Saturday – December 10, 2016
Read: John 6:32-40
Focus: vs 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.’”
Jesus declared that He is “the bread of life” in verse 35 and that has to be connected to verse 32b where it is recorded that “it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven” (emphasis mine). This bread of life – Jesus – is a gift from God. We have been sharing about gifts both as given by God and as received by men. If a gift is given it is expected to be received.
Have you ever been given an unexpected gift that you then treasured? I remember one Christmas when I was just a child, maybe about 8 or 9 years old when we kids had a habit of pouring over the various catalogs from Sears Roebuck and Montgomery Wards and other places. We would all put a mark of some kind next to those items we wished, for all the time knowing that they were very unlikely to appear magically under the Christmas tree. We had maybe two old quite beat up sleds that we had shared for the previous two years we had lived on the farm with our grandparents. We were surprised then, in about 1949, to receive two brand new sleds for Christmas. This was totally unexpected and very exciting and we could hardly wait to try them out as we had about 8 inches of snow on the ground that year. We kids and our maternal cousins, who usually came up to the farm on Christmas, had a really great time playing and sledding in the snow that year.
But those sleds really pale in comparison with a gift like what Jesus speaks about in John, chapter 6. This bread of God was given by Him to bring life to those who partook of it. Bread is meant to be ingested for it to have any value. A loaf of bread sitting on the table does no one any good unless it is eaten. In the same way the Bread of God has no value unless it is put to use. You can’t just look at it. Until the Jews of that day began squabbling over just who Jesus was and not accepting his statement at face value; they had been accepting His words as true and said, “. . .always give us this bread.” (v. 34).
The latter part of verse 35 makes it very clear that the bread must be received and that some will receive and others will not receive that Bread from God, which is Jesus Christ. The Bread of Life, Jesus, will satisfy and bring life to all who partake of it. Those who refuse to partake will not receive life. What Jesus is talking about is life eternal life with Him. The very last part sounds a bit like what Jesus said to the Samaritan woman at the well so there is a strong link between the Bread of Life and the Living Water – both of which refer to Jesus.
Have you partaken of the Bread of Life? Are you regularly partaking of the Bread of Life? We do this by maintaining our walk with Jesus through the use of the spiritual disciplines available to us. We spend time in the Word of God – the Bible. We spend time in worship alongside other believers. We spend time in public and secret closet prayer with our Lord, just simply communing with Him. God will continue to bless you as you partake of Jesus, the Bread of Life. May you always receive this Bread.