Feed on Christ

Robin WilliamsonPosted on Monday, June 15th, 2015 by Robin Williamson

Readings: John 6: 25-38

Introduction
I’m encouraged to see Mary Berry in her kitchen producing yummy food – that also looks good. (She’s getting on a bit – but still is lively and has a vitality about her – that I find encouraging as I get older myself!)
The family enjoyed ‘Bake off’ – and in our kitchen we have a shelf of recipe books – including some of my mum’s – will I try them in my months off?

Chris has given us the theme for this evening “Feed on Christ”.

In the reading we see Jesus is reported saying,

I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty….All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never drive away.

Although there are now other forms of bread (as a child I was unaware of pizza and bagels) many of us still eat a fair amount of ordinary bread, I guess. Bread has been the staple ingredient of much of the world’s diet since earliest times. Jesus in his teaching has already offered the Water of Life and now he offers the Bread of Life. The symbolism is obvious: Jesus offers human kind something that is basic to our existence as human and spiritual beings.

It would seem that this teaching of Jesus follows close to his feeding of the 5000 (men), which is the only incident in Jesus life prior to the final Passion Week which is recorded in all four Gospels. The quantity of the food was considerable – 8 months wages of an average labourer would be, I suppose, something like £18,000 in today’s money – the amount that the disciples reckoned they would need to spend so that everyone that day got fed.

Earlier in this chapter of John’s Gospel Jesus is implying that the crowds were following him, not because of the miracles they had seen – but rather that their physical hunger had been satisfied. He goes on:

“Do not work for the food that spoils but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him, God the Father has placed his seal of approval”. (Verse 27)
In answer to a question, ”What must we do to do the works God requires?”, Jesus replies, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent”.
So to recap, and supposing we are already believing in the Lord Jesus Christ, what he is implying here;

  • that we are to trust God for everything, because he is the provider of everything
    eternal life is even more precious than even life here on earth (and for some of us, that is very good!)
  • a relationship with God (pictured as feeding on him) can satisfy our deepest human needs

If we are to remain healthy, we need to eat a sensible healthy diet regularly – which is all very well, but how do we actually ‘feed’ on Christ? How do we improve our relationship with him?

I would argue that we need a regular meeting with the Lord Jesus in various ways;

  • some Christians would say that the most important thing is to join in Holy Communion regularly, where in a sense we do feed on Christ: yes, for me Holy Communion is very important – in a way I find hard to understand – to meet with the very presence of the living Christ: but there are other important things too
  • meeting and praying with, and for, other Christians – either in a church service, or perhaps in a small group or just with someone else, can be particularly encouraging for our faith
  • just giving Jesus some of our time, if we can – and trying to listen to Him quietly on our own can be amazing if we are prepared to give the time (I’m trying – but find it very hard!)
  • trying to respond when the Holy Spirit nudges us about something – perhaps to see someone, or ring them, or send them an encouraging card
  • ask him what is right for you – How can you know more of the love he has for you?

If we’re feeding on Christ we will try to do what Jesus would do – at least sometimes!

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