Bread of Life

After the feeding of the five thousand (John 6), the crowds were going to try to make Jesus their king (v. 15). Jesus withdrew to a mountain and the disciples headed toward Capernaum. Jesus went to the boat later that night walking on the water (v. 19). Once in Capernaum, the crowd that followed was there at the feeding of the five thousand; they were seeking Jesus for more physical food. Jesus tells them that they should be seeking the spiritual food that comes down from God and gives eternal life. The crowd also wanted to know what kind of work they were supposes to do to get eternal life. “Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’ (v. 29)” The only work they had to do was believe.

The crowds begin to boast how their fathers ate the manna the Moses provided. Jesus corrects them by reminding them that His Father was the one who provided the manna (v. 32). The true bread is the bread that comes down from heaven. Jesus now makes his first “I am” statement in John 6:35. He calls himself the “bread of life” who came down from heaven to do the Father’s will. Jesus said in verse forty, “For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” The Jews grumbled about this statement because Jesus was claiming to come down from heaven. Also, Jesus was clearly claiming to have a unique relationship with God and claiming to have attributes of God by raising people up on the last day (v. 40).

The only access to God is through believing in Jesus and by doing this you will receive eternal life. Christ is the spiritual food that nourishes the soul like regular food is for the physical body. Jesus is the only bread that can satisfy your soul. Whenever you try to satisfy your soul with anything except Christ, it will leave you feeling empty and unsatisfied.

Hidden Treasure

NAU Matthew 13:44 “The kingdom of heaven is like a treasure hidden in the field, which a man found and hid again; and from joy over it he goes and sells all that he has and buys that field.

During this time, it was not unusual for people to bury their valuables in the ground. Probably the previous owner placed it there and died without anyone knowing about it. The current owner was oblivious to the treasure he had. One day a man must have cut through this field and “stumbled” upon it. He realized the true value of this treasure. With joy, he sold everything that he had so he could buy this field.This is a beautiful picture of God’s kingdom. To follow Christ is worth giving up everything, but in reality you lose nothing of true value, but gain things that you would not be able to otherwise (treasure in heaven, relationship with the creator of the universe, joy..).
Mark 1:16-20 As Jesus was going along by the Sea of Galilee, He saw Simon and Andrew, the brother of Simon, casting a net in the sea; for they were fishermen. And Jesus said to them, “Follow Me, and I will make you become fishers of men.” Immediately they left their nets and followed Him. Going on a little farther, He saw James the son of Zebedee, and John his brother, who were also in the boat mending the nets. Immediately He called them; and they left their father Zebedee in the boat with the hired servants, and went away to follow Him.
Like the rapper Lacrae says, “Jesus used some fisherman that people thought were hazardous.” Jesus used these rough characters to be a powerful witness for Christ, because they were willing to leave everything and follow Jesus completely. They understood that this life is temporal, eternity is forever.
Mark 10:29-30 Jesus said, “Truly I say to you, there is no one who has left house or brothers or sisters or mother or father or children or farms, for My sake and for the gospel’s sake, but that he will receive a hundred times as much now in the present age, houses and brothers and sisters and mothers and children and farms, along with persecutions; and in the age to come, eternal life.

Just as I think I can’t go on

Something that I offered for the teens that I work with is an opportunity to publish on my blog their poems, stories, or how God is working in their lives. I’m not sure if I’ll get that big of a response, but my oldest daughter took me up on that offer. This poem is a beautiful picture of God the Father.

Just as I think I can’t go on
By Brittany

Just as I think I can’t go on,
I remember the one who is strong.
He picks me up when I am weary,
And give me new strength, to think more clearly.
When the troubles come, I will not falter,
For I know that I am His daughter.

Harsh Words

Jesus would always seem harsh against the ones that did not want the things of God. The religious rulers took the biggest hit on this. They would show outward holiness by keeping the law, while on the inside of them there was nothing that even desired the things of God.

Jesus would also seem harsh against Israel at times. He would call them an adulterous generation. Adulterous, because they had the Messiah right in front of them, but they did not accept him. They continually sought after other gods, ignoring the one true God who came in the flesh.

The unbelieving crowd was another group that Jesus seemed harsh against. The disciples fell into this group quite a bit of the time. The disciples were with Jesus 24/7, but they would constantly forget what he could do or has done. There were many miracles done just so the disciple could see first hand that Jesus was who he said he was. The feeding of the five thousand was one of these events. Each disciple got a basket of breadcrumbs to carry afterwards for a reminder.

Some might think that it is harsh to mention that there is an actual hell. Hell is a real place. This place is an eternal separation from God. It is a terrible place, because the one that goes there will be in their physical body that can feel pain and worse than that, they will remember the opportunities that they had to be saved from it. No one spoke more about hell than Jesus did. He would mention how there will be weeping and gnashing of teeth in darkness. He spoke the most about it, but also he did the most to keep people from going there, by dying on the cross and being resurrected from the grave. He beat sin and death and now provides eternal life to those who believe. Because of what Jesus has done on the cross, eternal spiritual separation from God (i.e. Hell) can now be avoided.

Be Like A Child

In Mark chapter ten, parents were bringing their children to Jesus for a blessing. The disciples were rebuking the parents because they probably thought that the children would have been a distraction for them to do “real ministry”. Jesus was very displeased with the disciples’ response to the children. He said to them, “Permit the children to come to Me: do not hinder them: for the kingdom of God belongs to such as these” (v. 14 nasb). This was a contrast to a culture that usually looked down on children. Right before Jesus blesses the children, he tells His disciples, “Whoever does not receive the kingdom of God like a child will not enter it at all” (v.15 nasb).
Immediately after this incident a rich man runs up to Jesus asking what he can do to inherit eternal life. The rich man came with the preconceived idea that he was a model citizen and this assured him eternal life. Yes, he had kept most of the Law (outwardly) since his youth. Jesus loved him and said, there is one thing that you are lacking, “Sell all of your possessions and follow me.” The rich man than realizes all of his shortcomings. His true God is his possessions. The rich man leaves without the eternal life that he so searched for. Jesus than speaks about riches. It is very hard for a rich man to enter into heaven. The disciples are amazed and figured there was no chance that any of them could have eternal life. Jesus reminds them of the incident with the children. He calls them “children”. With your own works it is impossible to obtain eternal life.
Man is powerless, helpless, and without ability, when it comes to saving himself. God alone has the ability and power to give the person eternal life. An individual must come to God like a child to receive the kingdom of God. He must realize that it is God who gives the free gift of eternal life. Those who try to obtain eternal life by man’s “good works” will never ever ever enter into the kingdom of God. It is Christ alone that saves.