Mineral Wells Index, Mineral Wells, TX

Religion

November 2, 2012

His followers learn that Jesus’ teachings are the ‘Bread of Life’

By JUDY MYERS | Special to the Index

The Wednesday Bible Study Club met on Oct. 24 at the Black Horse Restaurant. Myrna Hendricks was the hostess and gave the lesson on the Gospel of John, Chapter 6.

Continuing on from the lesson at our last meeting, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (also known as the Sea of Tiberius) which came from the town of Tiberius. A large crowd followed Him because of the great miracles they had seen him perform. Jesus and the disciples were on a hillside when they saw this very large crowd coming. Jesus asked Phillip how to feed this crowd and Andrew said he knew of a boy with a lunch containing two fish and fives loaves of bread. We all know the story. The feeding of the 5,000 was one miracle recorded by all the Gospel writers; only Luke failed to mention the “walking on the water” miracle.    

After the crowd was filled and acknowledged the miracle they had observed, Jesus realized they were ready to take him and make him King, so He departed and went to a mountain alone. The disciples went down to the sea to wait for Jesus. When he didn’t arrive by dark they got into a boar and rowed toward Capernaum. As they traveled a great storm arose and they were frightened, but then they saw Jesus walking on the water, coming toward them. Jesus climbed into the boat, the storm was stilled and although they were three or four miles from shore, they immediately reached it.

The crowds followed Jesus to Capernaum. They knew Jesus was not in the disciples’ boat so they kept asking, “Teacher, how did you get here?” In verses 26 and 27, Jesus gave what we call the “Bread of Life” sermon. He was weeding out the true believers from those who followed him only to benefit from His miracles. This clearly communicated that Jesus as “The Bread of Life” was the true fulfillment of the Passover. Jesus implored the crowd to see that which would endure – the food that lasts for eternal life. When asked by the crowd what works they should do, Jesus answered, “the work of God is to believe in the one He has sent.”

Then the crowd asks for a miracle, the tell Jesus “When our people were in the wilderness, Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat”. Jesus replies, “Moses didn’t give the bread from heaven, My Father did.” The manna (bread) was only a preview of what Jesus could offer, the real bread from Heaven giving unfailing sustenance and satisfaction. Jesus’ “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE” statement is the first of seven “I AM” statements, all recorded in John.

At this the Jews grumble about His saying, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know him, so how can he say he came down from heaven?”

Jesus simply tells them, “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them from the dead.”

True followers of Christ have great assurance because Christ will not lose a single one the Father has given Him. These verses support the eternal security of the believer.

There is much debate concerning the meaning of eating Christ’s body and drinking His blood. This is a vivid metaphor describing the kind of relationship true believers must have with Christ.

Just as food is necessary to sustain physical life, so partaking of Christ, the bread of life is required for spiritual life. Not many who were following Jesus at that time were willing to identify themselves with Him. Many walked away saying, “This teaching is too hard,” So then Jesus addressed the 12 disciples and asked, “Do you want to leave too?”

Simon Peter answered saying, “Lord to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.” This is when Jesus said, “Have I not chosen you the twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” Of course, we know he meant Judas Iscariot.

When Jesus told us to eat His flesh and drink his blood, he was telling us to feed our hearts and souls and minds on His humanity and to revitalize our lives with His life until we are filled with the life of God.

Following the lesson and discussion, the business meeting was called to order. The next meeting is Nov. 14 at the Holiday Inn Express hospitality room. Janet Holland will be hostess. The meeting adjourned with the club prayer.

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