I Am the Bread of Life, part 3

The Gospel of John

“I Am the Bread of Life”

John 6:52–59

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Jesus’ “I am the bread of life” (vs. 35) resulted in a dispute among His Jewish listeners. After all, they knew of Jesus’ father and mother. They did not know of the virgin birth and thus thought Jesus was simply common, and braggadocios.
  2. Jesus’ next words, likely lost on those present, nevertheless explains how extraordinary it is to know who Jesus is.
  3. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him.” The word “draws” actually means “compel,” which becomes clear in Acts 21:30 when the same word is used to describe a mob forcing Paul out of the Temple.
  4. The reason for not understanding Jesus is that the Father has not “taught” them. A powerful spiritual awakening must take place before anyone will grasp who Jesus really is.
  5. He then proclaims, and this is the heart of the Christian Gospel, “whoever believes has eternal life.” Eternal life has as its very opposite eternal death, which is implied in Jesus’ statement.
  6. Jesus reasserts that He is the bread of life. As in the days of Moses, God gave the people manna, so now God gives the living bread in the very person of Jesus Himself. A scandalous claim if it were not absolutely true.
  7. Jesus came from heaven, the incarnation, so that people could eat of the bread of life and not die.
  8. Living in and for eternity is dependent entirely upon believing that Jesus is the bread of life from the Father.
  9. Jesus now says, the bread is His flesh, or body. Here Jesus is looking to His death on the cross.

 

I Am the Bread of Life, part 2

GOSPEL MEDITATION

The Gospel of John

John 6:35-51

“I Am the Bread of Life”, part 2

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

 

  1. Jesus’ hearers state they want the bread that comes down from heaven, whereupon, Jesus proceeds to state that He is the Bread of Life.
  2. The first of seven “I am” sayings is here now–“I am the Bread of Life.” The “I am” in the Greek. EGO EIMI, exactly matches the Greek translation of Exodus 3:14, “God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM.”
  3. Jesus now clearly states that He is God. Yes, once again we encounter the mystery of the Trinity, and Jesus’ hearers were, of course, dumbfounded.
  4. In their state of consternation, the hearers refer to Jesus’ earthly parents meaning that this is just an ordinary man.
  5. The most difficult part of the passages comes when Jesus makes it clear that it is impossible to have eternal life unless the Father makes this possible. The whole idea of earning salvation by doing good is rendered error. And there is more: those who do come to Jesus can never lose their salvation.
  6. Countering the idea that Moses gave manna (bread-like substance) Jesus says that God gave the people bread not Moses. And here again, God once again gives the very bread of life, Jesus Himself.

Jesus makes it abundantly clear, to those present at that time, and for all people throughout the ages, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven.”

I Am the Bread of Life, part 1

GOSPEL MEDITATION

John 6:22–34

“I Am the Bread of Life”, part 1

Find a quiet place, alone and apart from distractions. Be comfortably alert, still and at peace. Say the Lord’s Prayer. Sing or cant the Jesus Prayer. Pray for family, friends, neighbors, and yourself. Slowly and carefully read the passages of Scripture. Reread them. From memory, determine the central points.

  1. Following the miracle of the feeding of the 5000, crowds gather about Jesus.
  2. At first He could not be located, but the people spurred on by the report of a miracle, searched until they found him.
  3. Someone in the crowd asked Jesus how he had gotten to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Apparently they did not know about the walking on the water.
  4. Jesus immediately states that they were looking for Him, not that they saw ‘Messianic signs,’ but because they had eaten their fill.
  5. Jesus now states the most important message they would ever hear. He tells them not to work for that which parishes but instead labor for that which yields eternal life.
  6. It is not that Jesus does not care about the fundamentals of survival, but there is something of much greater value to receive.
  7. Jesus is not afraid to disappoint hungry, poor, people. He knows certainly and for certain that before them all was life and death, both of an eternal duration. This shows the love of Jesus in action, risking rejection, maybe even anger.
  8. The real work of God is to believe in the one God has sent, Jesus tells them. But the crowd wants proof that Jesus is that prophet Moses spoke of, the real and actual Messiah.
  9. They want bread, like the manna Moses had given in the wilderness (see Exodus 16). Jesus then corrects His hearers and states it was God who gave the bread and not Moses.
  10. The good reply is, “Sir, give us this bread always.”