Unfrozen – Part 1

 

February 26, 2017

First Presbyterian Church – Coeur d’Alene

Lent

Message Series: Unfrozen:

Message: Part 1: Jesus is Your Bread of Life – Dig In!

Scripture Text: John 6:35

1. We’re beginning the season of Lent this

week, and throughout we will be in the Gospel of John.

a.There are four Gospels (Matthew, Mark, Luke & John) and each gives a unique take on Jesus’ life and teachings.

i. Three play off each other to give a more or less chronological account. They are called the ‘synoptic’ gospels because of their similarity.

ii. John stands alone. There’s less action and more talking. And the structure is organized around Jesus’ teachings.

iii. In John’s gospel, Jesus talks mostly about himself.

He uses the word “I” 177 times compared to 34 in all 3 combined.

b. 85 times Jesus combines the words “I am” or Ego Eimi in the Greek.

i. Seven of those “I ams” are linked with a predicate object- “I am the…”

followed by a vivid metaphor.

ii. I am the bread, the light, the gate, the shepherd, the resurrection, the way, the vine.

iii. These 7 “I Ams” are spread throughout John’s Gospel, and they are the glue which holds it together.

c. We are going to spend each week through Easter looking at an “I Am” statement and how they have the power to unfreeze your faith and draw you into intimate relationship with God.

 

2. But let’s start with the incredible audacity of Jesus

a. Jesus is stealing and using God’s own name here.

i. Read Exodus 3:14. At the burning bush, Moses asks God “what’s your name?” God answers, “I AM”

ii. From that point on God’s name is written down as the ‘Tetragrammaton” or four vowels YHWH based on verb “to be.”

1. Some translate Jehovah or Yahweh.

In the English translation of the Old Testament it is “Lord.”

2. The Jews considered God’s given name so holy as to be unwritable

and unspeakable.

iii. But here’s Jesus using God’s personal name for himself.

1. To make it even more obvious, in John 8:58 he says “Before Abraham was, I am.”

b. But he doesn’t stop there. He takes the most important question humanity has

ever been asks and presents himself as the answer to that question.

i. The question shows up in the other three Gospels.

1. Read Matthew 16:15- Who do you say I AM?

ii. What’s the meaning of life? Jesus says I AM!

 

c. By using the present tense, Jesus is basically asserting that each of us has to deal with him right now, make a decision whether he is telling the truth or a lie.

d. Let’s use the first statement as an example: I am the Bread of Life

e. Read John 6:35

f. Sorry, I can’t help thinking of

Oprah’s Weight Watchers Ad.

i. Throughout history bread is the most essential food. Every culture on earth as bread in some form.

g. In the Bible, bread symbolizes God’s provision.

i. In Exodus, God provided Manna, a morning dew which could be gathered and baked into bread.

ii. In the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus teaches us to pray to God, “Give us this day our daily Bread.”

h. But Jesus isn’t saying he is helping God give us daily bread, he says I AM bread.

i. I AM God’s providing for you because I AM God. Look no further!

ii. Not only that but Jesus goes on to say that if you have Him, you will be satisfied completely now and from now on. He’s your perfect provision.

3. These statements are like a sunny,

100 degree day for a block of ice. Things are going to change and there’s nothing you can do to stop it.

a. Bible Scholar Warren Wiersbe says these “I AMs” are “Jesus in the present tense.”

 

i. He’s standing in front of you right now, through His own Words, saying “I AM” for you. What are you going to do?

b. Those who were listening to him said, in 6:33: “Give us this bread always.”

i. Some heard Jesus’ “Bread” speech and left, preferring to stay Frozen rather than deal with Jesus’ claim.

ii. But Peter, in 6:66, says “to whom else shall I go?”

c. So what are you going to do?

4. My answer has been to dig in to Jesus and discover how he is my daily

bread, and how he can truly satisfy me. Each week I’m going to give you three ‘thaw levels’ for Jesus to unfreeze you now and over coming week – if you’re willing to go there.

a. Warm: settle on your definition of ‘satisfied?’

b. Medium: identify the fears and worries keep you from believing Christ can truly satisfy you?

c. Hot: discern what bread does Jesus want to multiply through you to feed others?

 

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