‘I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst’ John 6:35
‘I am that bread of life’
(Mark 6; John 6)
In our last lesson, we saw the Lord Jesus speaking to the crowds. He presented His teaching in parables which were loaded with eternal truth. However, most of the crowd did not grasp the meaning of the parables because their hearts were hardened. They did not appreciate the things of heaven, but only the things of earth. Most did not follow Jesus because He was the Savior of sinners; they accompanied Him only because of the physical benefits they received from Him.
We will read more words spoken by the Lord Jesus. We will also see how He confirmed His words by performing a miraculous sign. Our lesson is called
Now let us continue in the holy book. The Scripture says: (Mark 6:30-53) “And the apostles gathered themselves together unto Jesus … And he said unto them, Come aside into a desert place, and rest a while; for there were many coming and going, and they had no leisure so much as to eat.
And they departed into a desert place by boat secretly. And the people saw them departing, and many knew him, and ran afoot out of all cities, and went before them, and came together unto him. And Jesus, when he came out, saw many people, and
was moved with compassion toward them,
because they were as sheep not having a shepherd; and he began to teach them many things. And when the day was now far spent, his disciples came unto him, and said, This is a desert place, and now the time is far passed. Send them away, that they may go into the country round about, and into the villages, and buy themselves bread; for they have nothing to eat. He answered and said unto them,
Give ye them to eat.
And they say unto him, It will take so much money to give them to eat. He saith unto them, How many loaves have ye? Go and see. And when they knew, they say, Five, and two fishes. And he commanded them to make all sit down by companies upon the green grass. And they sat down in ranks, by hundreds, and by fifties. And when he had taken the five loaves and the two fishes,
he looked up to heaven,
and blessed, and broke the loaves, and gave them to his disciples to set before them; and the two fishes divided he among them all. And they did all eat, and were filled. And they took up twelve baskets full of the fragments, and of the fish. And they that did eat of the loaves were about
five thousand men.
And straightaway he constrained his disciples to get into the boat, and to go to the other side before him to Bethsaida, while he sent away the people. And when he had sent them away,
he departed into a mountain to pray.
And when evening was come, the boat was in the midst of the sea, and he alone on the land. And he saw them toiling in rowing; for the wind was contrary unto them. And about the fourth watch of the night he cometh unto them, walking upon the sea, and would have passed by them. But when they saw him walking upon the sea, they supposed it had been a spirit, and cried out; for they all saw him, and were troubled. And immediately he talked with them, and saith unto them, Be of good cheer.
And he went up unto them into the boat; and wind ceased; and they were very much amazed in themselves beyond measure, and wondered. For they considered not the miracle of the loaves; for
their heart was hardened.
And when they had passed over, they came into the land of Gennesaret, and drew to the shore”.
(John 6:22,24-27) “The day following, when the people who stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one into which the disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone …when the people, therefore, saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took boats and came to Capernaum,
And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou here? Jesus answered them, and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. Labour not for the food that perisheth, but for that food which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you;
for him hath God the Father sealed”.
Let us pause here. Why did Jesus say to the crowd, “Do not work for food that perish”? Does that mean we should not work in order to have something to eat? No, it does not mean that, because the Word of God also says: “If a man will not work, he shall not eat.” (2 Thes. 3:10) Why then did Jesus say, “Do not work for food that perish”? What Jesus was saying was this: If you work only for your stomach, and merely seek after the things of the world,
you will end up losing everything,
because your body is going to die and return to dust. However, there is something in your body that will never perish.
The soul of man will exist forever–either in the glorious place called Heaven (Paradise) or in the horrifying place called Hell. That is why Jesus said,
“Do not work for food that perish, but for food that endures to eternal life!”
That was how Jesus warned the crowd, so that they might not merely seek perishable food, but that they might seek the Word of God
which never passes away.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Matt. 4:4)
That is what the Lord Jesus said.
Sadly, most of those who surrounded Jesus did not care about the Word of God,
nor did they believe in the One whom God had sent!
Filling their stomachs with food was more important to them than filling their hearts with the truth that could save them from God’s judgement. That is why Jesus said to them, (John 6:27-29) “Labour not for the food which perisheth, but for that food which endureth unto everlasting life … what shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered, and said unto them, This is the work of God,
that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.”
Did you hear Jesus’ answer? How can a child of Adam, who is conceived in sin, please God? Can we work and accomplish deeds that please God? Can we somehow save ourselves from the power of Satan and sin and hell? Can we produce the perfect and pure heart that God requires?
“Even if a log soaks a long time in water it will never become a crocodile.” How then can a descendant of Adam please God? What did the Lord Jesus say about this? He said, “This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” No one can ever begin to please God until he believes in the holy Redeemer whom God has sent.
Sadly, most of the crowd did not believe that Jesus was the Savior, whom God had sent. That is why they said to Him, (John 6:30-35) “They said, therefore, unto him, What sign showest thou, then, that we may see, and believe thee? What dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written,
Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. And Jesus said unto them,
I am the bread of life;
he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst”.
With those words Jesus was saying: As God sent food down from heaven to feed the children of Israel for forty years so that they would not die in the wilderness, so God has sent to all the children of Adam “Food” which gives eternal life so that we might not perish in our sin!
Is there a food on earth which if you eat of it you can live in the presence of God forever? No, there is not! What is this “Food” which gives eternal life? What did the Lord Jesus say? He said, (John 6:35-37,40-69) “And Jesus said unto them,
I am the bread of life;
he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. But I said unto you that ye also have seen me, and believe not. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out … and this is the will of him that sent me, that everyone who seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread that came down from heaven. And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then, that he saith,
Jesus, therefore, answered, and said unto them,
Murmur not among yourselves.
No man can come to me, except the Father, who hath sent me, draw him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, And they shall all be taught of God. Every man, therefore, that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. Not that any man hath seen the Father, except he who is of God; he hath seen the Father. Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
I am that bread of life.
Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread that cometh down from heaven; if any man eat of this bread,
and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews, therefore, strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. He who eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For
my flesh is food indeed,
my blood is drink indeed.
He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father, so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven, not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead;
he that eateth of this bread shall live forever.
These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
Many, therefore, of his disciples, when they heard this, said,
This is an hard saying.
Who can hear it? When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them,
What if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before? It is the spirit that giveth life; the flesh profiteth nothing. The words that I speak unto you, they are the spirit, and they are life. But
there are some of you that believe not.
For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him. And he said, Therefore said I unto you that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
From that time
many of his disciples went back,
and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go?
Thou hast the words of eternal life.
And we believe and are sure that
thou art the Christ, the Son of the living God”.
Thus many disciples turned away, no longer accompanying Jesus because of His difficult teachings. However, among those who followed Jesus, were some who would not leave Him, because
they were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah,
the Holy One from God—the Bread of Life—the “True Food” which gives eternal life!
Yes, that is the way it is. Once you know who Jesus really is and what He is like and what He has done for you–you will never be satisfied with another master!
He alone can satisfy the heart that hungers for assurance of salvation and a close relationship with God.
How about you?
Do you hunger and thirst for eternal life? Do you long to have confidence before God here on earth and in the life to come? Then consider this great invitation from the Lord Jesus Christ who says,
“Come unto me, all ye that labour and are heavy laden, and I will give you rest. . . . I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (Matt. 11:28; John 6:35) Amen.
In the next lesson, God willing, we will continue in the Gospel and hear how the crowd was divided because of Jesus.
God bless you as you remember these words of the Lord Jesus:
“I am the bread of life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger, and he that believeth on me shall never thirst” (John 6:35)
We would invite you to answer the questions attached and send them together with any questions that you might have