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Chasing the Bread

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Chasing the Bread

When you hear the phrase chasing the bread a number o things come to mind. That doughy goodness that I love so very much. In the 90’s the definition of bread began to shift a literal since to a figurative manner.
The term bread was directly tied with someone who earned money. From there it’s easy to see how bread, and subsequently dough, came into common usage. The term bread and honey was used instead of money. (wisebread)
According to the Urban Dictionary bread is:
the cash a person is carrying
Dollars bills not change
Paper, Notes, Buck and Quid
Other countries have their own form of currency
The Yen
Pound Sterling
All these things are considered valuable in our world. According to the O’Jay’s
“Some people got to have it Some people really need it For the love of money People will steal from their mother People will rob their own brother People can't even walk the street Because they never know who in the world they're gonna beat For that lean, mean, mean green Almighty dollar, money
For the love of money People will lie, Lord, they will cheat For the love of money People don't care who they hurt or beat For the love of money A woman will sell her precious body For a small piece of paper it carries a lot of weight Call it lean, mean, mean green”
As we all know that this bread, the mean green, the cheddar, and any term for money that doesn’t last.

24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.”

32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

35 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.

Background / Back Story
As we look at the text we see the Jesus ditched the crowd of people following the feeding of the five thousand. (two fish and 5 barley loaves of bread) Jesus knowing all things knew the heart of the people. They saw him as a great prophet but they intended to force Jesus to be their King. First Century Jews associated prophetic signs with kingly messiah, a messiah to liberate them from Rome. Jesus rejected the world’s version of kingship. Why would Jesus the king of kings and the Lord of Lords want to be a king here on earth.
How often are we looking for liberation from political and social oppression? Sometimes the signs are misunderstood. I think some people in our great country got their wires crossed when they entered the voting booth. They thought they were being liberated but instead they find the chains getting tighter and tighter.
In ditching the temptation of earthly kingship Jesus retreated to the mountains by himself. Scriptures says when evening came the disciples got in the boat and started across the sea to Capernaum. (Without Jesus) They were about 3 or 4 miles into this rough rocky trip when they say Jesus walking on the water. Although, they were terrified they called to Jesus and He replied in pure divine fashion “It is I or I AM” That divine identity alone is letting the reader know that something great is about to take place. Scripture says they were glad to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going. (For you sea sick cruiser wouldn’t it be nice to have Jesus on the boat with you. Travel time would be great and let not talk about smooth sailing.)
Today’s Text
So the crowd was on the Tiberias side of the Sea of Galilee. They were looking for Jesus. There had only been one boat to leave the area. The disciples were on the boat but Jesus was not with them on the boat. The crowd was searching from Jesus. They jumped on a boat at Tiberias and crossed to Capernaum, seeking Jesus (They were chasing the bread.)
Jesus goes on to scold the crowd in v. 26. Jesus criticized the people who followed him. See They were following him for the wrong reasons. They were Chasing Jesus because they were thirsty (as my student’s would say). Jesus said you seek me, not because you saw signs but because you ate and are new full. They were thirsty to have their physical and material needs met. They were looking to Jesus only for earthly benefits. (food, cloths, good health, health insurance, new car, nice crib or anything that may gain you prestige in the worlds eye) In hi scolding Jesus cuts right to the heart of the matter, the people were using their association with Jesus as a way to gain prestige, comfort or even political vote for themselves.
Didn't we just see something similar with President Donald J. Trump? He just called a large number of religious leaders from every denomination to meet with him about Prison reform. The problem with that is the religious leaders seem to be nothing more than media props, to gain support and deflect from some other diabolical plan he’s got up his sleeve. Time will only tell his true self-centered motives.
Jesus goes on to instruct the followers how to get their spiritual belly’s full on a bread that endures to eternal life. To have this bread you must first have a relationship with Him. The seekers, chasers didn’t really know Jesus. They knew his as a great prophet, a teacher of the law, but they didn’t know his as the I Am. The King of Kings, the Wheel in the Middle of the wheel, Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. They were chasing bread, that mean green and physical / material goods.
When we have it all wrong Jesus’ words shine light on the matter. Jesus says, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life,” There is a great spiritual implication presented to the reader. Before you can take in the food you must first be hungry. Not hungry for literal or symbolic bread, but we must be spiritually hungry. Hungry for a new life, hungry for liberty from the chains of sin, shame, disappointment and even death.
Jesus goes on to say, now that I have your attention instead of seeking the worlds way of liberation, let me offer you something else to consider seek the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God the Father has set his seal.
Jesus was telling them that eternal life is not something to be achieved but to be recieved by faith by Christ. Jesus the Son of God has the seal of approval from God the Father to offer eternal life to those that are thirsty. To those chasing the bread.
True believers follow Jesus simply because they know he has the true and only way to live.
Not only is spiritual hunger a part of the equation, the right questions has to be asked. Once they heard Jesus speak about eternal life they asked what must we do, to be doing the works of God? Jesus sets them straight; the work of God requires faith. This is not faith in the abstract, an existential trust without a coherent object. Rather they must believe in the one. The one who when He was baptised God said this is my Son in whom I’m well pleased. We must believe in the God that provided the bread for Moses to give to the children of Israel when they were in the wilderness. Jesus wanted them to know that He was on a divine mission from God to provide everlasting bread for them. See Jesus was, is and shall be - He was with God at creation, He is Jehovah Jirah our provider, Jehovah Neesie the one who raises in Victory and Jehovah Shiloh my Prince of Peace and at His Name every knee shall bow and a every tongue confess that He is Lord.
Jesus lets them know that I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall not thirst. If you living for the eternal, why are we chasing the worlds bread. Why are we seeking those things that will rust and decay. Things that will be obsolete in the next 6 months. says “seek ye first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all of these things shall be added unto you.”
Before we begin chasing after the bread that is of no eternal value, Jesus wan’t us to Chase after Him the bread of life. The bread that once you partake of you will never hunger again. Like He told the Woman at the well drink of me and you will never thirst again.
Chase the bread that was broken for you the remission of Sins on Calvary’s Cross, Chase the wine that was shed for the remission of your sins and mine. Chase the one who was buried in a borrowed tomb on a Good Friday that wasn’t so God, Oh but three days later, on a great Sunday Morning Jesus Got up with all power in his hands. Oh grave where is your victory, Grave where is your sting?
Jesus says those that chase after me I will never cast them out. What Bread are you chasing? Are your chasing the world’s bread? The Cream that the Wu Tang Clan sang about “Cash Rules Every Thing Around Me” - that causes us to lie, cheat, steal or even walk the street. Or are you chasing after the real Bread “Cream” The Christ Rules Everything Around Me” - Christ that wan’t us to love God with all our heart and with all our minds and then love our neighbor as ourselves. It’s not necessary for us to Chase after Jesus. He’s not running from us. No He’s standing at the door and knocking will you let him in. Stop chasing the wrong bread and start sharing the good news of the living bread with the world.
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