“I Am the Bread of Life”

Lesson 12 – John 5; Mark 6:30-44; Matthew 14:22-33


Introduction

 

What do “rock”, “light”, and “bread” have in common?  Well, Helaman 5:12 refers to Jesus Christ as “the rock”.  Then, John 8:12 records that Jesus declared that he is “the light of the world.”  Later in this lesson we will discuss how Jesus is “the bread of life” (John 6:35).

 

 

Jesus healed a man on the Sabbath and declared himself the Son of God.

 

John 5:1-9 provides an account of Jesus healing a man at the pool of Bethesda. Elder Boyd K. Packer used this account to emphasize that we should help people who have disabilities. He said bodies and minds with disabilities “will be made perfect. In the meantime, we must look after those who wait by the pool of Bethesda” (Ensign, May 1991, 9).

John 5:14 Jesus gave instructions to the man when he saw him in the temple later that day to “sin no more”. The effects of sin are “a worse thing” than physical infirmities because physical infirmities will not stand between us and our Father, but sin certainly does.

John 5:16-18 The Jewish leaders sought to kill Jesus because he had healed the man on the Sabbath and then had “[made] himself equal to God by referring to God as his father.

John 5:19-23, 30 As Jesus responded to the angry Jews, he revealed some things about his relationship to the Father:

§         John 5:20 Jesus told the people that he would soon do even “greater works” than healing the sick.

§         John 5:21-29 He said that these greater works would include: bringing to pass the Resurrection, judging all people, and giving everlasting life to the faithful.

John 5:32-39, 45-47 The Savior said witnesses testified of him including his works and His Father.

Jacob 4:6 It is important to have these witnesses so that we might obtain a hope and develop an unshakable faith in the Savior.  Of course, we too should be witnesses of the Savior.

John 5:39 Jesus challenged the Jewish leaders to “search the scriptures”. We know that there is a significant difference between searching the scriptures and reading them. If we simply see and process the letters into words and the words into sentences, we’ve read the scripture, but that doesn’t mean that we’ve truly understood its meaning and significance.

Think about how you have made your personal and family scripture study more meaningful through searching the scriptures and how you have been blessed as you did so.

John 5:39 According to this verse, if the Jewish leaders had searched and believed the scriptures, they would have known that the scriptures testify of Jesus Christ. (See also John 5:40, 46-47.) The scriptures should also strengthen your faith in Christ as you search them.

 

Jesus miraculously fed more than 5,000 people.

 

John 6:1-3 (note: the Joseph Smith Translation of Mark 6:31 in footnote 31a, says that Jesus and his disciples went to a solitary place.) Jesus and his disciples went up into a mountain.

Mark 6:33-34; Matt. 14:14 record how Jesus responded when the multitude came to him—with compassion.

John 6:5-13 (see also  Matt. 14:21) records how Jesus fed the multitude. As you read it, think about how we can follow the example of the boy who gave his loaves and fishes to Jesus. The Lord blesses us when we, like the boy, give whatever we have in His service.

Elder James E. Faust said: “Many nameless people with gifts equal only to five loaves and two small fishes magnify their callings and serve without attention or recognition, feeding literally thousands. … These are the hundreds of thousands of leaders and teachers in all of the auxiliaries and priesthood quorums, the home teachers, the Relief Society visiting teachers. These are the many humble bishops in the Church, some without formal training but greatly magnified, always learning, with a humble desire to serve the Lord and the people of their wards. …

“A major reason this church has grown from its humble beginnings to its current strength is the faithfulness and devotion of millions of humble and devoted people who have only five loaves and two small fishes to offer in the service of the Master. They have largely surrendered their own interests and in so doing have found ‘the peace of God, which passeth all understanding’ (Philip 4:7)” (Ensign, May 1994, 5-6).

 

Jesus walked on the sea, invited Peter to come to him, and calmed the winds.

 

After Jesus fed the multitudes, he instructed his disciples to get into a ship and go to the other side of the sea. He then sent the multitudes away and went up a mountain to pray. As the disciples were crossing the sea, they were caught in strong winds.

Matt. 14:26; John 6:19 The disciples reacted with fear when they saw Jesus walking toward them on the water.

Matt. 14:27; John 6:20 shows how Jesus responded to their fears.

Matt, 14:28-29 records Peter’s request when he heard the Savior’s voice.

Matt. 14:30 Peter’s faith faltered as he walked on the water. 

Matt. 14:30-32 gives the account of what Peter did when he began to sink and how the Savior responded.  For us there is a lesson here about our relationship with the Lord. Each of us has had experiences that have tested our faith and times when we have felt the Savior strengthen us and calm our fears.

 

Jesus declared that he is “the bread of life.”

 

John 6:26 The day after Jesus’ miracle with the loaves and fishes, the people followed him to Capernaum and this verse tells why they followed him.

John 6:27-35 (Note that the word meat in verse 27 means food.) Jesus used the people’s excitement about the previous day’s miracle to testify of his mission. 

Elder Jeffrey R. Holland observed: “During the Savior’s Galilean ministry, He chided those who had heard of Him feeding the 5,000 with only five barley loaves and two fishes, and now flocked to Him expecting a free lunch. That food, important as it was, was incidental to the real nourishment He was trying to give them” (Ensign, Nov. 1997, 65).

John 6:35, 47-51 “Bread of life” is an appropriate description of the Savior and the blessings he offers us. Think about what it means to “never hunger” and “never thirst”.

John 6:47, John 6:51-54; Matt. 26:26-28; Alma 5:33-35; D&C 20:77 provide instruction on how we can partake of the “bread of life”.

President Howard W. Hunter counseled: “We must know Christ better than we know him; we must remember him more often than we remember him; we must serve him more valiantly than we serve him. Then we will drink water springing up unto eternal life and will eat the bread of life” (Ensign, May 1994, 64).

 

John 6:42 Some people did not believe Jesus because they saw him only as “the son of Joseph”.  

John 6:51-66 Some who had claimed to be Jesus’ disciples murmured and turned away from him, saying that they did not understand the spiritual meanings of his declaration that he was the bread of life and his teaching about the need to eat his flesh and drink his blood.

John 6:67 When some people rejected Jesus’ sermon, Jesus asked the Twelve Apostles about what they would do.

John 6:68-69 Peter’s response is significant and these verses show that Peter and the other Apostles understood something about Jesus that those who left did not understand.

 

Conclusion

 

Jesus Christ is “the bread of life” and he has “the words of eternal life” (John 6:35, 68). Consider applying his promises from the Sermon on the Bread of Life: “He that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. … He that believeth on me hath everlasting life” (John 6:35, 47).

 

These lessons are posted on the Internet at http://www.neumanninstitute.org

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