For Kids: I Am the Bread of Life
Children’s Lesson for April 12, 2020
We learn that in the gospel of John in the Bible, John – the guy who wrote the book of John – records seven different times Jesus calls himself “I AM,” and then describes himself in a special way. When Jesus said, “before Abraham was even born, I am” in John 8:58, he was saying that He is God. All the people listening to Jesus would have understood that Jesus was saying he is God, because they would have remembered the story in Exodus, where Moses meets God in the burning bush and God says his name is “I am.” God means that he is self-sufficient. He doesn’t need anyone’s help to be the perfect God. Neither does Jesus. Since Jesus is God in a human body, he doesn’t need anyone’s help to be the perfect God.
We know that Jesus is God and that he loves us so much that he died for our sins. But what else do we know about him? Today we are going to learn about one “I am” statement of Jesus. Jesus made his “I am” statement to a group of people. By this point in his life, Jesus is a popular guy. Everyone knows about him, and he is starting to gain a lot of followers, but people still don’t really get who he is. Many people followed Jesus because of all the miracles he did. One day, Jesus sits at the top of a hill near the Sea of Galilee. Looking around, Jesus saw that there were at least 5,000 men following him, not to mention women and kids. Jesus knew that they must be getting hungry, so he asked his disciple Philip where they were going to buy food for everyone. Can you imagine trying to feed all those people? There were tons of people, and they didn’t exactly pack their own lunch. They would all have to rely on Jesus to feed them, or they would go hungry. Philip had no idea how to feed all those people without any food, but Andrew, another disciple, said that there was a little boy in the crowd who had brought a lunch of five little loaves of bread and two fish. It was the perfect lunch for a growing boy.
Jesus had everyone sit down, then Jesus thanked God for the food and passed it around to everyone in the crowd. Everyone had enough to eat, and they even had leftovers! After everyone was full, they picked up twelve baskets of scrap food! It was a miracle. Jesus fed over 5,000 people with a little boy’s lunch. After this, Jesus slipped away and crossed over to the other side of the lake. The next day, the crowd followed him and asked why he had left. Jesus had a very interesting conversation with them after that. Jesus told them that they wanted to be with Him because He fed them food, not because they understood the miracle. Jesus told them that they should spend their energy seeking GOD and eternal life. The people then replied “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”--- and who is this?! ---Jesus!
The Crowd answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Does it sound like the crowd was interested in the life-giving bread from heaven, or just in miracles? All the crowd really wanted was for Jesus to feed them, like he had the day before. They were not interested in hearing about the bread of life. They wanted their tummies to be filled, but Jesus wanted to fill their hearts. Bread is tasty stuff, isn’t it? We have it at almost every meal, in some form. From our cereal, to our sandwich, to the bread crumbs on our fried chicken or the crust of our pizza. Bread is everywhere in our lives. It’s hard to imagine not having it, since it is everywhere in our lives. The people Jesus was talking to could imagine it pretty well. They knew what it was like to go hungry, so when Jesus started talking about a bread that would always keep you full, the crowd perked up. But Jesus was offering something even better than food to fill empty stomachs.
When Jesus says he is the bread of life, he means that he wants to fill our empty hearts. Without Jesus, we would go hungry. We may have food in our bellies, but spiritually, we would have nothing without him. We could read our Bibles, pray, go to church, and serve others all we want, but all of that is pointless without Jesus. It’s like pizza without the crust, spaghetti and meatballs without the spaghetti, biscuits and gravy without the biscuits! It’s the bread that makes these foods so good. It is Jesus that makes going to church, praying, reading our Bibles, and serving others have any meaning. Jesus, the bread of life, fills us up for all eternity when we do one thing.. The crowd asked what work God wanted them to do, and Jesus says, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one He has sent.” Who is the one God has sent? Jesus, of course! When we believe that Jesus is God, come to earth to die in our place for our sins, He fills us up with the bread of life. He gives meaning to everything we do and lets us live forever in heaven with him!
Jesus is the great I AM! He is the son of God and He will save us from our sins! Jesus is who we need! When Jesus asked “What bread do you need?” We need Jesus - the bread of life!
You are loved, Ms. Shantelle
Ask a parent to help you print off the activity sheets for this lesson. You can find them here.