150809 John 6:24-35

Last Updated on Monday, 10 August 2015 Written by Pastor Schmidt

Sermon Text: John 6:24 – 35

Sermon Theme: Are You Hungry?

In his sermon message for us last weekend, Pastor Schneider reminded us that Jesus Christ is so much more than just a Bread King. While caring for you and me, our loving Savior-God does make sure that all of our physical needs are taken care of. But in his great love for you and me, our Savior-God has freely provided for our greatest needs, our spiritual needs of forgiveness and eternal life, through our Lord and Savior, Jesus Christ. Yes, Jesus is so much more than just a Bread King!

Today, we will continue to take a closer look at our Savior's words and his ministry as recorded for us in John chapter 6. As we do, I want to ask you a question: What is your favorite food? When you are really hungry, what food do you find yourself craving? Some might answer steak or hamburgers or chicken or pork chops. Still others might say things such as candy or potato chips or some other kind of junk food. In our worship services this weekend we have the opportunity to talk about satisfying our hunger; not our physical hunger but our spiritual hunger. So I ask you: ARE YOU HUNGRY? God's Word before us in the Gospel Lesson for today tells us to FORGET THE JUNK FOOD and rather FEAST ON THE BREAD OF LIFE.

Last week we read in John chapter 6 how Jesus fed a crowd of more than 5,000 people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. After filling their stomachs, the people wanted to force Jesus to be their king. Jesus, knowing that this is not why he came to this earth, left the crowd and went to the other side of the lake to the town of Capernaum. But the crowd was not giving up. They searched for Jesus. And when the found him they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" To which Jesus responded, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill." Jesus knew their hearts. He knew the real reason why the crowd was looking for him. It wasn't because they thought Jesus was a great teacher and the promised Messiah. Rather, they liked the fact that Jesus could fill their bellies with food.

Not only did their questioning of Jesus show that they were still rejecting him as the promised Savior, but they where also feasting on the junk food of their own good works as a way to earn their place in heaven. Remember how they asked Jesus, "What must we do to do the works God requires?" To which Jesus responded, "The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent." To believe in Jesus as the Savior, to have a place at his side in heaven, is not the result of any human effort, but rather the result of a gracious God working in the heart of someone through the all-powerful Word of God.

Are you hungry? Each one of us here today is born into this world spiritually starving. As we look at how often we have failed to live God-pleasing lives that hunger only gets worse. There is a lot of junk food available for you and me to satisfy our spiritual hunger. It is part of our sinful nature to think that we are able to satisfy hunger by something we can say or do. But what does God's Word say about earning our forgiveness and our place in heaven? In Proverbs 16 we read, "There is a way that seems right to a man, but in the end it leads to death." And James chapter 2 answers those who like to compare themselves to others and say they aren't that bad: "Whoever keeps the whole law and yet stumbles at just one point is guilty of breaking all of it." Rather than filling up on the spiritual junk food of trying to win our place in heaven, we hear the Good News of a perfect Savior who took our place and won our forgiveness and eternal life in heaven. In Paul's second letter to the Corinthians chapter 5 God's Word proclaims, "God made him who had no sin to be sin for us, so that in him we might become the righteousness of God."

We are told that when we are hungry rather than reaching for the bag of potato chips or some other junk food, we should eat healthy snacks and foods. The same is true when we talk about our spiritual eating. Rather than filling up on the junk food this sinful world has to offer, we are to satisfy our hunger with the spiritual food our Savior-God freely offers to us. Are you hungry? Then, feast on the Bread of Life.

The people who had come to find Jesus quickly forgot about the miracle he had performed just the day before. For they ask Jesus, "What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" To which Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." The same, loving Father who provided for the physical hunger of the Children of Israel by supplying them with bread as they traveled from Egypt to the Promised Land, is the same Father who will provide for their great spiritual hunger. As Jesus tells the crowd, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty." It is Jesus Christ, the Promised Savior of the world, who alone is able to satisfy the spiritual hunger of mankind.

Are you hungry? Then feast on the Bread of Life! Remember that only Jesus Christ lived a perfect life in your place and mine. Only Jesus Christ suffered, died and rose again. Only Jesus Christ won the complete forgiveness of your sins and mine. Only Jesus Christ assures you and me of our place at his side in the never-ending joys of heaven. Only Jesus is the Bread of Life. As he would tell his Disciples later in John chapter 14, "'Do not let your hearts be troubled. Trust in God; trust also in me. In my Father's house are many rooms; if it were not so, I would have told you. I am going there to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come back and take you to be with me that you also may be where I am. You know the way to the place where I am going.' Thomas said to him, 'Lord, we don't know where you are going, so how can we know the way?' Jesus answered, 'I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.'"

In order to keep a prisoner alive, an enemy may feed the prisoner only bread and water. While this may keep the prisoner alive for some time, to stay healthy they need more. In order for our bodies to remain healthy and strong we need to eat good foods like fruits and vegetables. But for our spiritual health and strength bread and water are all we need. Through the water of God's Word you and I are brought into a right relationship with the Bread of Life, our Lord Jesus Christ. Are you hungry? Forget the junk food that the world has to offer. Rather, feast of the Bread of Life. Amen.

 

 

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Compelled by the love of Christ, St. Matthew’s Evangelical Lutheran Church and School seek to reach out to our families, community and world, using Law and Gospel to make disciples, growing and nurturing them in their Christian faith and life.

 

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818 West Wisconsin Avenue
Oconomowoc, WI 53066
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