The Gospel of John – I Am the Bread of Life

As we continue through Chapter 6 of the Gospel of John, we find that the people are still showing more interest in the spectacle of Jesus miraculous works rather than the message and meaning intended in His works. They are seeking but they do not seek the truth.

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Jesus the Bread of Life

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day” John 6:25-40

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The Physical vs the Spiritual

In this passage, Christ begins explaining the true meaning behind His miracles and His ministry. This includes the first time he declares Himself as the ”I AM” – declaring His own divinity. Jesus clarifies that physical things such as bread are meant to be symbols of a spiritual truth. Christ describes how material things fade away, but His real purpose is to give people eternal life. Scripture is consistent in reminding us that we need more than just physical material things in order to live and thrive — we need to be nourished spiritually, continually.

The people see the miracle, but miss the meaning.

Christ’s actions have an important message to churches today: do not attempt to keep high attendance with great entertainment and free hand-outs. Rather, we should introduce people to the Gospel, and then let them decide how to respond to Christ.

In verse 27, Jesus is not saying we should not work nor saying we should be lazy, rather His point is that we should be concerned with eternal rewards. Jesus refers to the “Son of Man” which the Jewish audience be familiar with as a reference to Daniel’s prophecy of the long-promised Messiah (Daniel 7:13–14). Following this, the people’s response still show their preoccupation with works when they ask Him how they can work for this promised bread. Jesus response here is echoed throughout Scripture – Believe in the One whom God has sent to obtain this eternal bread, eternal life.

The reaction of the crowd in the next verse is amazingly short-sighted. Faced with this outrageous claim made by Jesus, the crowd demands miraculous proof—even though it was Jesus’ miracles which led them to follow Him in the first place!

Isn’t this true for a lot of Christians today. We fail or struggle to see the work of God in our lives. We want physical proof. Now! Not later! We are impatient. And sometimes, when God comes through for us in His time, we fail to thank Him and bless Him for it.

The people refer to the manna that Moses provided them in the wilderness and now demand another grander sign as Jesus claims to be greater than Moses. Naturally, Jesus responds perfectly. He corrects the crowd and tells them that God provided the manna for them and that their focus should be on God – His requirement of faithful belief instead of ritual obedience to laws.

The True “I AM”

Verse 35, Jesus makes His very first I AM statement: “35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty”. It is a very bold statement to make as God Himself made the same statement to Moses from the burning bush. So Jesus is telling the people that He too, is God. Saying He is “I AM” provides a greater perspective on His mission.

Here, Jesus explicitly declares that He, Himself, is the One sent by God!

Eternal life is found only through belief in Jesus Christ. Saving faith is portrayed as to bread and water: we must take it inside of ourselves — acceptance is a requirement for these blessings to have any effect on us!

The Father’s Will Be Done

The Saviour’s Gift

 God makes a universal offer of salvation to all people. He cries that “whosoever will” may come! Anyone who will come to Jesus will be saved. Those who will not come to Jesus will never be saved. That is the bottom line! The first part of verse 37 tells us about the Father’s gift to the Son, Jesus Christ. This gift is given to Jesus as His reward for all that He suffered here on earth. This gift is the proof and the promise that His mission into this world was not in vain. This gift, though hard to comprehend for us, is a greater blessing than we can fathom. The word “all” in this verse is genuinely all encompassing – all those the Father brings to Jesus and all those who come to Jesus speaks of those who would place their faith in Jesus for salvation.

The Saviour’s Grace

Being saved is not some difficult, mystical process. You don’t do works to be saved. All you have to do is look toward Jesus by faith and trust that His grace is sufficient to save your soul, the rest is up to Him! It doesn’t matter who you are or where you’ve been. If you are lost, Jesus will save your soul if you will come to Him by faith. That is His promise! He will not cast you out!

The Saviour’s Guarantee

God does not just hope that none of His people will be lost. He has declared that not a single one of those He has saved by His grace will ever be lost! That is a guarantee. God did not send Jesus to this world to live and die so that some people might be saved, God sent Jesus here to die for all His people so that everyone who looked to Jesus by faith for salvation would have the guarantee of eternal life. That is His plan!

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