Series Overview: Here, Jesus says his food (or bread—food/bread is the same word)—his bread is doing the work the Father sent him to do. In John 6, Jesus will call himself the food/bread from heaven that comes down, like Manna in the wilderness, to miraculously feed a pilgrim people on their way.
Jesus isn’t just waxing poetic; he wants you to reframe, restructure, reimagine your relationship with him so that the daily, desperate dependence wandering Israel had in on this miraculous food from heaven that tasted like honey and looked like coriander would become your daily, desperate dependence on Jesus as you wander in your own wilderness and slowly make your way Home.
Jesus very clearly knows the metaphors you live by will shape how you see God, how you see yourself, and how you see others. I think that’s why Jesus emphasizes the new kind of eyes the Kingdom requires: “Look; lift up your eyes; and see.” See with new eyes. Trade out your old paradigm for a new one. Pick up this metaphor and see your world through a new lens: “The fields are ripe for harvest.”
We sometimes get the idea that metaphors are for lovers and poets. And they are. But more than that, metaphors shape your understanding of your experience and tell you how you are expected to think, and feel, and act in any situation. Are you surrounded by unclean outsider enemies? One kind of response is appropriate. Are you standing in front of a field ripe for harvest? Are you a well of living water, and the people around you are dying of thirst? Then a different kind of response is required.
Pastor Jeff Meyer
Focus: When Jesus went through hunger, it became evident that his heart was pure. When we go through the same thing, our hearts are often revealed not to be pure! We get “hangry”—cranky and irritable and harsh with people. Or we discover that what’s really driving our eating isn’t physical hunger at all—we’re using food to feel good to avoid other kinds of pain. The problem with this approach is that we have to keep searching for more. We are never satisfied. In the middle of His temptation Jesus says, “Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every Word that comes from the mouth of God.” How does this search for more get satisfied with words that come from the mouth of God? How does the fear that we won’t have enough get quieted by the voice of God?
Main Text: Matthew 4:1-4
Pastor Matt Wipperman
Focus: A relationship is nothing without trust. Trust is earned daily. In many relationships where trust has been broken, there is a requirement of daily activity to earn back the trust. There is a surprising twist in today’s story, though. God so desperately wants a relationship with His people that He makes a daily commitment to once again prove His mettle! Wow! What an amazingly trustworthy God we follow.
Main Text: Exodus 16:1-21
Focus: Insignificance kills. To believe that your life lacks significance, or purpose draws life right out of you. Those that believe that their life’s purpose is only lived to give someone else purpose. Taxes, working hard only to have our efforts benefit someone else, make someone else successful. Grinding day after day for the man! Brutal existence.
Give me something I can believe in every day.
Could this be what the crowd was asking for in vs. 34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
Main Text: John 6:35-39