John 6

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The Bread of Life

Verse 25: When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did you get here?" (NASB)

  • This is the Sea of Galilee and would have been the opposite side of Capernaum.
  • The question indicates that there is something odd about the timing of Jesus' arrival on that side of the sea.
    • Maybe Jesus tried to trick them to get away?
    • 'perhaps they were trying to insinuate that Jesus had performed a miracle similar to Moses Crossing the Red Sea' (Spence vol. 27, 256)

Verse 26: Jesus answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. (NASB)

  • Jesus seems to be pointing out their fixation on the physical world, while overlooking the spiritual dimension.
    • 'They did not bet beyond the outward seeming, the superficial phenomenon' (Spence vol. 27, 256).
    • This is the first time Jesus uses the metaphor of bread in this passage so it is probably an important set-up.
    • It is important to note the broad, elemental symbol of bread to everyone
    • You did not live without bread in one form or another.
    • Everyone ate it and everyone depended on it for life.

Verse 27: "Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." (NASB) •*This is where we see Jesus using the set-up to start making his real point.

    • Not only are we to not be transfixed on the physical world, but we also get the sense that we are not to desire superficial spirituality as well.
    • As physical food is necessary for our physical life, so spiritual food is necessary for our spiritual life.
    • Christ did not mean that these multitudes were not to work for their daily food (Spence vol. 27, 257)
  • In this passage Christ asserts both his humanity “the Son of Man” and his Divinity “…for on Him the Father, God has set his seal”
  • An interesting note is the paradox of both having to work for the food and being given it by Christ
    • This illustrates the paradox that our Salvation is a gift we cannot earn or create ourselves, but it is something we must seek for and strive to maintain
    • Throughout much of the New Testament we see the authors presenting evidence to support the authority of Jesus as the Messiah. The seal would have been a potent symbol at the time to give that authority to Jesus. It would have been the notarized signature of the day. An unquestioned authorization

Verse 28: Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” (NASB)

  • This is a fair question to ask in following Jesus' previous statement.
    • But it does suggests that they may be interested in the power of doing miracles and performing signs, which would not have been the relationship and obedience that Jesus was trying to communicate.

Verse 29: Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He has sent." (NASB)

  • Again we see that Jesus is claiming the authority of God.
  • There is an interesting contrast between “work” and “belief” and yet they are used interchangeably.
    • Somehow the “work” we are to do is to “believe” in Christ.
    • Also this belief “is continuous act of believing with the effort necessary to maintain that belief” (Spence vol. 27, 258).

Verse 30: So they said to Him, "What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? (NASB)

  • On the surface this is a reasonable question to ask someone making the claims that Jesus is making for himself.
    • However, there is definitely the sense that they are treating Jesus like a performer or a dog that must perform for them again and again.
  • Despite all of the miracles that Jesus performs in the New Testament there are always those who demand more signs because they will probably never believe. But they will be entertained.
    • This request is caused by “immaturity and states of unrest that we passionately ask for signs” (Spence vol. 27, 258).

Verse 31: "Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'" (NASB)

  • Reference Exodus 16:4
  • This illustrates the Jewish dependence on the physical dimension to validate the spiritual realm instead of the other way around.
    • Moses, Joshua and the prophets were “validated” by their miracles, so why not Jesus.
    • Also there is the ironic foreshadowing of fact that the Jews were solely dependent on God for physical sustenance, but strayed from being solely dependent on God for Spiritual sustenance.

Verse 32: Jesus then said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. (NASB)

  • “You never got bread from Moses, then and now it comes from God” (Spence vol. 27, 259).
  • Jesus is trying to tell them that the “true bread” is no longer physical, but is eternal.
  • We also get the underlying tone that this is new shift in the religion that will be different from the religion of Moses.
  • This passage insinuates that perhaps the Jews had focused too much on the Prophets of God and not enough on God himself.

Verse 33: For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world." (NASB)

  • Bread was the staple food for a large portion of the world, both rich and poor and in many ways still is for us today.
    • We see the dependence on the life giving bread in both the physical and spiritual dimensions.

Verse 34: Then they said to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread." (NASB)

  • The use of the elevation of calling Jesus Lord instead of Rabbi shows the increased respect for Jesus (Spence vol. 27, 258).
    • He is no longer just a teacher, but he is recognized as being master.
  • They are finally getting it and are asking for the Spiritual food that Christ offers.
    • But there is the question of whether they really understand.

Verse 35: Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. (NASB)

  • His further explanation shows that Jesus sees that despite their words they do not full grasped what they are asking for.
  • We see a switch to an opposite, contrasting argument.
    • Jesus is using the opposite of being satisfied, which is to hunger and thirst.
      • These are potent symbols to everyone, but especially the poor who have experienced the pain of real hunger and thirst.
    • Not only will we be satisfied once, but we will be satisfied forever
      • This is in direct contrast of the “food that perishes” in verse 27.
  • Again we see the self-stated authority of Jesus, which should at least challenge those who support the “just a good teacher” theory of Christ.
    • The statement “I am the bread of Life” leaves little room for ambiguity, a plurality of faiths, or diverse methods of salvation.

Verse 36: But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. (NASB)

  • Here we see confirmation of the idea in verse 30 that they have been given all the proof and validation of who Christ is and still they do not believe
    • The fact that they have met the Son of God and still didn't believe in him is a harsh reminder that many people will not chose to follow Christ regardless of God's or our work and desire.

Verse 37: All that the Father gives Me will come to Me and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. (NASB)

  • Of particular interest is the word “gives”
    • The ongoing debate as to the will of a person in regards to their salvation is present here.
    • Does the Father dictate those whom Christ will save?
    • Or does the Father connect those who chose to believe in Him to Christ?
      • There is no indication that “give” supports predestination (Spence vol. 27, 261)
  • At the very least we see the unconditional acceptance of Christ to those who believe in Him.
    • We are affirmed that Christ will not cast out believers based on technicalities or individual acts of sin
    • We are still left with the possibility of the voluntary cutting of from God that a person himself may choose to do.

Verse 38: For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (NASB)

  • Yet again we see a reference to the authority of Jesus, both:
    • In his coming down from heaven
    • And in his doing the will of Him who SENT Me
  • An interesting note is the obedience of the Son to the Father that we see throughout the New Testament, especially in the Gospels (e.g. Jesus' Baptism)
    • If Jesus the Son of God obeys and seeks the will of God, how much more should I submit to the same will?
      • Only an arrogance suggestive of being above the Son of God would permit me to not follow the will of the Father

Verse 39: This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. (NASB)

  • It is God's will that none should fall away from the saving relationship with Christ
    • Does this mean that they can't or that God does not wish it?
    • It surely means that God has a love for each one of us and does not wish any believer to lose that life giving bread
  • A reference to being raised up on “the last day” which one would suppose is a reference to the Judgment Day
    • Another possibility would be each person's last day, which would be the day of their physical death
  • One more reference to the authority of Jesus

Verse 40: For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." (NASB)

  • The eternal life that Christ offers would be in contrast to the perishing life of this world (Spence vol. 27, 262)
    • It is conditional to those who:
      • Recognizes Christ
      • And believes in him
  • Belief being more than just belief in the existence of a Jesus as indicated in behold, but rather in the faith we are to have in Christ Jesus for everything in our lives (Spence vol. 27, 263)
  • One last time Jesus claims the authority by claiming God as his father
    • I repeat this because Jesus repeats this and forces the present crowd and us to come to terms with His amazing claims
    • Having stated his Supernatural authority 8 times in 16 verses we cannot ignore those statements
      • We are left with either denying or accepting his repeated, bold, unambiguous claims

Message Ideas/Scripts/Liturgy That Use This Chapter

Hungry for Jesus24-35We can have spiritual eating disorders too, but God wants us to be healthy and filled with the love of Christ.Spiritual HealthGeneralGeneralMessage Idea