On the heels of His miraculous feeding of the five thousand, Jesus encountered crowds who erroneously concluded He was worth following because He could use His power to fill their empty stomachs. But Jesus recognized their motives and challenged them to go after something greater—not to work for food, which does not last long, but to receive eternal life by believing in Him.
Over and over again, people misunderstood Jesus’ words. They asked what they could do to get the food that lasts forever. Eternal life is a gift that God gives—not to those who perform certain deeds, but to anyone who believes in Jesus. Then the crowd asked for another sign. If Moses had provided bread for 40 years, couldn’t Jesus do that too? Jesus pointed out the bread didn’t come from Moses; it came from God. The crowd was so determined to get bread to eat that they didn’t understand recognize that God had now provided true bread from heaven by sending His Son.
Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” He wanted to give people more than food. He wanted to give them true life. Jesus continued, “If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever” (John 6:51). As you teach, emphasize to kids that God invites us to come and eat. We partake in the bread of life by believing in Him.
The Jewish leaders struggled with Jesus’ teaching. How could this man, whom they knew as the son of Joseph, be the Son of God? Furthermore, Jesus talked about giving His flesh and blood. To the Jews, this didn’t make any sense. Jesus wanted to do more than fill people’s stomachs; He wanted to give them true life. Jesus’ teachings were hard to understand. When Jesus talked about His flesh and blood, He was talking about His death and resurrection. When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.
Many people stopped following Jesus because they could not accept His teachings. Yet Peter, one of the Twelve, grasped the truth: “You have the words of eternal life. … You are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69). When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.
*Devo from Pastor Brian, from The Gospel Project.
#JesusJams for today!
---> And here's this week's story!!
Christ Connection: Jesus wanted to do more than fill people’s stomachs; He wanted to give them true life. Jesus’ teachings were hard to understand. When Jesus talked about His flesh and blood, He was talking about His death and resurrection. When we trust in Jesus, He gives us the gift of eternal life.
If you have a bible at your house, you'll be turning to John 6 to read with your family this week! If you don't have one, that's okay! CLICK HERE.
OPTION 1: Favorite foods Instruct the kids to sit in a circle. Kids will take turns saying a food they love to eat. Each kid must name a different food. If a kid says a food that has already been named, he must perform some challenging task, such as doing 10 push-ups or standing on one foot for 30 seconds. He may rejoin the game after completing the task.
SAY •I noticed none of you included flesh or blood in your favorite foods. Would it shock you to know that Jesus said His disciples must eat His flesh and drink His blood?! Today, we will learn what that meant, and why many people struggled to understand it.
OPTION 2: Do you understand? Invite the kids to gather in the center of the room, with enough space around them to sit and stand without bumping their neighbors. Ask questions about natural occurrences. Kids will stand if they understand how it works and sit if they do not. Suggested questions:
•What makes the sky look blue?
•What causes the northern lights?
•How do plants make food with sunlight and air?
•How do birds avoid getting lost when migrating?
SAY •Those are some difficult to understand topics. Some people may spend their whole lives trying to fully understand stuff like that. Today, we will learn about some of Jesus’ teachings that were difficult to understand. What do you think they were?
OPTION 3: Bread of life clips Provide each kid with a large bag clip that could be used to keep bread sealed. Help the kids write Jesus is the bread of life along the clip. Allow the kids to decorate their clips with markers, adhesive jewels, or other craft supplies.
SAY •Many people misunderstood Jesus’ teaching. Jesus called Himself the bread of life. He said that people must eat His flesh and drink His blood. Jesus did not mean that He is literally bread or that people should literally eat Him. Jesus was teaching that He is the source of life. He is all we need. He fills us spiritually and gives us life. Anyone who does not allow Jesus to satisfy his heart will not be free from sin or live with God in His kingdom.
You can take these bag clips home and remember that Jesus is the bread of life, who satisfies our spiritual hunger. Normal bread can go stale or grow mold, especially if you don’t take steps to keep it fresh. Jesus is always all we need, and the life He gives lasts forever.