The Nourishment the LORD has Given YOU! A sermon John 6:22-35
The Nourishment the LORD has Given YOU!
† Jesus, Son, Savior †
May the grace and mercy of God our Father and the Lord Jesus Christ draw you close, like the irresistible aroma of a good meal draws you to eat!
I have a goal for this sermon.
I want to cause a reaction in you, one that you can’t get passed.
I want to make you hungry, very hungry.
Even more hungry than walking through the trader joe’s parking lot does, when the breeze is blowing from Wood Ranch. Hungrier than William gets when thinking about toasted ravioli’s.
I want to make you hungrier than you have ever been.
Hungrier for the righteousness of God, desiring that you would find something to satisfy your hunger, and then realizing what God really gives to you, as we celebrate His love, as He celebrates our return to His family…and invites us to a feast where He has set.
The brokenness addressed
They were hungry
In John’s gospel, the people of God were chasing after Jesus. He had sent the apostles out to do miracles, He had fed over 5000 families, He had done so much, and the people needed Him. SO they chased him around the lake.
As they find Him, Jesus tells them that they are only doing this, they only want to be with Him, because He feeds them. That is so like so many of us, who follow God about, even diligently searching for Him, but doing so with the intent of gaining what we can. They wanted bread and fish, we might want the perfect family, the perfect home, the perfect job.
And so we treat God as if He serves a grand buffet, taking only the stuff that we like that He serves us. And leaving blessings behind because we don’t think cauliflower or sushi is a blessing!
They wanted to perform God’s work!
The do the same thing with the next part of the conversation with Jesus. Let us do God’s work, give us the power to do it, and they completely miss His answer, just as we do.“Believe in me,” he asks.
“Depend on me, for I am the One whom God has sent to care for you.”
This doesn’t mean to just sit back, thinking God will do everything for you. It means far more than that… but it still means He is leading, guiding, empowering. Too often, we want to do what we want to do to serve God, to take this role, to have this ability. Here, God, I will serve you best in New England, or if not there, anywhere but the desert, or back in the suburbs or… as an elder, or helping this person, or…
We want to do great things for you Lord, if only… we are in charge!
They wanted a miracle….
They even tried to bargain with Jesus, indicating that they would trust Him, that they would depend on Him if he gave them a miracle like the one Moses did!
In other words, they are back to the beginning, the reason they sought Him out, to gain from Him what they wanted.
Heck, they even forgot what Jesus had done, how He fed them all… just a few days before.
Not that any of us would ever forget what God has done for us, or is doing for us, would we?
The meal to welcome Home sinners!
It is often said that the question is never the question, that the request is never what is really want the person wants, or needs. It is true here, as Jesus begins these lessons about His giving His body and blood for us.
What He is doing is answering the real questions we need to be answered.
When we seek Him, asking Him to provide what we want, He gives us Himself, food for our very souls.
When we want to do God’s work, there He is guiding us, empowering us, ensuring we know we are not alone…
And when we are hungry, here is the amazing gift, the Body, and blood of our Lord, which satisfies our hunger for justice, for making things right.
That is what we do here, at this altar, this is what we need, more than anything. To experience the love of God, which is beyond our comprehension. It is not a place where we have come, having done all perfectly. It is where we come, when we are broken, when we aren’t sure we belong, when we are the prodigal who comes back, and is surprised by the feast thrown for him.
That is what the early Lutherans were amazed at, as they wrote in our confessions;
19 9. We believe, teach, and confess that no genuine believer, no matter how weak he may be, as long as he retains a living faith, will receive the Holy Supper to his condemnation, for Christ instituted this Supper particularly for Christians who are weak in faith but repentant, to comfort them and to strengthen their weak faith.
That is why Jesus says He, the true bread, give life to the world. He does exactly that, as we die with Him on the cross, and are raised to a new life, a life with Him!
He gives life where life is shattered. He lays down His life to be broken so ours can be made right,
If you are broken, you belong here.
if you’ve sinned, and you want to start over, here is that place.
This is the time.
If you don’t think you belong, that is to be left to God, who judges us as being as righteous as Jesus, the one the Father sent to make it so,
and He did….
He is the bread of life….
May you always hunger for Him and hear His invitation to come and feast. AMEN!
 Tappert, T. G. (Ed.). (1959). The Book of Concord the confessions of the Evangelical Lutheran Church. (p. 484). Philadelphia: Mühlenberg Press.