6 30-40 Bread You Have To Believe To See
liberty bible church 6/1/08 a.M.
By Tom Zobrist
“bread you have to believe to see”
Illus. of the shortcake that Cindi made. It made me want to marry her again! That must have been what manna was like. I know you think I am exaggerating, but you really do have to see it to believe it. We’re going to have it at our men’s steak cook out on the 14th. We frequently say that “I have to see it to believe it” when it comes to unbelievable things. Today, we are talking about a bread that has to be believed before it can be seen. When it is believed, our hunger is satisfied forever. What is this bread?
OPEN to the passage.
Prop. In this passage, we see that belief is the key to eternal life and the satisfaction that we all yearn for.
Open in PRAYER.
PREVIEW the passage. Jesus has begun a long discourse in relation to who He is. In the process, He uses bread as a metaphor for satisfying spiritual hunger and acquiring eternal life. This is very difficult for the people to understand at this point. Many want to see more before they make a commitment to Him. So, they say…
i. show me and i’ll believe 30-34
Illus. of it’s the old I’m from Missouri thing; the Show Me State. People of Missouri I guess have the reputation of not being gullible. What is Jesus asking these people to believe that is so hard for them? Cf. v 22-29 to get the context. Jesus is asking them to believe in Him for eternal life. To seek after spiritual food rather than physical food. What is there response?
a. They need more proof
V 30 1. Going back to Moses when He asked God for what proof he had for the people and God gave him a staff that turned into serpents and he was able to make his hand leprous and he was able to turn water into blood, God has given the nation signs as proof that He was working. Demanding signs had become their reputation. Cf. 1 Cor. 1:22
2. For the Jews, their order was to see and the believe, but with Jesus, it was to be different. If you believe, you will then see. Cf. John 11:40
V 31 3. They call into remembrance the miraculous feeding of the Jews in the wilderness with manna and they use Scripture to defend their point. If Jesus was a prophet greater than Moses or even on par with Moses, then He needed to do more than feed 15-20,000 people. Moses fed the entire nation for 40 years! So, they wanted Jesus to do more.
b. Be careful that you don’t miss what God is doing
V 32a 1. Here’s that phrase again. Jesus is going to correct some misconceptions that they had about what Moses had done in the wilderness.
V 32b a. The Father had given the manna in the wilderness, not Moses and many of the benefactors of this miracle were not even believers. What was important was not the size of the miracle but how the people perceived its significance. If they missed the truth it represented, they were losers, as the people in the wilderness were.
V 32c b. The bread the Father is currently giving from Heaven is different than the bread Moses gave. Moses’ was temporal and even rotted after a day. God’s bread from Heaven is different. It is the true bread from Heaven. What is that?
V 33 2. The true bread from Heaven is Jesus. Manna was good for the body and worked, just as the loaves and fish worked. Jesus, however, provides sustenance for our whole being, not just the body. Jesus gives real and lasting life for all eternity. Our sin separates us from our source of life, God. It is Jesus that reconciles us to God through His sacrifice so He is the Bread of Life! He is the Bread of God. He offers life to the world.
V 34 3. They start to see the difference now and ask for this bread. Who doesn’t want to live forever and have every need fulfilled? But, there was still more that they had to understand.
Trans. SHOW ME AND I’LL BELIEVE was where they started. Now, Jesus brings them to where they can have this Bread of Life. He tells them they must…
ii. believe and you will see vs. 35-40
Illus. of the carnival callers saying “Seeing is believing!” whether it is the two-headed calf or the bearded lady. They’ve been luring people into their tents for decades. I believe it was PT Barnum who said that “There’s one born everyday.” Referring to the easily deceived people that walk our planet. Here Jesus makes the point that with eternal life it’s just the opposite. If you believe, you will see.
a. some see and don’t believe
V 35a 1. Jesus makes it clear here who He is and what the Bread of Life is. The Bread of Life is a Person, not a substance.
V 35b 2. Once a person enters into a relationship with Jesus, they are immediately satisfied. Illus. of when the people ate manna, they were hungry again the next day. Once someone experiences Jesus, they are spiritually satisfied for all eternity. Jesus is the source of eternal life.
3. Bread of Life is the bread which provides this eternal life. Illus. of some people hardly eat any bread. In Jesus’ world, bread was their staple. Everyone needed it and everyone ate it. Jesus was offering them eternal life through him and illustrating it with bread.
V 36 4. Some had been following Him, had seen His signs, and yet did not believe in Him. Seeing does not always lead to believing. Cf. v 30 Why don’t they believe?
b. True believers are secure
V 37a 1. We mentioned last week that there is none that is able to seek after God unless God draws them. Here is the confirmation of that. There is a divine election that is the Father’s gift to the Son. Those that refuse to believe are not elected by the Father to respond to the call. Once again, we don’t have to understand the relationship of election and free will, we have to trust it as the Son does here.
V 37b 2. Jesus’ response to this is that His sacrifice is sufficient for all, efficient for those that come to Him. All that do come and believe, He will not cast out. They are received unconditionally.
V 38 3. Jesus repeats here what He has said before. He came from Heaven, not to do His will, but rather the will of the Father. He then reveals that will.
V 39 4. This is a great statement on the security of the true believer in Jesus. It is the Father’s will that Jesus not lose one soul that the Father sends to Him. Each one of these will be raised to eternal life. When Jesus returns, our bodies will be resurrected from the graves and reunited with our souls to live eternally with Christ. Cf. 1 Thess. 4:17 In case we missed it, verse 40 reaffirms this thought.
V 40 5. If we recognize who Christ is and believe in Him, our destiny is secure. This is by divine decree. Cf. Rom. 8:28-30 If you are born again, you are called of God and guaranteed to be raised from the dead to live eternally with Him.
SHOW ME AND I’LL BELIEVE or BELIEVE AND YOU WILL SEE. These are our two choices. How will we respond?
1. Most of us would say that we are believers. GOSPEL But…
2. Are we seeing confirmation that we are secure? I.e. Do we have a desire to know God’s Word and be obedient to Him? Do we see the fruit of the Spirit in our lives?
3. Can the world see Christ in our lives?
Illus. of Archie not being evidence of God.
True believers are what can be seen of Jesus today. There are no more feedings of the 5,000. Now, we must believe without seeing and then we will see Jesus all around us. Illus. of Thomas saw and then believed. Jesus said, “Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.” To have the Bread of Heaven, you must first believe and then you will see. Someday, we will see Jesus in all His glory and we will live and reign with Him forever.
“bread you have to believe to see”
We frequently say that “I have to see it to believe it” when it comes to something unbelievable. In this passage, we see that belief is…
i. and i’ll believe 30-34
a. They need more __________________________
Cf. 1 Cor. 1:22; John 11:40
b. Be careful that you don’t miss…
ii. and you will see vs. 35-40
a. some see and don’t _________________________
b. True believers are ______________________
Cf. 1 Thess. 4:17; Rom. 8:28-30
How will we respond?