Series B Pentecost 13-Rally Day
Food for the Body & Soul"
September 10, 2000
John 6:51-58

Introduction: You've heard of the sage words of advice? Before you reach the age of forty you live to eat. But after you reach that magical number you eat to live. Eat to live or live to eat? Which is it? Looking at today's Gospel lesson we do both! With eagerness we receive all that God gives. Through His working in us we have real life in Jesus Christ.

I. People often undervalue God's good gifts.

A. The gifts seem too simple - The people said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, "I have come down from heaven?" and then later on in our text the Jews argue among themselves saying "How can this man give us His flesh (to eat)?" They simply could not believe that the gifts of God could come in the form of a man - in the form of this man Jesus Christ. (Vv. 42, 52)

B. The gifts are thought to be worthless. The bread in the desert did not last forever. As Jesus explains "your fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they are dead" (vv.49, 58)

1. That manna could not last. It wore out over time. People today value too highly their own good works thinking that somehow God will reward them for their effort. For there is something, they will tells you that man has to do.

2. Believing seems too simple to have any value. And yet we recall with the words to the explanation to the third article "I believe that I can not by my own reason or strength believe in Jesus Christ my Lord or come to Him. It is the Holy Spirit which has called me by the Gospel..."

II. Christ offers the life and death gifts to God's people

A. God calls us by His Spirit. "No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and will raise him up at the last day". (v.44)

B. He sustains us through this life "I am the living bread from heaven If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world "(v.51)

1. The Scriptures reveal the Gospel

2. The Sacraments bring the forgiveness of sins.

C. Christ gave His flesh and blood for the sins of the world. ".. and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world"

Conclusion: God's mercy has provided a way that we will always know where the next meal is coming from. Believing, we trust and find contentment in His merciful and feeding hands.

+ Soli Deo Gloria+