Jesus the Living Bread
Text: John 6:41-51
Let me set the scene again briefly. The Lord Jesus has just fed the five thousand. They are enamoured by Him, rightly believing that He is the Prophet Moses prophesied of, but thinking that He had come to supply physical bread or manna for them, and not getting that He’s is the true bread, i.e. the spiritual bread God provides to save the soul.
It is now the day after the miracle. The crowd are looking for Him and find Him on the other side back in Capernaum. Jesus is now in the middle of a discourse about Himself, revealing His person and work in ever clearer language. This teaching of Jesus carries on into the synagogue v59.
The Jewish leaders perhaps catch wind of what Jesus was teaching the people, and they begin to give their reaction in the synagogue.
Last week we considered the words of v30-40, seeing a tremendous dichotomy
v30-36 show what appears to be the absolute failure of the Lord to get people to believe. v37-40 show the absolute sovereignty of the Lord in salvation.
I. THE JEWISH OBJECTION TO THIS CLAIM
v41 – they are murmuring. Just as their fathers had murmured in the wilderness, they are reflecting the spirit of their fathers.
v42 – they refuse to acknowledge His heavenly origin, “the son of Joseph”. And it’s clear that Joseph and Mary were known around Capernaum. Jesus’ divine origin bothers people. It really bothers people. Now according to Nicodemus they knew He wasn’t your average philosopher or religious teacher, and it was the signs that vindicated his claim.
II. THE SAVIOUR’S CONFIRMATION OF THIS CLAIM
1. Living Bread is Experienced Sovereignly – v43-45
v44 – Some interpret this that the Father draws all men, but only some come to Christ. The drawing of the Father simply makes it possible for all to believe. The alternative is that the Father only draws some, and all that He draws come to Christ. Is God decisive in salvation, or man?
We need to keep in mind that it is a response to the murmuring.
v37,44 – do you think there is a difference in the Father giving people to His Son and drawing people to His Son?
v63-65 – John says Jesus knew there was a Judas, and in order to understand Judas he repeats v44 in v65. He is basically saying the reason Judas didn’t come is because the Father didn’t draw him. If you say that God draws everyone, then v65 makes no sense. It is in the context of Judas, an unbeliever, and the point Jesus makes is the Judas betrayed because he wasn’t drawn by the Father.
10:26-27 – Jesus notes that those who follow Him do so because they are part of the flock. v45 – He quotes Isaiah here because the prophecy says men will be taught of God. The clear teaching is that those taught of God will believe. The question is, if Jesus is God and He appears to be teaching them, why don’t they believe?
12:37-40 – this verse is clear, God does not leave the matter of believing to men without Him performing the decisive action. He blinds eyes and hardens hearts. They can’t believe v39. So while it may appear that they are being taught of God, they are not. They are being kept in blindness and unbelief.
If a man is taught of the Father, hears from the Father, and learns from the Father, they will believe.
2. Living Bread is Expressing Deity v46, 48
v46 – “he which is of God” i.e. he which is from God. Another expression of His own deity. As an aside, note also, no man hath seen God. “As a boy, Joseph Smith was surrounded by various churches which, though they disagreed with one another, each claimed to teach the truth. This caused him much serious reflection. He wanted to know which church was right. One day he read a passage in the Bible which says, “If any of you lack wisdom, let him ask of God, that giveth to all men liberally, and upbraideth not; and it shall be given him” (James 1:5). Joseph decided to accept the invitation to ask God. In the spring of 1820, Joseph went to a grove of trees near his home and prayed to learn which church he should join. In answer to his prayer, Heavenly Father and His Son, Jesus Christ, appeared to him. Joseph wrote: “When the light rested upon me I saw two Personages, whose brightness and glory defy all description, standing above me in the air. One of them spake unto me, calling me by name and said, pointing to the other—This is My Beloved Son. Hear Him!” Joseph was told to join none of the churches that existed at that time as the priesthood authority and Church as Jesus Christ had organized it when He was on the earth had been lost over the centuries.”
Lies. Every visible revelation of God to man has been God the Son. Without exception.
v48 – here we have another “I am” statement. Jehovah is the bread of life.
3. Living Bread is Eternally Satisfying v49-50
Note the contrast. Jesus Christ satisfies in time and for eternity. He has come down from heaven. He is God incarnate.
4. Living Breast is Evidently Saving v47, 51
He gives everlasting life. He will give Himself to give life to the world. Christianity is not a white religion. It is to whoever believes. The apostles filled Jerusalem with their doctrine of Christ. That’s our duty.
v44 has much instruction
i) Gives us humility. We realize everything good is from God.
ii) makes us thankful. We are thankful.
iii) give us assurance. If it’s about keeping yourself, how can you stop waking up one day and failing? You can’t. There’s only assurance when God is in control.
iv) it gives us hope. Specifically hope for others. Some of you have family members who have followed a path of unbelief and paganism for decades. What hope is there if salvation is up to man?