The Lord Feeds His Followers with Bread and Belief
Topic: Follow Him - A Lenten Invitation Passage: John 6:1–6:15, Ephesians 2:1–2:10
A Recap from Sunday’s Sermon
Preaching Text: John 6:1-15
God desires his followers to rely on him daily. Thus, the Lord’s Prayer asks for “daily bread.” Daily bread is what’s necessary for the preservation of this bodily life. The word “bread” occurs in the ESV 331 times. In sharing a meal together, i.e. breaking bread, we are also sharing relationship with those at the table. In John 6, we see Jesus revealing a sign that he is able to provide for his followers. His provision is meant to call forth faith in him.
Jesus feeds his followers with bread and belief.
During Lent, we are considering what is involved in following Jesus. In John 6, we see his gracious provision and concern for the needs of the crowd, but we also see the challenge he presents to faith. Philip was tested to reveal what he ought to have learned from an earlier sign, Jesus turning water into wine. Now Jesus will provide barley loaves and fish, but Philip doesn’t seem to think of Jesus as the one who will make bread.
The chapter hints that Jesus is being revealed as the Prophet Moses wrote about in Deuteronomy 18. In receiving the miraculous bread in a remote place, the crowd is reminded of God providing manna in Exodus 16. They seem only interested in signs and food, but Jesus wants them to move into belief. “Do not work for the food that perishes…This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (John 6:26,29). Literal bread is good and blesses us, but it cannot ultimately satisfy. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger” (v. 35).
Taking It Home: Make a point of giving God thanks for every material provision in your life. See these provisions as invitations to a prayerful relationship with God.