Olsen Park Church of Christ

The Bread of Heaven

Introduction.  Let’s begin this morning by setting the stage for some words that Jesus makes about Himself in John 6…

      Jesus feeds the 5000 (John 6:1-14).

      They want to make Him king (John 6:15).

      He goes by Himself to the mountains, the disciples cross to the other side. He come later walking on the water (John 6:16-21).

      The people are amazed that He is somehow on the other side (John 6:22-25).

      He tells them about food that does not perish and He tells them about bread that will give them eternal life (John 6:26-29).

      They ask for a sign like the sign of manna.  (John 6:30-33).

      They want such bread. (John 6:34).

      He identifies Himself as the “bread of life.” (John 6:35).

      As they misunderstand what He is teaching He speaks further of Himself as the bread which comes down from heaven and the manna in the Old Testament (John 6:48-51).

This morning I would like for us to talk about this comparison and look at seven parallels.  We will see just how Jesus, like the manna given to the Israelites, is the “Bread of Heaven.”

I.  God gave the Israelites bread from heaven  (Exodus 16:1-4a).

      Jesus came down from heaven.  (cf.  John 6:33 - “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”  (John 3:13-17).

      Sing no. 117 Guide Me O Thou Great Jehovah, verse 1.

II.  This bread was a test of Israel’s faithfulness  (Exodus 16:4b-5; 16:22-30).

      Jesus’ life and teaching tests mankind  (John 6:52-57, 60; 1 Peter 2:4-6).  Why was Jesus rejected? Because men love darkness—men love following the imagination of their hearts.

III.  This bread saved their lives in the midst of the wilderness (Exodus 16:6-8; 16:35).

      Jesus saves us from the wilderness of sin. Note: “Wilderness of SIN” - Sin in Heb.  “thorn or clay” It is only coincidence that the English word “sins” sounds like this place. The English word comes from the Anglo-Saxon words synd meaning “guilty.” In English it has lost its final d. Even so, we are in a wilderness of sin in which we are starving spiritual without Christ (2 Peter 1:2-4).

      As a diabetic there is a unusual phenomenon that can occur.  If my sugar levels get high it doesn’t matter how much food I may have eaten, without the proper insulin in my body the energy that is provided by food that I eat can’t get into my cells and it literally starves my cells of energy.  In our world many people feel full, but they are starving spiritually.

IV.  The people called it manna meaning “what is it?”  (Exod. 16:13-15; 16:31).

      People did not understand Jesus (John 6:41-42).

      People still do not understand Jesus.

V.  They were to remember how the Lord saved them with manna  (Exodus 16:32-34).

      We are to remember the death of the Lord (Luke 22:14-20).

VI.  Those who ate manna died  (Exodus 16:35; Joshua 5:6).

      Those who “feed upon” Jesus will live forever (John 6:58).

VII.  The manna would not last forever  (Exodus 16:16-22).

      Jesus’ offer of salvation will not continue forever  (Matthew 25:1-13).

Kyle Pope 2010

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