Will you eat Jesus?
This week so far, we have thought through the deadly hungers of our lives. What about a hunger that fosters life? There is one. Jesus spoke of it, as we referenced it in devo 1 of this week. One occasion we did not mention that day is found in John 6. Take some time to read and reread this:
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, “Throw your lot in with the One that God has sent. That kind of a commitment gets you in on God’s works.”
30 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. 31 Moses fed our ancestors with bread in the desert. It says so in the Scriptures: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 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. 33 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 Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever. 36 I have told you this explicitly because even though you have seen me in action, you don’t really believe me. 37 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. 38 I came down from heaven not to follow my own whim but to accomplish the will of the One who sent me. 39 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. 40 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 At this, because he said, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven,” the Jews started arguing over him: 42 “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 Jesus said, “Don’t bicker among yourselves over me. 44 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. 45 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. 46 No one has seen the Father except the One who has his Being alongside the Father—and you can see me. 47 I’m telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. 48 I am the Bread of Life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. 50 But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. 51 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 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. 54 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. 55 My flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 By eating my flesh and drinking my blood you enter into me and I into you. 57 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. 58 This is the Bread from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and later died. Whoever eats this Bread will live always.”
The Bread of Life? Eat Jesus? Did you notice the way that Jesus highlighted the will and work of God? The work God is concerned with is that people know the One who was sent (verse 29). The will of God is that all who see the One sent and believe Him will have life now and forever (verse 40).
Here are a few questions to ponder:
- am I more concerned about the rules of eating than I am about actually eating the Bread of Life?
- am I more concerned about the quality of the personal experience of eating than I am about actually eating the Bread of Life?
- am I more concerned about being fed well by some preacher or some worship experience than I am about giving up my life so that someone else might taste the Bread of Life?
- what am I hungering for more than Jesus?
57 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.
Do you actually believe that? Do I? Really?
THE BOTTOM LINE:
Do I actually trust that Jesus – knowing Him and eating of Him and being sustained in Him alone – do I trust that He is enough?
Do I realize that when I choose to live and consume selfishly, that in that temporary indulgence I am declaring several very alarming value-statements:
- that Jesus is not enough.
- that feeding my flesh matters more than anything else on earth at that moment.
- that my relationships are worth damaging for the sake of consuming indulgently.
- that His forgiveness given on the cross is there anyway, so it’s okay to abuse.
- that I know better than the Maker of life how life works best for me.
If Jesus is the Bread of Life, am I searching for and indulging in any other supposed sustenance? Do I hunger for anything or anyone more than Him? Is He bread worth sharing? Much like a great restaurant we absolutely are eager to tell others about, are we eager to tell others about the Bread of Life we have found? Isn’t that the work God wants us to be concerned about – that others would believe in the One who was sent?
PRAY_Lord, I want to GIVE UP my vices. I want to deny myself, take up my cross daily, and follow You. Help me to remember that YOU ARE WITH ME and that LIFE HAPPENS WHEN I GIVE IT UP SELFLESSLY, not when I consume selfishly. Help me today to take every thought captive and every choice seriously, and with Your help choose to hunger only for the things that blossom life.
LIVE_Today, not only eat the Bread of Life, but share about the Bread of Life with someone you know is hungry for something more than selfish cravings. Live sent as a letter from the One who was sent.
SUNDAY_week 4 of the series:
GIVE UP EVERYTHING_change our everyday AND our eternity.