Per Fidem Intrepidus means "Fearless Through Faith". My courage isn't my own, it comes from the Holy Spirit, it's my faith in God and my personal savior Christ Jesus that calms my fears and allows me to move forward in this fallen world. Personally I'm afraid of a lot of stuff, but having the faith that Jesus adopted me as his little, sin filled, brother keeps me going.

Wednesday, December 11, 2013

The Bread of Life

In John chapter 6 we see that Jesus was having a tough time with his followers. He started this chapter healing the sick and a large crowd started following him out of curiosity. He then took two fish and five barley loaves and fed the crowd of thousands which caused even more people to follow Him. First they were hungry, then they found there was free food to be had!

Now Jesus occasionally had to avoid the crowds to the point where he once took a shortcut across the Sea of Galilee (without a boat for much of the journey). The crowds can see Jesus performing signs and miracles, they can see the dumb speak, the deaf hear, the lame leap, the lepers cleansed, but they're concentrating on the physical here-and-now of the free food rather than the spiritual aspects of Jesus the Messiah. Jesus told them not to work for the temporary food of this world but the food which endures forever which He can give them. Of course they asked what kind of work does God want them to do and...
Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” (John 6:29)
I love this verse because this is what it's all about, this is the entire message of Jesus right here. I also love it because it really throws some confusion into a works vs faith discussion, and of course I do just it to liven up the crowd but you always get a reaction like "This means that faith is a work, but if faith is a work then... then... ARRGH!" Typical rookie mistake - overthinking verbage. However the crowd following Jesus didn't even give his pronouncement that much thought, in fact their response was more on the line of "Cool! Now show us another trick because Moses did the bread thing a long time ago."

32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” 35 Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst." (John 6:32-35)
The crowd really didn't like this at all because rather than handing out a fresh loaf of pumpernickle to every audience member, Jesus just said he was bread (was he inciting cannibalism?) and that he was from Heaven. They started grumbling "What's up with this? We know this guy, we know his dad Joseph and his grandparents, where does he get off claiming to be God?" The people Jesus came to save never came to terms with the fact that he was from Heaven. The Jews were really upset about this but Jesus told them to quit their grumbling and deal with the fact that He is the Son of God. Then He repeated:
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” (John 6:48-51)
and as their grumbling increased he said again:
57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:57-58)
Of course Jesus didn't mean eat as we would do with food to sustain Earthly life, but a spiritual  absorption of Jesus' death and resurrection which is necessary for Eternal life. Many of his disciples really couldn't understand this and walked away, just as many psudo-Christians and false converts walk away when they realize that the commitment to Christ is a real commitment and not just an E-Ticket ride at Six Flags Over Jesus.

Ok, I wrote all of that to write this: I just found out that Bethlehem in English means House of Bread. How awesome is it that the Bread of Life came from the House of Bread!

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