I Am the Bread of Life

 

2 Samuel 11:26-12:13a

Psalm 51:1-13

Ephesians 4:1-16

John 6:24-35

 

In my comments HERE about David’s sin with Bathsheba, I pointed out that his sins deserved the death penalty. But God forgave the sin. Think about what that means for us. David repented and received the Bread of Life a thousand years before Jesus walked the earth.

What is the Bread of Life?

It is manna from Heaven. It is the power of God to defeat death. It is nothing less than God’s essence.

Most Christians do not knowingly sin most of the time. We tend to sin while we are doing our “good works.” We do those works even when we don’t want to. We do them when there is some fun attached. When a church forms a workgroup to repair storm damage, we want to know who else is going and what else we might get to do. Is there a splash mountain nearby? Is Sally going?

We fail to consider what our good works do to the recipients. If I give a dollar to a beggar on the street, does that encourage him to beg instead of looking for work? If I don’t give him a dollar, will he go hungry? The truth is, I cannot know. I may be sinning either way. Only God knows the beggar’s condition.

God also knows my thinking as I see the beggar. “Why doesn’t the bum get a job?” Or, “I think Jesus would give him a dollar, so I’d better do it.” Neither is the Jesus way.

Jesus was so open to God that he knew what a person needed at first sight. To follow in his way is to seek to understand the person in need. That takes time, unlike for Jesus.

I am the bread which is life! CJB Jesus used this image several times, most notably in John 4:13-14. Jesus said to her, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again. But whoever drinks the water I will give him will never be thirsty again. For my gift will become a spring in the man himself, welling up into eternal life.” Phillips

Jesus had one mission as a human; to give us the lives we could never have on our own. There is nothing I can do to avoid death. Think about it: we all stink of death. That is why the perfume industry rakes in $39 billion every year. Our bodies struggle to remain alive, and the fight begins in the womb and ends at the grave.

Jesus’ body was no exception. Like his mother, he was dying—and did die. But from his Father, he had eternal life. That is what he wants us to have. That is what he promised. I am the bread; I am the water.

So, what do I give the beggar? I’m not likely to do what Peter and John did in Acts 3:1-6 when a beggar who could not walk asked them for something. If you are expecting silver or gold,” Peter said to him, “I have neither, but what I have I will certainly give you. In the name of Jesus Christ of Nazareth, walk! Phillips

The account in Acts does suggest what I can do. My wife and I are retired public school teachers, yet our retirement income places us in the top 2% of the world’s population. Unlike Peter, we have money—not Bill Gates money, but enough to buy more than a thousand mosquito nets or feed a dozen starving children every year. Like Peter, I would give them what they need, and like Jesus, I would give them a better chance to believe in the one hope for eternal life.

Believe in Jesus.

 

Be righteous and do good.

Mike Lawrence

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