Morning Devotions: John 6 – I am the Bread of Life
I greet you in the wonderful name of our Lord Jesus Christ. Amen.
The sun is literally coming up as this is being recorded. God's beauty is busy flooding in to this room. What I'm going to do this morning is read from God’s Word. We’re in John 6, it’s Day 6 of lockdown. We’re working through this 21 Chapter book over the 2 days of lockdown. I am going to explain some of what's going on in the chapter, apply some of what's going on in the chapter and then I am going to close I prayer. Let's read from God's word John chapter 6 beginning at the first verse.
John 6 Christian Standard Bible (CSB)
6 After this, Jesus crossed the Sea of Galilee (or Tiberias). 2 A huge crowd was following him because they saw the signs that he was performing by healing the sick. 3 Jesus went up a mountain and sat down there with his disciples. Now the Passover, a Jewish festival, was near. 5 So when Jesus looked up and noticed a huge crowd coming toward him, he asked Philip, “Where will we buy bread so that these people can eat?” 6 He asked this to test him, for he himself knew what he was going to do. Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread wouldn’t be enough for each of them to have a little. 8 One of his disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter’s brother, said to him, 9 “There’s a boy here who has five barley loaves and two fish—but what are they for so many? 10 Jesus said, “Have the people sit down. There was plenty of grass in that place; so they sat down. The men numbered about five thousand. 11 Then Jesus took the loaves, and after giving thanks he distributed them to those who were seated—so also with the fish, as much as they wanted 12 When they were full, he told his disciples, “Collect the leftovers so that nothing is wasted.” 13 So they collected them and filled twelve baskets with the pieces from the five barley loaves that were left over by those who had eaten 14 When the people saw the sign he had done, they said, “This truly is the Prophet who is to come into the world. 15 Therefore, when Jesus realized that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, he withdrew again to the mountain by himself. 16 When evening came, his disciples went down to the sea, 17 got into a boat, and started across the sea to Capernaum. Darkness had already set in, but Jesus had not yet come to them. 18 A high wind arose, and the sea began to churn. 19 After they had rowed about three or four miles, they saw Jesus walking on the sea. He was coming near the boat, and they were afraid. 20 But he said to them, “It is I. Don’t be afraid.” 21 Then they were willing to take him on board, and at once the boat was at the shore where they were heading. 22 The next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw there had been only one boat. They also saw that Jesus had not boarded the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone off alone. 23 Some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.” 28 “What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. 29 Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the one he has sent.” 30 “What sign, then, are you going to do so we may see and believe you?” they asked. “What are you going to perform? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” 32 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always.” 35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again. 36 But as I told you, you’ve seen me, and yet you do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him will have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.” 41 Therefore the Jews started complaining about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Isn’t this Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Stop complaining among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. 47 “Truly I tell you, anyone who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, 55 because my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. 56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your ancestors ate—and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60 Therefore, when many of his disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard. Who can accept it?” 61 Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were complaining about this, asked them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you were to observe the Son of Manascending to where he was before? 63 The Spirit is the one who gives life. The flesh doesn’t help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. 64 But there are some among you who don’t believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.) 65 He said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted to him by the Father. 66 From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him. 67 So Jesus said to the Twelve, “You don’t want to go away too, do you?” 68 Simon Peter answered, “Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. 70 Jesus replied to them, “Didn’t I choose you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil.” 71 He was referring to Judas, Simon Iscariot’s son, one of the Twelve, because he was going to betray him.
There is so much going on in this chapter. It really is the high point of Jesus Christ's Ministry in the Gospel of John, a high point from the from a popularity perspective. At this stage, scores, thousands of people are following you calling themselves his disciples. And yet, this chapter is the turning point. It's that moment we Jesus challenges them to such an extent that many people leave and so it becomes a point where Jesus Christ’s popularity begins to wane.
It's also the fourth and the fifth sign recorded in John 6. The fourth sign being the feeding of the 5000, and the fifth sign and been Jesus Christ walking on water and then the boat immediately reaching its destination on land. And yet, if you make this about Sunday school stories, or about the fourth and the fifth sign you lose, why John has written a chapter. He uses those signs as springboards in order to present this discourse; this conversation in Jesus Christ has both of the crowd and with his disciples.
In this chapter, we have the first of seven I am statements in the Greek, ego eimi, a reference to Exodus 3 where God refers to himself to YHWH, I am. Here Jesus Christ says, ““I am the bread of life.” We read about it in John chapter 5:35. Jesus says “I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again.” By equating himself with the bread, Jesus Christ is saying that he is firstly essential for life.
Secondly, when he says, “I am the bread of life,” he is speaking of spiritual matters rather than physical matters. He's not saying he's physically a loaf of bread. This is a spiritual reality. Thirdly, this is a clear claim to deity. Jesus Christ say, “I am” both this time and in future occasions. Fourthly, this is an invitation you'll notice in the text that it says “I am” the bread of life, no one who comes to me…” this is an invitation to put your faith in your trust in Jesus Christ, that he might sustain you, fill you and quench your thirst. Lastly, hunger and thirst in that verse is talking about that spiritual hunger and thirst that we have to stand righteous before God that cannot be filled in anything else, but the person of Jesus Chris.
If you are an unbeliever that is reading this devotion this morning, I would point you to Chapter 6 verse 28 to 29 where it says, “The Jews asked the question. What can we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus replied. “This is the work of God that-you believe in the one he has sent.”” Friends, salvation by grace alone. That mean grace, God's unmerited favour upon us that comes from him rather than our legal observance of the law. There is no work we can do to make ourselves acceptable to place our faith and our trust in Jesus Christ, the son of God. Salvation is in Christ alone. Not in our own works, but in his finished work on the cross.
Salvation is by faith alone. It is by putting our faith and our trust in Jesus Christ, rather than in the works of the flesh. You will stand before God one day, because it is appointed for all men to die once and thereafter the judgment. And on that day as you give an account, you will either give an account of the righteousness of Christ which covers you because you've put your faith and your trust in him or will you will give an account of your own works which will be like filthy rags before the Judgment Throne of God.
If you are a seeker and you're reading to the text this morning, I would point you to John chapter 6:35 where Jesus Christ say, I am the bread of life. Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again.” And I will ask you the question. Do you hunger and thirst for righteousness? The idea of that I am taking from, Matthew Chapter 5 from the Sermon on the Mount. Do you desire to glorify him with your life? Friend, you can find God and you will find him in the person of Jesus Christ, his Son.
If you are a backslider reading this text, this text is filled with information for you. Because as I said, this is the great turning point. We saw many of Jesus's disciples turn their backs on him and leave him. In John 6:64, “But there are some among you who don’t believe. (Because Jesus knew from the beginning those who did not believe and the one who would betray him.)
The reality is Christianity or the church can sometimes be a little bit, and this is a metaphor, like a pool party and when people jump in the pool and having fun. But sometimes there are those at the pool party who stand around the edges of the pool and they are just there to enjoy the splash effect. Everybody else is having fun in the pool. And they just getting kind of like splashed from time to time. Maybe that's you. Maybe you're in church and just enjoying something of the splash effect. Maybe you enjoy the singing maybe you enjoy something about the teaching or maybe enjoy the fellowship, the cup of tea and a cup of coffee after the service, whatever. It might be you're there to stand on the side of the pool, whereas Christ wants his Believers to be in the pool. If you're a backslider, if you are professing one thing with your mouth, but living differently, then I would encourage you to repent. I exhort you! You're commanded to repent of your sins to turn to Jesus Christ. You need to jump into the pool. You need to jump into him with all of your life. He doesn't want part of you, he wants all of you.
Are you're a new convert? I want to read from John chapter 6:66 where it say “From that moment many of his disciples turned back and no longer accompanied him.” I just want to give you a brief word of encouragement that I wish I got at the beginning of my Christian walk. Truth is over your Christian walk, you will find that many depart from the faith. Many people will turn their back. Even recently, there was a very famous Christian who wrote a book that I dreaded, and many people that I know dread, who disavowed and turned his back from the Christian faith walked away from it. This kind of thing will happen and when it happened it will hurt. And it is not unusual for people Not to follow Jesus Christ. That when the going gets tough, people turn their back on him.
If you’re a believer and you’re reading this text this morning, I want to read to you from John 6:44. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day.” I want to remind you that Salvation is a gift from and work of God. God Draws man. And for that very reason, I want to encourage you to evangelise even this week. I want to encourage you to pu Jesus Christ forward to display into a watching world. The truth is God the Father draws me to himself and he uses as the mechanism to proclaim the gospel to our family and friends and co-worker. As a result, we know that our evangelistic efforts will bear fruit because God is involved
Lastly, if you are an old Saint, let me read to you from John 6:37-39. “Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. “For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me but should raise them up on the last day. “
Friend, you’ve walked so long with Christ. He promises that he has you in the palm of his hand, that he holds you and that he will not lose you. He will raise you up on the last day.
Be encouraged this day that Glory awaits and that Jesus Christ, your Lord and Saviour awaits. It is just a moment until you are at the celestial gates, awaiting entry into eternity to come.
That’s some brief explanation of the chapter and some application.
Let’s closing a word of prayer father God, I do pray that even as we read your Word that you would stir our hearts and that we might believe that Jesus is the Son of God and in believing, we might have eternal life in his name. Grow us into the maturity of the faith. That we might glorify you in this life, even as we will glorify you forever in the life to come. This I pray in the wonderful name of Jesus Christ, our Lord and our Saviour, Amen.
May the LORD God bless you.