The collection of illustrations below is all about Jesus, the Bread of Life.
God is the Jehovah Jireh, the great provider. But there is nothing more than he can give than what He already gave, the Bread of Life, our Lord and Saviour Jesus Christ.
During the time that we are in need, help comes from heaven above and is not from our own. Furthermore, many Christians strive hard to become good Christians. But they find it so difficult to stay “on track” because they haven’t really found the real “bread of life” who sustains our spiritual life where we will not grow weary and exhausted.
May the illustrations below be a good examples in your sermons about God as the real “Bread of Life”
Our Help Comes from Above
Looking out at my backyard during the fall, I noticed the leaves falling while the tree branches remained stretching heavenward–not only did they remain that way after the leaves were gone, but when the snows came and the often brutal winds of Chicago seemed to bend them into submission. But in the spring the trees seemed to speak to me saying, “Notice that we kept our branches lifted towards where our help comes from.” To me it seemed that they praised God with or without leaves, as if they knew that keeping their branches up was a means of patient waiting faith, and it was in the spring when the buds appeared on their branches that those trees seemed to say to me, “We told you. We told you that our help comes from above.”
So not only does this text tell us that God provides through Jesus not what we want but what we need and that God’s promise can sustain us through all times, but, finally, the text tells us God’s presence through Jesus allows us room to grow in grace.
Ozzie E. Smith, Jr., What Do You Want?
Can He Top Jesus?
The relatively brief lection before us here shows a typical interaction between Jesus and the always clueless crowds that followed him around. It’s clear here — as in so many parts of the gospels — that Jesus and the crowds are quite simply talking past each other. But perhaps there are deeper issues at work here.
After all, Jesus had just performed a wonderful sign by feeding 5,000 people from a paltry amount of food. Earlier we read what a great impression this made on the crowds — in fact, Jesus felt it necessary to slip away unobtrusively lest he get whisked away in some political, king-making frenzy. But now suddenly it seems that even that was not quite enough. The crowds want to see more. This hankering for more blinds them to what already is present to them at that very moment. Miraculous though the multiplication of the loaves and fishes was, it was still just ordinary bread. The manna in the desert — the bread that had come straight FROM HEAVEN — was perhaps even more impressive. Can Jesus pull off something like THAT? Can he top Moses?
Well, of course, Jesus’ ultimate point in this chapter is that just by being there, just by standing in their presence, he already was topping Moses or anything else that had ever appeared on the earth. They were looking straight at the bread of life, that bread that had come down from heaven to be made in human form. But they missed it. They couldn’t see it. And maybe part of the explanation for this is because they were still looking to the past, still thinking more about what Moses did once upon a time than the new thing God was doing before their very eyes.
Scott Hoezee, Comments and Observations on John 6:24-35
In a broadcast address in London, T. S. Eliot talked about “spiritual awareness.” He observed that many persons aspire to become Christians and believe, presumably, in the efficacy of the Christian faith, but never reach the stage of actually experiencing it. Aspiring towards real belief, i.e., becoming truly Christian, is one thing, whereas complete awareness of it is another. Aspiring can easily become an end in itself. And, as Charles H. Duthie of Edinburgh remarked: “It is a matter of living forever in the preface and never becoming involved in the story.”
This condition of spiritual awareness is clearly defined by Jesus in the words of our text. It is a state of soul devoutly and eagerly to be aspired to, in contrast to what Lord Cecil of Britain once referred to as “believing in God in a commonplace sort of way.” And, it becomes the gift and possession of any persons who are utterly dissatisfied with themselves, and who decide to fulfill those important requisites that make them completely satisfied in Christ.
Donald MacLeod, Know The Way, Keep The Truth, Win The Life, CSS Publishing Co.
A Messy Kitchen
Recently, I received an e-mail about real signs found in the real kitchens of real people.
“A messy kitchen is a happy kitchen and this kitchen is delirious.”
“A clean house is a sign of a misspent life.”
“If we are what we eat, then I’m easy, fast, and cheap.”
“Thou shalt not weigh more than thy refrigerator.”
“My next house will have no kitchen, just vending machines.”
“A balanced diet is a cookie in each hand.”
These sayings point to some of our society’s attitudes about food: ‘only junk food is enjoyable’, ‘food is meant to satisfy us’, ‘if I had to cook it, it doesn’t taste good’, and ‘as long as it’s not good for me, I should eat as much as I want’. We stuff ourselves, trying to fill the hole inside of us with food, as if we could eat something that would satisfy us. But we could stuff ourselves at every meal and still be hungry for something deeper!
“There is a God-shaped vacuum in the heart of every person, and it can never be filled by any created thing. It can only be filled by God, made known through Jesus Christ.”