“Bread for the Starving” is the title of a sermon series dealing with the sixth chapter of John’s Gospel. The theme that dominates this chapter is Jesus’ presentation of Himself as the “Bread of Life.” Several times in this chapter, Jesus plainly states “I Am the Bread of Life.” He also continually reiterates this concept using various word combinations and stylistic devices. In fact, “I Am the Bread of Life,” is perhaps the most famous of all of Jesus’ “I Am” sayings found in John’s Gospel. This “I Am” saying of Christ presents us with two penetrating questions: 1) what does Jesus mean when He identifies Himself as the “Bread of Life”? And 2) do I have a need that can only be met by the “Bread of Life?”
Jesus begins His offer of “Bread for the Starving” by miraculously feeding the 5,000 with literal and physical bread and fish, which they literally and physically ate. As a result of this, as well as previous sign miracles, the crowds began to flock to Jesus. All the time seeming to be oblivious to the fact that it was actually Jesus who was doing the seeking. When the crowd finally caught up with Him in Capernaum, Jesus challenged their motives for seeking Him. Were they focused on the physical or the spiritual? Were they more interested in the temporal or the eternal? In presenting Himself as the “Bread of Life,” He offers to meet the deepest need of humanity. Ironically, many of Jesus’ would be disciples struggled with His offer, some even to the point of permanently abandoning Christ.
The question for all of us is why we find it so difficult to respond to Christ’s offer of eternal life. I am not speaking of some mere external profession which is void of authenticity and duration. Doe not Jesus’ offer presuppose our need? Does not Jesus accurately describe the human condition? Does not responding to Jesus require trust in and obedience to Him? Does not Jesus offend your sense of self sufficiency? Do you value your pride more than your soul? When Jesus asked the 12 if they wanted to go away, Peter responded “Lord, to whom shall we go, you have the words of eternal life.” Do you believe Jesus is the “Bread for the Starving?”