Monday, March 2, 2015

Historically in the Gospel of John there are seven “I Am” statements from Jesus.  The reason for them being “I Am” statements is that they each begin with the words “I am”.  But what is of great importance is that each of these statements by Jesus expresses a profound biblical truth with a practical benefit for the life of a Christian.
The first of these “I Am” statements from Jesus is found in John 6:35 where He states, “I am the bread of life".
John 6:35 (HCSB)
35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.

But prior to this profound statement from Jesus, we have two miraculous events that hammer this truth of the first “I AM” statement made in John, which is again, “I am the bread of life”. 

John 6 begins with the account of Jesus feeding the 5,000, which bible scholars tell us would have been more acurate to 15,000-20,000 since the only ones counted would have been males and we know that there was at least one child (the boy with 5 loaves of bread and two fish). 

The Feeding of the 5,000—John 6:1-15

From there we shift to another miracle of Jesus and with that we turn attention to the Gospel of Matthew as it gives another perspective than the account in John. 

Walking on Water—Matthew 14:22-33

Now we shift back to John 6 as we come upon Jesus proclaiming the first of the “I AM” statements made by Jesus in the gospel of John. 

The Bread of Life—John 6:22-35

John 6:35 (HCSB)
35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.

Incredibly, in reading John 6:22-35, some were still asking for a miraculous sign to help them believe that Jesus was who He claimed to be. All of this on the heels of Jesus feeding 5,000 plus people on a hillside with nothing more than five loaves of bread and two small fish.  Then Jesus mysteriously and miraculously was found by the people who were looking for Him as He was with the disciples in Capurnaum, even though He didn't leave with them in the boat (but the disciples knew the real story: that He got there by coming to them as He walked on water and met them as they were in the heart of a squall that had come up on the water).

Sadly, these two events gives clear evidence that not only did the people on the Hillside not fully see Jesus for who He was, but neither did the disciples (ie. "oh, you of little faith").  Jesus came to give more than physical bread and stave off the "rumbly in my tumbly" and He came to save people from more than the perils of a turbulent boat ride.

Jesus wanted people to see Him as The Bread of Life, the "I AM" (the physical manifestation of God's love, grace and mercy. And because of who Jesus truly was and is He declared that anyone who would come by faith, and take hold of what He offered—would have that very thing and have it in its fullest measure—there would be no lack of or loss in what Jesus offered.   

And what He offered was more than a meal on the hillside or  safe passage on the Sea of Galilee.  What Jesus offered...was Himself; "I AM The Bread of Life."

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