Soul Food: A Summer Worship Series for July 25—August 29
Bread is a basic staple food, filling and made of simple ingredients. In our society, bread is plentiful and readily available. In calling himself the Bread of Life, Jesus speaks to his identification with the needs of the everyday person. Following the Bread of Life discourse in John 6 and Jesus’ teaching in Mark 7, this series explores the idea of how our own lives are transformed from the invitation to partake of the life-giving realities in Jesus Christ.
The difficulty of Jesus’ teaching is less about the idea of consuming flesh and blood and more about how much this requires of us. Jesus is not advocating mere religiosity or ritual practice. He is calling for life-changing commitment. Our message, Hard to Swallow, will come from John 6:56-69.
John 6:56-69 (NRSV)
56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. 57Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59He said these things while he was teaching in the synagogue at Capernaum.
60When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?” 61But Jesus, being aware that his disciples were complaining about it, said to them, “Does this offend you? 62Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? 63It is the spirit that gives life; the flesh is useless. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 64But among you there are some who do not believe.” For Jesus knew from the first who were the ones that did not believe, and who was the one that would betray him. 65And he said, “For this reason I have told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted by the Father.” 66Because of this many of his disciples turned back and no longer went about with him. 67So Jesus asked the twelve, “Do you also wish to go away?” 68Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”