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"I am the bread of life" (John 6)

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“I came down from Heaven” (Jn. 6:33,38)




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John 6

Jesus feeds 5000 men
After these things Jesus went away to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, which is the sea of Tiberias. 2 And a great crowd followed him, because they saw the signs which he performed on those that were sick. 3 And Jesus went up into the mountain, and there he sat with his disciples. 4 Now the Passover, the feast of the Jews, was at hand. 5 Jesus therefore lifting up his eyes, and seeing that a great crowd came to him, said to Philip: Where are we to buy bread that these may eat? 6 And this he said to test him. For he knew what he would do. 7 Philip answered him: Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, that every one may take a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to him: 9 There is a lad here, who has five barley loaves and two fishes; but what are these among so many? 10 Jesus said: Make the people sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. 11 Jesus therefore took the loaves and having given thanks, he distributed them to those that were sitting down. Likewise also the fishes, as much as they could eat. 12 And when they were filled, he said to his disciples: Gather up the broken pieces which remain over, so nothing goes to waste. 13 So they gathered them up, and filled twelve baskets with fragments from the five barley loaves which were left over by those who had eaten.
   14 When the people saw the sign which he did, they said: This is of a truth the prophet that comes into the world! 15 So Jesus, perceiving that they were intending to come and take him by force to make him king, withdrew again to the mountain by himself.
   16 And when evening came, his disciples went down to the sea. 17 And they entered into a boat and were going over by sea to Capernaum. And it was now dark, and Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 And the sea was rising because of a great wind that blew. 19 When therefore they had rowed about five or six kilometres, they saw Jesus walking on the sea and drawing near to the boat; and they were afraid. 20 But he said to them: It is I! Be not afraid! 21 Then they were willing to take him into the boat, and immediately the boat was at the land to which they were going.
22 On the next day the people who remained on the other side of the sea noticed that there had been only one boat there, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 (Some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks). 24 When the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when did you come here? 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.

Bread from Heaven
   27 Do not labour for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set His seal of approval. 28 They replied to him: What must we do, that we may work the works of God? 29 Jesus answered and said to them: This is the work of God- that you believe in him whom He has sent.
   30 They replied to him: What then will you do for a sign, so that we may see and believe you? What work will you do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: He gave them bread out of heaven to eat. 32 Jesus replied to them: Truly, truly, I say to you: It was not Moses that gave you the bread out of heaven, but my Father; who now gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. 34 They replied to him: Lord, always give us this bread. 35 Jesus said to them: I am the bread of life. He that comes to me shall not hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst. 36 But I say to you: That you have seen me, and still you do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me shall come to me, and him that comes to me I will in no way reject. 38 For I came down from Heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of Him that sent me. 39 And this is the will of Him that sent me, that of all which He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father: That every one that sees the Son and believes in him, should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
   41 The Jews therefore murmured concerning him, because he said: I am the bread which came down out of Heaven. 42 And they said: Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, I came down out of Heaven? 43 Jesus answered and said to them: Murmur not among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me, except the Father that sent me draws him; and I will raise him up in the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets: And they shall all be taught by God. Everyone therefore who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
   46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, save he that is from God, he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you: He that believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that a man may eat thereof and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down out of Heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever. Yes! The bread which I will give is my flesh – given for the life of the world.
   52 The Jews therefore argued with each other, saying: How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 53 Jesus replied to them: Truly, truly, I say to you: Except you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink. 56 He that eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he that eats me, he also shall live because of me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of Heaven. Not as the fathers ate and died; he that eats this bread shall live forever.

59 These things said he in the synagogue, while teaching in Capernaum. 60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they heard this, said: This is a hard saying; who can hear it? 61 But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples murmured at this, said to them: Does this cause you to stumble? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascending where he was before? 63 It is the spirit that gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit, and are life. 64 But there are some of you that do not believe. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that did not believe, and who it was that would betray him. 65 And he said: For this cause have I said to you, that no one can came to me, except it be given to him of the Father.
   66 Upon this many of his disciples withdrew, and no longer walked with him. 67 Jesus asked the twelve: Would you also go away? 68 Simon Peter answered him: Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 And we have believed and know that you are the Holy One of God. 70 Jesus answered them: Did not I choose you the twelve, and one of you is a devil? 71 Now he spoke of Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot; for he was the one of those twelve who would betray him.


6:14 The sign or miracle which Jesus did left people with no option but to believe. The miracles claimed by the Pentecostal movement today are highly disputable and therefore don’t have the same effect. Whatever phenomena their ‘healings’ reflect, it’s not proof they possess the Holy Spirit gifts.

6:26 Some people show an interest in our message just because of a hope that they will get some material benefit. Jesus didn’t refuse to assist these people; but He made it clear that He realized what was going on.

6:30 Jesus had just miraculously fed these people and they still wouldn’t believe and sought for yet more signs from Him. The faith produced by the miracle in v. 14 was therefore not very long lived. It is by hearing and responding to the word of Jesus that we can have a deep and lasting faith, rather than from seeing ‘miracles’.

6:33 Jesus compares Himself to the manna. The manna ‘came down’ from God in the sense that it was from God. It didn’t literally float down from Heaven to earth through the atmosphere, it was created on earth. And so with Jesus. He didn’t exist as a person before He was born.

6:42 Although Jesus was perfect, He never omitted any act of righteousness nor committed any sin, the people amongst whom He lived for 30 years didn’t think He was anything special. This shows the humility of Jesus, and how He successfully hid His righteousness rather than did anything to display it to others. In this we have another window onto His perfection.

6:51 After their ‘baptism’ in the Red Sea, God’s people walked through the wilderness fed only by manna (1 Cor. 10:1,2). After our baptisms, we too walk through the wilderness, eating the manna daily- taking strength from Jesus, His word and His sacrifice for us.

6:53 This may be a reference to the huge importance of breaking bread in memory of Jesus- the bread represents His flesh, the wine represents His blood.

6:60 To drink blood was abhorrent to Jewish people. Jesus chose this controversial way of speaking in order to make people chose between Him, and their surrounding religious culture. We can’t follow His words, and also the surrounding culture and networks of thinking.

6:62 “Before” refers to where He was “before” He began to ‘come down’ to them in revealing Himself as God’s Son (:41,42). He’s saying: ‘So would you prefer me to just go back to how I was when I lived amongst you in Nazareth, the incognito Son of God, no teaching, no miracles?’.

6:63 The words of God and Jesus are “Spirit” in the sense that they are inspired, or in-spirit-ed, with and by the Spirit of God. All Scripture is inspired (2 Tim. 3:16; 2 Pet. 1:21). We are born again of the Spirit (Jn. 3:5), and yet also by the word of God (1 Pet. 1:23). God’s Spirit works in us in many ways, one of them is through His word.

6:64 Jesus knew about Judas but still was hurt when the betrayal happened, and even “trusted” him (Ps. 41:9; Jn. 13:18). The Lord Jesus had human nature; and it is part of our nature to know something on one level, and yet for love’s sake we choose not to know it.

6:69 We have believed- Jesus responded by saying that one of them would betray Him (v. 70). He knew that these believers in Him had too positive a view of themselves as a community. The church today must bear this in mind.