John 6:35, “Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.’”
The teaching of Jesus found in John 6:25-71 is one of the most misunderstood but pivotal passages in the book of John. Jesus finished feeding the five thousand and had walked across the Sea of Galilee from one shore to the other to start a new day. But the people, who had chased after Him to have their stomachs filled again, bombarded him.
The passage begins with Jesus rebuking them sternly because the people were seeking signs and wanting Jesus to give them manna from heaven to eat like how Moses gave the Israelites in times past. Basically, they wanted to live like the Israelites in the time of Moses in the desert. Sadly, they didn’t realize that the reason the Israelites were in the desert and eating manna was because of their disobedience. They hadn’t trusted God to live in the Promised Land and were being punished.
Yet, now many thousands of years later, the Jewish people were wanting Jesus to be their new Moses, so they could hide out in the desert and eat His miraculous loaves and fishes. Jesus then spoke to them in metaphorical language and said; “56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 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. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (John 6:56-58).
The people got offended because they didn’t understand the meaning behind Jesus’ words. They took Him literally and assumed they would have to be cannibals to be His disciple. However, Jesus explained in John 6:63, “The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life.” But because their hearts were hard and had misplaced expectations, most of the people were offended and stopped following Jesus (John 6:66).
All their offense could have been avoided if they would have humbled themselves and believed today’s verse in John 6:35 at the beginning of Jesus’ talk with them. Jesus was teaching them to be spiritually nourished with His words and to drink from the Holy Spirit. They didn’t need more miraculous food; they needed to be satisfied in a personal relationship with God. As Jesus taught, even miraculous food will not stop death, but spiritual food gives eternal life.
Jesus, the Bread of Heaven, came to satisfy all our needs. And the Holy Spirit, the Wine of Heaven, quenches every thirst in our soul.
True disciples of Christ should come to the bread of heaven and eat of His Words until their souls are filled and drink of the Holy Spirit until they overflow to the world around them.
- Make time each day to read God’s word and let it feed your soul.
- Daily take time to invite the Holy Spirit to fill you with the character and mind of Christ.
- Never stop feeding on Jesus’ words and drinking from the Holy Spirit. Consider the chorus from the hymn, Fill My Cup, Lord; “Fill my cup, Lord; I lift it up Lord; Come and quench this thirsting of my soul. Bread of Heaven, feed me till I want no more. Fill my cup, fill it up and make me whole.”