I love it when my private Bible reading crashes into the public preaching of the Word. Last night we heard a great word from Pastor Ryan on Exodus 16 with Israel being provided manna from heaven to sustain them in the desert. He took us to John 6 as Jesus claims to be the “bread of life” and how again, things of the OT shadow things in the NT. Turns out the whole Bible really is one storyline – God..and his redemptive plan to save a fallen human race.
Three things I noticed in John 6 this AM:
- Belief – John isn’t called the “gospel of belief” for nothing. Here again we see the theme of belief running strong. Perhaps most clearly in the exchange of v28-29 where those listening to Jesus ask him what must they “do to be doing the works of God?” Jesus’ answer: “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” (um…Me…Jesus…that’s who. Believe in ME as God in the flesh and what I’ve come to do and that you need a Savior)
- Trinity – even though the word ‘trinity’ is not in Scripture, it’s theme is unmistakeable. Here we see Jesus as God in the flesh, we see the Father as the one who sent Jesus, and we also see the Holy Spirit. v63 says it is “the Spirit who gives life.” God the Holy Spirit opens our eyes to the plan of God in Christ Jesus. Once your eyes are open, and you believe the gospel you are regenerated – given new life by the Spirit, not through any works or merit of our own, as v63 says “the flesh is no help at all”
- Jesus = Life – Bread is a metaphor for life. Bread (food) sustains, yet it needs to be replenished. God gave us this rhythm of hunger, thirst and eating, drinking as a model to point to what Jesus offers – complete fulfillment and satisfaction. Jesus says that “I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” Jesus completely satisfies us because that is the way God has made us – to live a life in the purpose you have been created for to glorify God by being totally satisfied in Jesus, not sin.
These truths are hard for some – mainly for those whom God hasn’t opened their eyes to the precious gospel of Jesus. We see that “many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him.” (v66) The truth demands a response, sometimes that response is rejection – God is the one that draws (v44) and the Spirit is the one that gives life (v63) – our role is believe in Jesus (v29) so deeply that we testify to God’s glory by finding our joyous fulfillment in him alone.
I love the exchange with Jesus and his disciples at the close of the chapter, Jesus, seeing the many that had left him says in v67 – “Do you want to go away as well?”
Peter responds in v68 “To whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
May we respond like Peter when faced with the temptation to find satisfaction in sin, may we our hearts be content and satisfied in Jesus alone – the true Bread of Life.