Pentecost 11 (Proper 14),
August 8, 2021
Text: John 6:35–51
Theme: Take Jesus at His Word
Other Lessons: Psalm 34:1–8; 1 Kings 19:1–8; Ephesians 4:17–5:2
1. In the Name of the Father…Amen.
1. The Gospel lesson serves as our sermon text for this morning.
1. Dear brothers and sisters in Christ, let us pray:
We bless you, O God, as You give seed and harvest. You are the Provider
of our daily bread. And we bless each other that the beauty of Your world
and Your Word that created it might be expressed though our lives and be a
blessing to others now and always. Amen.
1. Grace, mercy, and peace be yours from God the Father through our Lord
and Savior Jesus Christ. Amen.
1. Jesus Christ is the “Door” not the door knob.
1. Jesus Christ is the “Bread of Life” not the bread basket.
2. Jesus Christ is the “Light of the world” not the light switch.
3. Jesus Christ is the “Way” not the signpost.
4. Jesus Christ is the “Truth” not just the messenger.
5. Jesus Christ is the “Good Shepherd” not the hireling.
6. Jesus Christ is the “Resurrection and the Life” not the
8. When Jesus Gives Us the Bread of Life, He Gives Us Himself.
1. What is the common theme in all those sentences?
1. We are to take Jesus at His Word.
1. The life Jesus’ bread gives is so much better than just more life.
1. “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me
shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst’ ” (verse
1. Jesus, and Jesus alone, is the source of true and genuine life:
1. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone
eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread
that I will give
for the life of the world is my flesh” (verse 51).
1. This is “cross” talk.
1. Jesus gave nothing less than his life, on a cross, for
the life of the world.
2. And this is “faith” talk.
1. To “eat the bread of life” is an act of faith.
2. It’s believing in Jesus.
1. “This is the will of my Father,” says Jesus, “that everyone
who looks on the Son and believes in him should have
eternal life, and I
will raise him up on the last day” (verse 40).
3. When Jesus was about to raise Lazarus from the dead, he told
his sisters, Martha and Mary:
1. “I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in
me, though he die, yet shall he live, and everyone who
lives and believes
in me shall never die” (John 11:25–26).
1. I think most of us would agree that homemade bread is so much better
than store-bought bread
1. Life with “the bread of life” is so much better than life
2. It’s not just a matter of quantity.
3. It’s not just that it’s eternal.
4. It’s also a matter of quality.
5. It’s not just more of the “same old, same old” that we may be
experiencing or going through now.
6. It’s not just more of what’s corrupted by sin.
7. It’s not just more of what’s broken and heartbreaking.
8. It’s not just more death and what’s threatened by death.
9. This is something new.
10. It’s different.
11. Jesus has put himself into it.
12. He loves us!
13. God His heavenly Father loves us!
14. God forgives us!
15. God’s got us!
1. Life with Jesus is far more than life that is here today and gone
1. Life with Jesus is far more than what we can touch and taste.
2. Far more than what we have.
3. Far more than what makes us feel good or bad.
4. Far more than the working out of our hopes and dreams—or not.
5. The people in our text to whom Jesus was speaking still had the
taste of the barley loaves and fish in their mouths, the
barley loaves and
fish with which Jesus had miraculously fed them.
6. They were remembering the manna with which God fed their
ancestors in the wilderness.
7. What they were not remembering was that their ancestors ate the
manna and died.
8. Life is far more than bread and butter.
9. Life is more than our experiences in this world.
1. God does provide for our physical and material needs.
1. Jesus taught us to pray,
1. “Give us this day our daily bread.”
2. And Martin Luther reminds us in his explanation of the Lord’s
Prayer that “daily bread” is everything we need for this life.
3. But Jesus came to give us so much more.
4. He came as the source of eternal life, that we have life with
God that is forgiven and forever.
5. Jesus fed the crowd with bread as God fed his people Israel in
the wilderness with manna.
6. Jesus did this as a sign, to make a point; the same point God
made for his Old Testament people in the wilderness:
1. “He humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna,
which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that he
might make you
know that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by
every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy
1. The life Jesus as the bread of life gives is life in Jesus himself,
closeness to and intimacy with God.
1. Jesus is that Word.
1. He is:
1. “the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51).
2. Today’s Psalm invites us to:
1. “taste and see that the Lord is good!” (Psalm 34:8).
3. In Jesus, we are able to know and experience God.
4. Fullness of life.
5. Closeness to and intimacy with God that is otherwise
6. Our brokenness, sin, guilt, and shame corrupt our relationship
7. Death breaks it forever.
8. Jesus went to a cross for us.
9. He suffered and died for us.
10. He rose from the dead.
11. He lives.
12. He forgives.
13. He restores our relationship with God.
14. Now and forever.
1. “This is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of
all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day” (verse 39).
1. “That I should lose nothing!”
2. In speaking of himself as the Good Shepherd, Jesus said:
1. “My sheep hear my voice, and I know them, and they follow
me. I give them eternal life, and they will never perish,
and no one will
snatch them out of my hand” (John 10:27–28).
3. We can’t be any more secure than that.
4. And yet:
1. “the Jews grumbled about” Jesus (John 6:41).
1. Their “grumbling” recalls the constant, stiff-necked, faithless
“grumbling” of the people of Israel against God in the wilderness.
2. And it recalls the attitude of Jesus’ hometown people in the
synagogue at Nazareth when they rejected him.
3. Do we grumble?
5. Grumbling is essentially refusing to believe in Jesus:
1. wanting something different than what he gives or, worse yet
, wanting someone different than what he is—and, thereby
losing out on the
life he does give.
1. Taste and see that the Lord is good.
1. Jesus is the bread of life.
2. He feeds us in the Word.
3. When we are forgiven in His Words of Absolution, Jesus takes
away all that stands against us, all that stands between us
and God, all
that separates us from God.
4. Jesus feeds us in the Sacrament.
5. When we gather around his Table, we receive nothing less than
6. In the bread of his Supper, we receive nothing less than his
body broken for us.
7. In the wine, we receive nothing less than his blood shed for
us, for the forgiveness of sins.
1. Paul reminds us of this life in his Letter to the Ephesians: when he
1. “But God, being rich in mercy, because of the great love with
which he loved us, even when we were dead in our trespasses,
made us alive together
with Christ . . . and raised us up with him” (Ephesians 2:4–6,
1. Recalling our Baptism, he goes on to say:
1. “Put off your old self, which belongs to your former manner of
life and is corrupt through deceitful desires, and . . . be
renewed in the
spirit of your minds, and . . . put on the new self, created after
the likeness of God in true righteousness and holiness. . . . Be
imitators of God, as beloved children. And walk in love, as
Christ loved us
and gave himself up for us, a fragrant offering and sacrifice to
God” (Ephesians 4:22–24; 5:1–2, emphasis added).
1. Unlike the perishable manna God gave to Israel through Moses, Jesus
comes down from heaven as the true bread to give life to all who
1. Contrary to popular notions, no one “chooses” to believe in
Christ; the initiative belongs entirely to God through His
Word (verse 44;
cf 14: 6).
2. Those united by faith to Christ will be raised up on the Last
Day to enjoy eternal communion with the Father.
1. “A fragrant offering and sacrifice to God.”
1. Not unlike fragrant, homemade bread, prepared and baked in
love, served and shared in love, with a lot of the baker
herself put into
2. Jesus is the “bread of life.”
3. He feeds us, nourishes and sustains us in life eternal . . . by
giving himself for life that is in himself. Amen.
1. Let us pray:
– O Lord God, heavenly Father, draw us ever closer to You through
Your Word and Sacraments. Amen.
1. 2 Corinthians 13:14 The grace of the Lord Jesus Christ and the love
of God and the fellowship of the Holy Spirit be with you all.
1. The peace of God, which passes all understanding, keep your hearts
and minds in Christ Jesus. Amen.
1. In the Name of the Father…Amen.