This entry is part 6 of 8 in the series John

Gospel according to John, Chapter 6:  Read &/or listen from the Bible.

1/ The Feeding of the Five Thousand, John 6:1-15 – See Pt.1
2/ Jesus Walks on the Sea, John 6:16-21                      – See Pt.1

3/ Jesus  the Bread from Heaven, John 6:22-40
4/ Rejected by His Own, why did Jesus offend Some people (video). John 6:35-66
5/ The Words of Eternal Life, (video) John 6:66-71

3/ Jesus  the Bread from Heaven, John 6:22-40

It is important to note that these events took place during the Passover period, because in some way, John the evangelist is drawing a certain parallel with it. For example, the provision of food that Jesus had just given them in the desert quickly reminded them of the manna they received in the time of Moses. But also the miraculous way in which God led them to cross the Red Sea in the midst of great difficulties, found an echo in the supernatural way in which Jesus now walked on the sea to meet his disciples and calmed the storm so that they could reach the other shore. Even the strange invitation of the Lord to “eat his flesh”, as the only means of salvation, also reminded the paschal lamb that had to be sacrificed and that the Israelites had to eat to be delivered from the wrath of the exterminating angel. These concepts were explained by the Lord to those who sought Him after seeing the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes.

Jesus the Bread of Life

22 The following day the people who stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except the one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but that His disciples had gone away alone. 23 However, other boats came from Tiberias near the place where they ate bread when the Lord had given thanks. 24 When the people therefore saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they also got into boats and came 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 come here?

26 Jesus answered 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. 27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For God the Father has set His seal on Him.”

28 Then they asked Him, “What shall we do that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

30 Therefore they said to Him, “What sign do You show then, that we may see and believe You? What work will You perform? 31 Our fathers ate manna in the desert. As it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]”

32 Then Jesus said, “Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”

35 Jesus said to them, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me shall never hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. 36 But I told you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 All whom the Father gives Me will come to Me, and he who comes to Me I will never cast out. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of the Father who has sent Me, that of all whom He has given Me, I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. 40 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.John 6:22-40

Jesus didn’t show interest in explaining to them how he had come from the other side of the sea, but instead focused their interest on something more important. After telling them the reason of why they were looking for Him, because while they only thought about the miracles and the benefits it had brought them, the Lord wanted to raise their thoughts above the material things so that they understood its spiritual meaning. Then He told them the most important spiritual truth, that He had come from heaven sent by His Father to give us eternal life. Vs.35- Jesus was talking about spiritual hunger & thirst, the people (as happens also today) were focused on the material things.

4/ Rejected by His Own, why did Jesus offend Some people (video). John 6:35-66

5/ The Words of Eternal Life, John 6:66-71

66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more. 67 Then Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you also want to go away?” 68 But Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 Also we have come to believe and know that You are the Christ, the Son of the living God.”  70 Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve, and one of you is a devil?” 71 He spoke of Judas Iscariot, the son of Simon, for it was he who would betray Him, being one of the twelve.

What was the reason they left Jesus? How to explain the radical change they were experiencing? We have seen the keys to understand their reaction throughout the passage. First and foremost, there was their unbelief in God. On the other hand, they had created a Messiah to their own liking. Their interest was focused on material things, such as food & wanted their political liberation from the Romans, & the Lord focused His concern on their spiritual and eternal needs. But above all, the trigger that led them to abandon Him was the announcement of His death & ascension to heaven. This word was hard & difficult for them to accept, and it led them to change the enthusiasm they initially had into abandonment & indifference.

Notice the Lord didn’t do what is now so prevalent in many so-called Christian settings: He did not adapt the message to the liking of the listeners, nor did He lower His demands for people to stay. Jesus tells them the truth & does not hold anyone against his will. The greatest concern of the servants of God should not be that people leave the church because they don’t want to accept the message of the gospel, but it should be if people stay because they have accepted a false gospel adapted to the taste & preferences of the people, that at the end cannot save them.
What happened served to identify who were true believers, because we must not forget that permanence in the Word is the evidence of an authentic conversion. (Jn.8:31).

 

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