The Gospel of John
“I Am the Bread of Life”
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.
- 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.
- Jesus’ next words, likely lost on those present, nevertheless explains how extraordinary it is to know who Jesus is.
- “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.
- 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.
- 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.
- 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.
- Jesus came from heaven, the incarnation, so that people could eat of the bread of life and not die.
- Living in and for eternity is dependent entirely upon believing that Jesus is the bread of life from the Father.
- Jesus now says, the bread is His flesh, or body. Here Jesus is looking to His death on the cross.