Monday: Message or Messenger? – Matthew 13: 53-58
Here is a lesson we should consider every Sunday morning before coming to church! How often do we bring our moods, our prejudices and our own views to church with us and then judge all that is said through those filters? This is what happened to Jesus. Everywhere else he was acknowledged as a great teacher but because his hearers in his home synagogue had known him as a boy and still knew his family, they rejected him as an upstart. Pray before every service that you don’t make the same mistake about the ‘messenger’.
Tuesday: Give us Bread! – John 6: 30-35
Today we see the same sort of pre-judgement of Jesus as yesterday. There was a strong rabbinic belief among the Jews that when the Messiah came he would produce ‘manna from God’ in the same way as Moses. Jesus had recently fed the 5000 so it seemed logical and appropriate that he should support his claims of coming from heaven by feeding them once again. Because they were so focused on feeding their own ‘stomachs’ they failed to recognise the ‘true bread’ that would feed their hearts.
Wednesday: Bread of Life – John 6: 35-40
What did Jesus mean when he said, “I am the Bread of Life”? Bread sustains our physical life. But, of course, Jesus means more than physical life. The life he is referring to is spiritual life – a life lived in a relationship with God. How is that life achieved? Only through Jesus, His atoning death and resurrection. Without Jesus we can exist but we can never experience eternal life. He is therefore the Bread of Life. His teaching is what we should be feeding on.
Thursday: Don’t Miss Out – John 6: 41-51
In many ways this is a summary of what we’ve learned so far. Again the Jews discounted what Jesus was saying because they weren’t willing to be taught by a Galilean carpenter. They judged him by human standards. They argued among themselves, never trying to understand what Jesus was actually saying. Even when they listened they weren’t prepared to learn. As a result they resisted being ‘drawn’ to Jesus. Don’t let us miss the opportunity to eat of the bread of life because we’re too busy with our own thoughts and ideas.
Friday “Drink from Me” – John 6: 52-59
Jesus’ listeners that day had no experience of Holy Communion – indeed Jesus hadn’t died yet. So what was he telling them? By his ‘flesh’ he was referring to his humanity. He knew what it is was like to be fully human: to be weary; to suffer; to be hungry. So when we find ourselves in such dilemmas ‘feed’ on Jesus – take strength from how he would have responded. By blood he meant ‘life’. Take His life into the depth of your heart. Just as you become absorbed by a great piece of music, so be absorbed by thoughts of Jesus. Just as you would ‘drink in’ a beautiful view, drink in your image of Christ.
Saturday: Turning Point – John 6: 60-69
This is the turning point in the gospel story. Up to this point people had flocked to see and follow Jesus. They loved the miracles and the free meals! But when it came to the teaching- well, that was a bit too much. So we see people defecting. This wasn’t what they signed up for. Others like Peter became even more determined. What happens when Jesus challenges you to go deeper in your relationship with him – defection or determination?