Who are you? Does you name tell others who you are? Is it possible to know someone without knowing the person’s name? Or does your character speak more concerning who you are than does your name?
In my last post we began discovering who this man called Jesus was and is through the words of the Gospel of John. Today, we will attempt to understand who He is through his statements.
“And Jesus said unto them,
I am the bread of life…” (6:35).
“Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying,
I am the light of the world…” (8:12).
“Then said Jesus unto them again, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
I am the door of the sheep.” (10:7).
“I am the good shepherd…” (10:11).
“Jesus said unto her,
I am the resurrection and the life…” (11:25).
“Jesus saith unto him,
I am the way, the truth, and the life…” (14:6).
“I am the vine…” (15:5).
The day after Jesus fed the 5000, the crowd sought and followed him to the other side of the sea. I can’t help but wonder if the miraculous multiplication of food spread throughout the region faster than any internet connection. They sought not Jesus but his physical provision. They wanted more food for the belly but Jesus wanted to give them food to fill their spirit with everlasting life. This is when Jesus told them,
“I am the bread of life:
he that cometh to me shall never hunger;
and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
The crowd didn’t like what Jesus said. They wanted another sign, another work. They wanted immediate relief from their physical needs not realizing relief for their most pressing need stood before them. As they murmured against his words, He pushed them further.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven:
if any man eat of this bread,
he shall live for ever:
and the bread that I will give is my flesh,
which I will give for the life of the world.”
The Jews found this statement more confusing, more argumentative. I am convinced they knew what Jesus did not mean. They mocked the absurdity of his statement.
If Jesus’s first words put them on edge, his next words drove them over the cliff.
“Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you,
- Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
- Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life;
- and I will raise him up at the last day.
- For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
- He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
- As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” (6:53-57).
For a moment I will give the Jews the benefit of doubting. These statements are hard ones to understand with a quick read through. What did Jesus mean in saying, He is the bread of life?
Food is meant to be eaten. Not eating the food before you brings the body no benefit. The body needs the bread inside it to give it strength and life. Jesus is the bread of life. It is his life. He prepared it through the fire of the cross and offers it to all. When we eat of this bread, we take it into our dead spirit. Here the bread, Jesus’s life, gives us new life, everlasting life. We have been born of his body.
“For we being many are one bread, and one body:
for we are all partakers of that one bread…
Now ye are the body of Christ,
and members in particular.”
1 Corinthians 10:17;12:27.
“So we being many, are one body in Christ,
and every one members one of another;”
Jesus clearly states his flesh is the bread, and He offers his body of flesh up in our stead. He takes our death that we may have life, his life dwelling in all who receive him.
“He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.” (6:56).
“And this is his commandment,
That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ,
and love one another, as he gave us commandment.
And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him,
and he in him.
And hereby we know that he abideth in us,
by the Spirit which he hath given us…
Hereby know we that we dwell in him, and he in us,
because he hath given us of his Spirit.
Whosoever shall confess that Jesus is the Son of God,
God dwelleth in him, and he in God.”
1 John 3:23,24; 4:13-15.
“This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.” John 6:58.
Jesus didn’t give the Jews what they asked for – another miracle to fill their bellies. He gave them himself but they refused. They could not see past the moment into eternity. Jesus makes it clear in Matthew’s gospel He takes care of both.
“For after all these things do the Gentiles seek: for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things.
But seek ye first the kingdom of God,
and his righteousness;
and all these things shall be added unto you.”
Jesus began this discourse in John chapter 6 with this exhortation.
“Labour not for the meat which perisheth,
but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life,
which the Son of man shall give unto you:
for him hath God the Father sealed.”
What food are enjoying? Does it leave you hungry or filled with the fulness of God?
For another insight into the bread of life, visit emotionalplace.wordpress.com. The post is Call to Prayer.
Which of the other 7 “I am” statements in John speaks to your spirit? Which would you like to hear more about?