“I am the bread of life” – This is another verse we teach our kids in their early age. Its small verse, easy to memorize, recite and remember. Though we teach this verse to small kids the explanation Jesus provided was so in depth and so metaphor at the end, even the Jesus’s own disciples started grumbling about it (John 6:61). Some of them left Jesus after this teaching(John 6:66)
Lets get to the context. John 6 was focused around Galilee. When Jesus reached the shore of Galilee big crowd of about 5000 men approached him because of the signs he has performed in other places (John 6:2). Jesus fed them with five barley loves and two fishes and they collected twelve basket full of left over. It a miracle!!
When the evening came his disciples took the boat and travelled to Capernaum, while Jesus stayed back (John 6:17). In the middle of night Jesus walked in the sea and got into the boat. As soon as he got into the boat the shore came.
Lets take some stock here. Jesus’s disciples have seen two sign so far in the last twenty four hours. 1. Jesus feeding 5000 men with 5 barley loaves and two fishes 2. Jesus walking on the water. The people of Men of Galilee also have seen two signs. 1. Jesus feeding 5000 men with 5 barley loves and two fishes 2. They knew for sure there is only one boat and it was only used by Jesus disciples. So they knew it’s a miracle Jesus reached the other side of the shore without the boat.
When the men of Galilee reached Capernaum, Jesus very well aware of their intention pointing them to focus on the food which gives eternal life and not on earthly food (6:27). Now as soon as Jesus explains the criteria for getting the eternal life is believing in himself, they asked for a sign(6:30). If we go back they gathered around Jesus in Galilee after hearing about the signs he performed and saw themselves two more miracles. Now they are looking for more.
But Jesus gives them no more signs but definition of bread of God :
For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. – John 6:33
The definition has two parts.
The bread should come down from heaven: There are two genealogies of Jesus in the gospel. One in Matthew chapter 1 and another one in Luke 3. Both these genealogies were connecting Jesus to his earthly forefathers. Jewish men were very well aware of this and had great difficulty in accepting Jesus Christ as bread of life, who came from heaven. Well, but Jesus was born of virgin birth through the power of holy spirit without physical union. Before he came down to earth he was already existing in heaven. John accurately captures it in John 1:1-4:
In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. 2 He was with God in the beginning. 3 Through him all things were made; without him nothing was made that has been made. 4 In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind.
Jesus existed even before he was born on earth. He is the only one who came from heaven and continued on earth and went back to heaven. Hence only Jesus can fulfill the definition of bread of life, which has to come down from heaven.
The bread of life should give eternal life: Jesus goes ahead and explain this part in metaphor from John 6:50. Jesus explanation of eating the flesh and drinking the blood is His continuation of metaphor that relates to bread. For Jews this is an abomination in physical sense. Eating human body and consuming its blood!!
Before we move forward a note on covenant. The word covenant repeats 295 times in old testament. Our God is a God of covenants. Same word repeats 37 times in new testament. If we remove all the old testament references from new testament and limit to gospel where Jesus spoke, it comes down to three and all three focus on single context i.e. the Last Supper which involves bread, blood and the New Covenant.
On the night before his arrest, Jesus Christ took the bread and broke it. Matthew 26:27,28
27 Then he took a cup, and when he had given thanks, he gave it to them, saying, “Drink from it, all of you. 28 This is my blood of the[b] covenant, which is poured out for many for the forgiveness of sins.
The bread depicts the suffering he has to go through, blood he has to shed to wash away our sins and the death he has to go through to open the eternal life for us. Yes, this is a new covenant and the only covenant Jesus Christ gave us on his last night on the earth in physical form.
Lets wrap it up. Why people cannot believe Jesus after so many signs John 6? The key is John 6:65
“This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”
Unless Father God enables one’s heart to come to Jesus and believe Him, no one come to him. Father God is the source of knowledge. Unless the knowledge of God is revealed to a person it is impossible for a person to believe him. Now we can prove the bible in scientific and historic manner, but all that stops at the point of believing Jesus. Believing Jesus is the key to eternal life.
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