What I Want Verses What I Need From Jesus
1. I NEED JESUS, FOOD FOR MY SOUL
I love the Snickers commercials about hunger making you do strange things, “Snickers satisfies your hunger.” Our souls are hungry too, and we do STRANGE things when we are hungry. Jesus is the food that satisfies the hunger in our souls.
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry again. Those who believe in me will never thirst.” John 6:35
41 Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread from heaven.” John 6:41
2. I NEED JESUS, LIFE FOR MY SOUL
53 So Jesus said again, “I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you.
54 But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day. John 6:53-54
Jesus is alluding to the communion act that he will institute later: his body and blood that will be sacrificed on the cross. The cross is a picture of judgment and death. Jesus takes the punishment and death that we deserved. His body and blood bring life to our souls
3. I NEED JESUS, THE RELATIONSHIP I AM LOOKING FOR
56 All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them. John 6:56-57
All through chapter 6 you see the people arguing, complaining, grumbling, and then leaving.
When you think about it, the people who walked out on Jesus wanted what he could give to them in the same way a customer might demand service for pay. They wanted to do business with Jesus the soup kitchen, Jesus the cult leader, Jesus the miracle-worker. Jesus, the Bread of Life didn’t resonate with them. It didn’t play well. So they walked away. Many walk away today as well.
It turns out that even some of His closest disciples wanted Jesus only for what they could get out of Him. They had no real interest in a relationship with God. Verse 66 gives this sad indictment: “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.”
That led to what I think is one of the most poignant moments in the Bible. Jesus, who was totally God, was also totally human. He felt what any of us would feel. He experienced the pain of rejection … especially the rejection of those he had considered close friends. Jesus turned to his apostles with a question that must have been hard to ask: “Are you also going to leave?”(verse 67) Jesus asked the Twelve.
Thankfully, good old Peter came through for Jesus. He spoke for the group: Simon Peter answered him, “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.” John 6:67-69
Peter understood what the crowds had missed. The Apostles weren’t there for fish sandwiches, or to start a Jewish revolt against Rome, or to find a new list of rules to keep, or to get in on a Jesus pep rally, or to hold a big miracle crusade. They were there because they believed and knew that Jesus was the Holy One of God — the Messiah — the Bread of Life. All they needed was what they already had — Jesus himself.
Is He all you need? Is he YOUR Bread of Life? If you had been there the day Jesus called himself the Bread of Life would you have walked away, or would you have echoed Peter’s words, “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.”
When Jesus fed the 5,000, the crowd remembered the days when God sent manna from Heaven to feed the Israelites in the wilderness. Maybe they hoped Jesus was the new Moses for their day. They must have seen all kinds of potential for a leader who could bring bread from Heaven. Such a leader could lead an army that would never have to worry about supply-lines. Such a leader could keep any population under his control. Such a leader could rule the world!
But Jesus did not come to feed the world with bread that would give physical life. He came to give Himself as the Bread of eternal life. In his explanation to the fickle crowd, Jesus pointed to the Communion Service that he would institute just before his death.
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink.
“Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me.
“This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” John 6:53-58
Remember these words whenever you take Communion. When we take the bread, we are partaking of Jesus Christ. We are saying, “Yes, I believe you are the Bread of Life.” Jesus Himself is the nourishment that gives us eternal life.
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