind?

                    2.  There is white, wheat, rye, potato bread, buns, muffins, bagels,

                         croissants, banana nut, zucchini, etc.

                    3.  One type of bread that went away for awhile - Twinkies!

                              a.  Is this bread?  Is it food?  Look at ingredients

                              b.  If set in pantry for a couple of years, it no go bad

                              c.  It can survive nuclear!

                              d.  Can't live off of this, it is not real bread

          D.  There are many kinds of bread, but only one true bread for the soul

                    1.  This is true soul food, only it can satisfy and bring life

                    2.  Don't go for the fake stuff

                              a.  Avoid the worldly bread

                                        - Not about money, success, popularity,

                                        - Lk 12:23 - Life is more than food, body is more than


                                        - Seek first his kingdom, his rule over your life is first

                              b.  Avoid the religious bread

                                        - This was the bread of the Pharisees

                                        - Thought by focusing on ritual, rules, fasts, and

                                           festivals would sustain them

                                        - It was hollow, they rejected the one whom it was all

                                           about, Jesus himself

                                        - Focus in your praying, worshipping, serving, not to

                                          check of religious check list, but to love our Lord

                    3.  Go for the true bread, the only bread that counts

                              a.  (v.51-58) Eat his flesh and blood, true food, gives life

                              b.  This is not talking about communion

                                        - Not talking about physical bread, like the manna

                                        - Metaphorically ingest Jesus

                                        - He becomes part of you, inside you, rules your life


III.  We need to live off the true bread

          A.  How do we do this?

                    1.  So far, have been talking about the image of water and bread

                    2.  Now, what does this mean practically?

          B.  Go back and look at applications that Jesus makes

                    1.  v.27 - It is "given" by the son

                              a.  He is the source, and offers it as a gift

                              b.  To get it, have to accept it on his terms

                              c.  ILL: New story about a homeless man, died penniless

                                        - Come to find out, he had $500k offered to him

                                        - Was an inheritance left to

                                        - Why homeless?  Never showed up to accept it

                                        - Same with Christ.  It a gift, but have to accept it on

                                           his terms to receive it

                    2.  v.27 - We must work for the true bread

                              a.  How do we work for the true bread?

                              b.  v.29 - Must believe in Christ

                              c.  Fact that belief is called "work" implies that belief is no

                                   mere mental exercise, but commitment and devotion

                    3.  v.45 - Be taught of God

                              a.  Need to grow in the knowledge of God

                              b.  (Jn 17:3) This is eternal life, to know God and Jesus

                              c.  Come to know "initially" by teaching and scripture

                                        - There is no other way to truly know God

                                        - Can tell something about God from creation

                                        - But to know him, must have scriptures

                              d.  Also grow in knowing God by "doing" his will - 1 Jn

                                        - 1 Jn 2:3-4 - By  this we know that we have come to

                                           know him, if keep his commandments, the one who

                                           says I have come to know him and does not keep

                                           his commandments is a liar

                                        - 1 Jn 3:23 - What is his commandment?  To believe

                                           in the name of his Son, Jesus Christ, and love one


                                        - 1 Jn 4:7-8 - Those who love one another are born of

                                          God and know God.  Those who do not love do not

                                          know God

                                        - Can't know God if we are not taught and do not "do"

                                           his will

                    4.  v.56-57 - Live in Christ and He in you

                              a.  You in Christ, means you live to please and serve him

                              b.  Christ in you, means he strengthens, blesses you, and is

                                   your advocate

                              c.  ILL:  Man who invited Jesus into his life, made a special

                                   room for him in his house, "Here, this is your room"

                                        - That night

                                                  = Said, "good night Jesus

                                                  = Middle of night, man broke in and robbed him

                                                  = Went to Jesus' room, Jesus reading on bed

                                                  = Jesus looked up and smiled and waved

                                        - The following night, robbed and beaten severely

                                                  = Couldn't understand what was going on

                                                  = Did Jesus leave during the night?

                                        - Rushed into Jesus' room

                                                  = Where have you been?   Said, Right here.

                                                  = Thought your presence supposed to be a

                                                      blessing.  He  Answered - It is.  This room is

                                                      very blessed, and I protected it

                                                  = Then why are people breaking into the

                                                      house?  Answer - You didn't give me the rest

                                                      of the house

                              d.  If Christ in you, and you in Christ, then he has it all

          C.  (Jn 4:31-34) Go back to rest of story, shows what all of this looks like

                    1.  After woman at the well, Jesus "hunger" is filled

                    2.  Said, "My food is to do the will of him who sent me"

                    3.  Nothing more fulfilling than loving God and doing his will to

                         please him.

                    4.  God's will?  Mt 22:36 f - Love God, love your neighbor

                              a.  Jesus did both throughout his ministry

                              b.  Loved people, feed them, body and soul

          D.  All of this is what it means to live off of true bread



1.  Don't try to live off of twinkies

          a.  Yes they are sweet, taste good

          b.  But they will not keep you healthy, in the long run can kill you

2. Instead, drink from the living water, work for the true bread

3.  Have you taken the first drink, the first bite?  (inv)

4.  If you have, then you have life, don't go back to sea water and Twinkies

5.  Acquaintance from Harding, Ric, was a preacher for couple years, now is an atheist, divorced. 

          a.  Not sure what events led up to this, but same year he got divorced is

               the same year he claims to be an atheist

          b.  Said he has been freed

          c.  However, he also said that is has been a great loss in his life, like the

               loss of a good friend

          d.  Twinkies are not as good as he thought they might be

6.  Stick with the true bread that gives fulfilment, satisfaction, and life