This week we will study John 6:41-59. So let’s read the passage, “So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.”
You can Trust Jesus
In John 6:41-59, we see that the Jews are grumbling about Jesus saying that He is the bread that comes down from Heaven. The Jews were grumbling over this, because they knew Jesus’ family and they thought this meant He could not possibly be the Messiah. This is something we see throughout Jesus’ ministry, because people thought that no one would know where the Messiah came from. This belief is contradicted by many verses in the Bible, where it is written that the Messiah would be born in Bethlehem, or where it says He was of the line of David, how could anyone verify that, if no one knew where He would come from (Micah 5:2, Isaiah 9:7, 2 Samuel 7:12-13)? This is something that still happens today: we don’t grumble as much about how He could have come down from Heaven or His words, although there is still plenty of that, but more often people search the Bible for contradictions to prove that Jesus is not who He says He is. Many want to bring up that there are 400,000 differences in the ancient copies of the Bible. What they neglect to mention is that we have so many ancient copies and that all those differences still make the copies 98.5% accurate and that the 1.5% are predominantly grammatical or spelling and all the copies were hand copied. As for contradictions, people think are in the Bible, they can all be solved by digging a little deeper. If you have questions about the Bible you are most certainly not the first person to have them, one place I go when I have questions is www.gotquestions.org, they always have great answers that are Biblically based and are very easy to understand. The Bible is trustworthy, people have gone through it for millennia, trying to prove it wrong, but none have, in fact, many end up proving themselves wrong and accepting Jesus as Lord and Savior of their lives.
How to Live Forever with Him
Jesus answered their grumbling by saying, not to grumble because no one comes to the Father unless the Father draws him and on the last day He will raise him up. This is one place many get the idea of predestination and I would say, yes except for the fact that He said, the will of God is for everyone to come to Him (John 6:40, 2 Peter 3:9). Not some, but all, that is why I believe that the Father calls everyone who hears about Him, but it is up to them to accept (Romans 10:17). He then quotes Isaiah 54:13, to back up His claim, not that He needed to, but so that they might believe. He then says that everyone who hears and is taught by God accepts Him. He tries to teach everyone who hears, but not everyone will listen and believe. He says not that anyone has seen the Father, except for the one who comes from the Father, which is Jesus. He continues by saying, “Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life.” When Jesus says, “Truly, truly”, we should all listen up, because Jesus is about to say something that is of utmost importance. In this case, Jesus tells us how to live forever with Him, He says that all we have to do is to believe in Him. If you would like to have eternal life with Him, all you have to do is to, admit that you are a sinner, repent of your sins (repent means turn away), believe that Jesus died on the cross for your sins and God raised Him from the dead, then confess Him as Lord and Savior of your life (Romans 10:9).
Bread of Life
Jesus then tells them that He is the Bread of Life. Back in Jesus’ time and even in the Middle East to this day, bread is more of a necessity. Because bread was not a side dish, but often an important part of their main course. It was their life-giving substance, that’s what Jesus is saying, He is the life-giving substance, of eternal life, as well as during this life. He is the only way to have eternal life! But, He also wants to be the center of this life, not just a side thing you do on the weekends, but your everything, you’re all! Jesus says, “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” This is a parable, Jesus is not literally saying to eat His flesh and drink His blood. He is saying that anyone who believes in Him, eats the bread of life. This is part of His bread of life parable: anyone who believes in Him will live forever, that is how to eat the bread of life (His flesh), how to drink His blood, and how to drink the Living Water that will cause you to never thirst again (John 4:7-15). Yes, it did foreshadow communion (Eucharist, the Lord’s Supper), but not in the way some think, which is that communion literally becomes the blood and body of Jesus. It instead foreshadows what we do to remember, what Jesus did for us, so we could live forever with Him (Luke 22:19). We see that the Jews grumbled about this too, but they missed the fact that this was a parable and the meaning behind it. Jesus would not contradict Himself in conversation or ever, by saying the only way to live forever with Him is to believe in Him and then saying that they had to eat His flesh and drink His blood to live forever with Him. It is a parable representing our belief in Jesus, that is backed up by the fact that He says that we will abide in Him and He in us.
The Greater Bread
Jesus continues by saying He lives because of the Father and that anyone who eats this bread will also live because of Him. That is Jesus’ entire reason for coming, so that we might believe and have eternal life with Him. He says that the bread He offers is the bread that comes down from Heaven and is greater than that of what their fathers ate in the wilderness and died. The bread that their fathers ate in the wilderness, that Jesus is talking about, is manna, but also the Old Testament covenant (Mosaic covenant) (Exodus 24:6-8, Exodus 30:10, Hebrews 9:20-25, Hebrews 7:19-26). Which could only cover your sins for a year, but Jesus came to take your sins and cast them as far as the east is from the west (Psalms 103:12, Hebrews 7:19). That is why Jesus’ bread is greater than that which their fathers ate, because when He forgives your sins, He will forgive them forever, so you can live forever with Him. So, this week if you do not know Him, accept Him today, do not wait, we are not promised tomorrow. Also, this week get in the Word of God, read it, and know that it is trustworthy. Next time you take communion, remember what He did for you, so that you can live forever with Him. Also, know that Jesus does not want to be a side thing, that you only claim on the weekends, Jesus wants to be your all, your everything!
Check out the other blogs in this series A Study through the Gospel of John