Monday, May 21, 2012



Of all of the personal signatures-the "I AM's", Jesus shared one that was possibly the most intimate of all of them recorded in John. Not only was it the most intimate, it also stirred up the most controversy. Many disciples walked away from Jesus over this teaching. Their rejection was so hurtful to Jesus that He turned to His early core disciples and asked, "Are you going to walk away from me, too?"
Here's a brief summary of His teachings: Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." Therefore they said to Him, "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent." So they said to Him, "What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'" Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the TRUE bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread." Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (John 6:26-35)

Jesus scolds them for hanging around and following after Him for the free lunch that might come their way, referring to the feeding of the 5000. That bread is nothing, because it will perish! What they ought to do is work for the kind of food that will not perish, but is eternal. That food will only come through God's Messiah-the Son of Man!

The people do an interesting thing. They ask Jesus for a sign. He has just miraculously fed 5000 and shown up miraculously across the Sea of Galilee without a boat, yet they are looking for something more. Their question is a good one: "What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?" Or, "What must we be doing as a habit that we may go on working the works of God?"
Jesus answers them by saying, "This is the work of God-believe in Him whom He has sent!" The work of God is to BELIEVE JESUS-to trust Jesus with your life-every day! The struggle is to SIMPLY TRUST JESUS. This is more than what we need to do, this is all about what God is seeking to do. God wants us to enter into the things that He is doing and that begins and ends with believing in Jesus and trusting Him with your life. We're not to start a new movement, but join God's movement-JESUS! We are in a fellowship-an assembly of believers seeking to walk with Jesus as we learn to walk together. Can you see that this life is not about going to church, but being the church of Jesus?

All of the religions of the world have a religious program of do's and don'ts to absolve your sins-a program of begging to be accepted and to be forgiven. All of the religions of the world have a religious program of works to do to be free to come to God, which becomes a program of bondage to a certain performance of works. By the way, Christianity is not exempt from these religious programs, but has offered some of the most creative of all. Jesus comes to reverse it all! You don't have to do anything to be accepted, forgiven or free; those would be works that perish anyway! The work that God wants you to do is to BELIEVE JESUS! Here we are back to JESUS PLUS NOTHING!

THE WORK OF GOD THAT WE ARE TO DO IS TO SIMPLY BELIEVE JESUS-believe in Him, trust Him and keep on trusting Him.
Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me." (John 6:35-38)

Those who heard Jesus' words began grumbling against Him. In response Jesus explained further and said: "I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" So Jesus said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats this bread I give, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." (John 6:48-58)

Manna was sent down from heaven to the children of Israel for their daily use. They could not store it or it would rot, so they had to gather it daily and eat it. It was a daily sustenance for them to be nourished and to remain healthy. Jesus points out to His listeners that this supernatural distribution of the manna in the time of Moses was good, but all who ate of it are not still alive, but they are all dead.

Jesus is really saying with reference to the manna, "I'M THE NEW MANNA IN TOWN!" This is why He says I AM the bread of life-the living bread that offers eternal life to anyone who eats it. If you believe in Jesus and trust Him as your daily manna, you will never hunger, never thirst, have eternal life and will be raised up at the end. As with the old manna in the wilderness, your relationship with Jesus as the living manna must be gathered and cultivated every day. If you try to store it, you will lose its freshness. So, it's a daily trusting of Jesus-depending upon Him as if your life depended on it!

JESUS IS THE NEW MANNA IN TOWN! Take Him into your life and allow Him to be your strength. Embrace Jesus, the "bread", that keeps you nourished, alive and spiritually whole. Jesus wants the most intimate relationship with you possible. He wants you to ingest Him as you would bread and He, the bread of life, becomes an essential reality in your life. It's SECRET #44: The follower of Jesus relates to the Master as the bread of life.