WEEKLY SUNDAY SCHOOL LESSON
An international Sunday school lesson commentary
For Sunday May 6, 2012
THE BREAD OF LIFE
(Our need for GOD goes beyond the physical)
Throughout the course of human events men and women make many choices by way of the “freedom of choice” grace gift, which GOD grants to each of us personally. Hopefully, we are wise enough to make one of our choices, the choice of freedom, which we can only find in our LORD and SAVIOR, JESUS CHRIST.
The Gospel of John is the Gospel of “the seven great “I AM” statements” of Scripture, that were uttered to various people long ago by CHRIST JESUS, during HIS three-year mission here on earth. It must not be forgotten, that, even though those statements were directed to a people who have long since passed away, they are also intended, by GOD to permeate the hearts, minds, and souls of each generation since. Through CHRIST, GOD makes it possible for every one born into this world to be offered the taste of Salvation.
In John chapter 6, taking up at verse 22, the morning following HIS miraculous “feeding of the five thousand”, and, HIS legendary “walk on water”, crowds of people, who had only heard about the miraculous feeding, begin gathering on shore waiting to see JESUS. They were aware that the disciples had left and went across the lake toward Capernaum without JESUS, but they were unaware that JESUS had later walked across the water to their boat. Several boatloads of them had sailed from Tiberias and landed at the site of the miraculous feeding. When they realized that JESUS was not there, they climbed back into their boats and sailed across the tiny Sea of Galilee to Capernaum to look for HIM there.
When they arrived at Capernaum and found HIM, they questioned HIM as to how HE got there. Ignoring their question, JESUS instead reveals to them that HE knows the true reason why they sought HIM. HE tells them that they sought HIM only because HE fed them the day before, and that it was not because of any miraculous signs. HE then warns them not to be concerned about perishable things like food, but instead, they should spend their energy seeking the eternal life that only HE can give them. For GOD had sent HIM to them, for that very purpose, and GOD, wants them to believe in the ONE that HE has sent.
“I AM the BREAD OF LIFE” is what JESUS said to this huge crowd of people, as HE taught in the temple at Capernaum in John 6:35. It is the first of the “Seven Great I AM Statements” that JESUS spoke, during HIS three-year ministry. And certainly no one, who has ever come to JESUS, will ever be hungry, or thirst again. JESUS, alone, is able to meet man’s need for eternal life.
In those days, bread was the basic food of the people, and even today, it is symbolic of all that sustains life, here on earth. In John 6:35-40, JESUS is affirming that HE HIMSELF is the most essential element, or ingredient needed to provide and sustain spiritual life. Physical bread must be eaten and digested before it can become a part of us physically, and in the spiritual sense, JESUS, must be taken in and digested spiritually, in order to become a part of us spiritually. We must, by faith, take HIM in completely, before HE can become a part of us, and sustain us, totally. JESUS lives by the power of the LIVING FATHER WHO sent HIM to us, and, in the same way, those who partake of the LIVING CHRIST will also live, because of HIM.
Since the creation of man, he has always sought and asked for signs from GOD so that he might believe. However, no matter how many signs and miracles GOD has delivered over the centuries, man still has never been able to maintain a trust and belief in HIM for very long.
GOD has never asked anything more from us than to have faith in HIM, and believe. Yet we continue to this day to ask GOD over and over again to “prove HIMSELF” with more and more supernatural acts, even though we have never been able to “prove ourselves” to HIM, through a “simple act” of belief in HIM. And despite HIS continued faithfulness to us by way of HIS daily provisions and mercy, the world’s sin continues to be, unbelief in CHRIST JESUS (John 16:9).
A Sunday school lesson by,
Larry D. Alexander