I Am the Bread of Life

“I am the Bread of Life.”

This is the first of the seven “I am” sayings in the book of John.  This particular statement comes after the feeding of the five thousand at the beginning of John 6.  Jesus fed the people with only five loaves of bread and two fish. 

He left the people after the event because Jesus knew they were going to attempt to make Him king by force.  What people wouldn’t want a king who could just hand out bread to them every morning?  Jesus knew that this was not the kind of kingdom He was building.  In John 18:36, Jesus says to Pilate, “My kingdom is not of this world.  If My kingdom were of this world, then My servants would be fighting so that I would not be handed over to the Jews; but as it is, My kingdom is not of this realm.” NASB

The people sought Him out the next day, and He said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.”  John 6:26

You can’t really blame them for seeking Him out.  Bread was a significant part of their diet, and He was capable of making it for them without all that pesky work that comes along with it.  But in their desire for another free lunch, they missed what He wanted to teach them.

We are experts at chasing after God, asking Him for stuff, but we don’t consider what He wants to give to us.

“Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven.  For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.’  Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, always give us this bread.’” John 6:32-34

They were still looking for something to fill their bellies.  Jesus explained to the people that God is the One who gave them bread during the forty years in the desert, and He is giving them true bread now, bread that  gives life.  They were still not understanding what Jesus was explaining to them, so He finally put it all out on the table.

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger; and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”  John 6:35

“I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”  John 6:51

Suddenly, they realized He wasn’t talking about lunch anymore.  Jesus wants people to come to Him and believe, just like He said in verse 35.  He’ll miraculously provide lunch sometimes, or whatever it is we need, but what we really need is Him.

John 10:10b says, “I came that they may have life, and have it abundantly.”

Jesus wants us to live an amazing life, a better life here on earth than we could live without Him, and He also wants to have eternal life with Him and the Father in heaven, but we’re walking around asking for something to eat. 

Take a moment and ask Jesus, “Lord, what do You want me to ask for?  What do You want to give me?”  Listen for an answer; when you get an answer, confirm that your answer is not contradictory to God’s Word revealed in the Bible, and begin praying that God will bring it to you.

There are so many different things going on in this chapter.  I only chose one piece.  I suggest you read this passage yourself and consider all of the things Jesus and those around Him said.  If you notice anything interesting, closely related to this post or not, I encourage you to post your thoughts in the comments so we can discuss it together.

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