TEMPORARY MANNA—BREAD OF LIFE FOREVER

Remember our history lessons of the search for the Fountain of Youth by Ponce de Leon?  The Fountain of Youth, a mythical spring, allegedly restores the youth of anyone who drinks or bathes in its waters. Tales of such a fountain have been recounted around the world for thousands of years, appearing in the writings of Herodotus (5th century BC), in the Alexander romance (3rd century AD), and in the stories of Prester John (early Crusades, 11th/12th centuries AD).

Stories of similar waters also featured prominently among the people of the Caribbean during the Age of Exploration (early 16th century); they spoke of the restorative powers of the water in the mythical land of Bimini. Based on these many legends, explorers and adventurers looked for the elusive Fountain of Youth or some other remedy to aging, generally associated with magic waters. These waters might have been a river, a spring, or any other water-source said to reverse the aging process and to cure sickness when swallowed or bathed in.

The legend became particularly prominent in the 16th century, when it became associated with the Spanish explorer Juan Ponce de León, the first Governor of Puerto Rico. Ponce de León was supposedly searching for the Fountain of Youth when he traveled to Florida in 1513. Legend has it that Native Americans told Ponce de León that the Fountain of Youth was in Bimini.

Researchers today spend millions of dollars trying to find the right “potion” that will help us “live” longer, feel better with promises to stay looking young.  Admit it, friends, we at least try some of the creams, masks, oils and even tonics to peel away and restore our aging skin to reverse the aging process.  We have an innate passion to live forever.  So, we work to eat the right foods and drink lots of water while singing, “stayin’ alive, stayin’ alive, ooh, ooh, ooh.  What if those dollars, time focused on ourselves with all that effort to slather ourselves with product was spent on knowing and learning more about our Creator who has the right stuff that we are seeking to live forever?

Jesus knows us well.  Jesus has exactly what we have been searching for to live forever!  He explains it to the Jews who find this news a little bit hard to swallow….   

John—God’s Love

John 6:27-59, The Message

The Bread of Life

27 “Don’t waste your energy striving for perishable food like that. Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”

28 To that they said, “Well, what do we do then to get in on God’s works?”

29 Jesus said, “Sign on with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”

30-31 They waffled: “Why don’t you give us a clue about who you are, just a hint of what’s going on? When we see what’s up, we’ll commit ourselves. Show us what you can do. Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32-33 Jesus responded, “The real significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but that my Father is right now offering you bread from heaven, the real bread. The Bread of God came down out of heaven and is giving life to the world.”

34 They jumped at that: “Master, give us this bread, now and forever!”

35-38 Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. Every person the Father gives me eventually comes running to me. And once that person is with me, I hold on and don’t let go. I came down from heaven not to follow my own agenda but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me.

39-40 “This, in a nutshell, is that will: that everything handed over to me by the Father be completed—not a single detail missed—and at the wrap-up of time I have everything and everyone put together, upright and whole. This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”

41-42 At this, because he said, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven,” the Jews started arguing over him: “Isn’t this the son of Joseph? Don’t we know his father? Don’t we know his mother? How can he now say, ‘I came down out of heaven’ and expect anyone to believe him?”

43-46 Jesus said, “Don’t bicker among yourselves over me. You’re not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me—that’s the only way you’ll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. This is what the prophets meant when they wrote, ‘And then they will all be personally taught by God.’ Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Father, really listening and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally—to see it with his own eyes, hear it with his own ears, from me, since I have it firsthand from the Father. No one has seen the Father except the One who has his Being alongside the Father—and you can see me.

47-51 “I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life. Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. I am the Bread—living Bread!—who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live—and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self.”

52 At this, the Jews started fighting among themselves: “How can this man serve up his flesh for a meal?”

53-58 But Jesus didn’t give an inch. “Only insofar as you eat and drink flesh and blood, the flesh and blood of the Son of Man, do you have life within you. The one who brings a hearty appetite to this eating and drinking has eternal life and will be fit and ready for the Final Day. My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. In the same way that the fully alive Father sent me here and I live because of him, so the one who makes a meal of me lives because of me. This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.”

59 He said these things while teaching in the meeting place in Capernaum.

WHAT DO WE LEARN?

  1. Jesus is the Bread of Life.  Seek, believe, follow Him.  He is all the nourishment you need to live forever. 
  2. Bread that is guaranteed to last: “Work for the food that sticks with you, food that nourishes your lasting life, food the Son of Man provides. He and what he does are guaranteed by God the Father to last.”
  3. Commit.  “Sign on with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
  4. Think Beyond the Manna: “The real significance of that Scripture is not that Moses gave you bread from heaven but that my Father is right now offering you bread from heaven, the real bread. The Bread of God came down out of heaven and is giving life to the world.”
  5. Let’s go over this again: “The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever.”—Jesus
  6. In a Nutshell: “This is what my Father wants: that anyone who sees the Son and trusts who he is and what he does and then aligns with him will enter real life, eternal life. My part is to put them on their feet alive and whole at the completion of time.”—Jesus
  7. This “Bread” news is hard to swallow because the Jews cannot get passed physical thinking to spiritual thinking.  Jesus explains his relationship with God that borders blasphemy in the Jewish tradition.  Jesus attempts to take them from “seeing is believing” small thinking to higher thinking, taking them back to what the prophets said.  “This is what the prophets meant when they wrote, ‘And then they will all be personally taught by God.’ Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Father, really listening and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally—to see it with his own eyes, hear it with his own ears, from me, since I have it firsthand from the Father. No one has seen the Father except the One who has his Being alongside the Father—and you can see me.”

LET’S GO A BIT DEEPER…

This was basically the same message Jesus gave after He had healed the paralytic (see John 5:37–40). The crowd wanted to see something, but their real need was to learn something. It is by the Word that we “see” God and receive the faith to come to Christ and trust Him (Rom. 10:17).

When Jesus called Himself “the Living Bread,” He was not claiming to be exactly like the manna. He was claiming to be even greater! The manna only sustained life for the Jews, but Jesus gives life to the whole world. The Jews ate the daily manna and eventually died, but when you receive Jesus Christ within, you live forever. When God gave the manna, He gave only a gift, but when Jesus came, He gave Himself. There was no cost to God in sending the manna each day, but He gave His Son at great cost. The Jews had to eat the manna every day, but the sinner who trusts Christ once is given eternal life.

Jesus’ words recorded in the gospel of John are filled with symbolism and imagery. To take them literally is to make the same mistake the people made who first heard them.

“I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. I am the Bread of Life.”—Jesus THIS is the Good News!  “I AM the Bread of Life”—Jesus  

Come sit at the Table of the Lord.  “Open your mouth and taste, open your eyes and see—how good God is.  Blessed are you who run to him.”  Psalm 34:8, MSG

Lord,

Thank you for your saving grace because of your love for us.  Thank you for your sacrifice.  You give, we receive.  You call, we follow.  You are real life that we seek.  Thank you, Lord.

In Jesus Name, Amen

About randscallawayffm

Randy and Susan co founded Finding Focus Ministries in 2006. Their goal as former full time pastors, is to serve and provide spiritual encouragement and focus to those on the "front lines" of ministry. Extensive experience being on both sides of ministry, paid and volunteer, on the mission fields of other countries as well as the United States, helps them bring a different perspective to those who need it most. Need a lift? Call us 260 229 2276.
This entry was posted in Uncategorized and tagged , , . Bookmark the permalink.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.