In Bread of Life, Part 3, we discovered that Jesus'
discourse on being the Bread of Life is really a true picture to us of
God's unending, merciful love, love that reached out to a sinful, dying
people who are on a death race to hell, and opened another door. We saw
how God is not willing that any should perish,
but that all should accept Jesus as the "Bread
of Life", not just for life eternal, but in order for our spirits to be
opened, in order to make way for His Truth and Power to be glorified in
But how do we partake of this Bread of Life? Certainly it isn't as simple as opening the bread box and cutting a slice!
As we continue through the discourse, we notice that the Jews didn't want to believe that Jesus was sent from Heaven. "They said, 'Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, "I came down from Heaven?"'" (John 6:42 NIV)
Jesus isn't deterred by their unbelief. Instead He goes on to prove that what He's saying is true by referring to the Hebrew Scriptures: "It is written in the Prophets: 'They will all be taught by God.' Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to Me." (John 6:45 NIV)
Ouch. Jesus has just said that because the people don’t believe what He says, they must not be listening to the Father! Let's remember He was talking to the Jewish rules at the time, the teachers of the law! Those who claim to have an "in" with God Himself!
"No one has seen the Father except the One who is from God; only He has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from Heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:46-51 NIV).
Here Jesus very masterfully brings the teachers of the law back to their roots: Their voyage through the wilderness where they were given daily manna from Heaven. He reminds them of an all-important Truth: Their wilderness experiences with God were but foreshadows of what would come. They were quick enough to eat the manna in the wilderness, how much quicker they should be to partake of the true Bread, the Bread that this manna was but a foreshadow of!
The point is this: The manna given to them in the wilderness was a physical food that nourished their physical bodies. But since these forefathers were now all dead, obviously nourishing the physical isn't enough. Jesus offers more than just physical nourishment! He offers spiritual nourishment! And this spiritual nourishment is such that we shall never hunger or thirst spiritually again!
But the people still didn't get it: "Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves. 'How can this man give us His flesh to eat?'" (John 6:52 NIV)
Anyone out there voicing the same concerns? After all, we can't "eat" Jesus!
Partaking of the Bread of life, friends, is done by spending time in His presence! Consider this text: "He has chosen us in Him before the creation of the world to be holy and blameless in His sight. In love He predestined us to be adopted as His sons through Jesus Christ, in accordance with His pleasure and will ..." (Eph 1:4,5 NIV)
What does this mean? It means God wants us to see Him as our Father! He wants to spend time with us! He desires to feed us spiritually so that our never-satiated longings will at last be filled! God loves us that much, my friends!
And is this just a one-time deal?
Not at all! Consider Jesus' words as He wraps up this powerful discourse: "Just as the living Father sent Me and I love because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from Heaven. Your forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever." (John 6:57-58 NIV)
I don't know about you, but I enjoy eating, and the Bread of Life is there to be fed upon at any time. And the best part is this: We don't have to worry about counting calories! We can never "eat" intemperately, we can never get too much! Praise God!
This is the last lesson from The Bread of Life. You can find the rest of this study published online by clicking here, or contact me directly. You are also invited to visit other studies on the deep discourses of Jesus presented to us in the book of John by visiting Lessons From the Book of John
May God bless you abundantly as you continue to seek Him through His Word!
In His love,
Lyn Chaffart, Speech-Language Pathologist, mother of two teens, Author and Moderator for The Nugget, a tri-weekly internet newsletter, and Scriptural Nuggets, a website devoted to Christian devotionals and inspirational poems, with Answers2Prayer Ministries.
(To access the rest of the "Bread of Life, a Study on True Christianity" mini-series, please click here.)