Wednesday 16 July 2014

Bible Book:

“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live for ever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” (v. 51)

John 6:41-51 Wednesday 16 July 2014


Jesus has been speaking of himself as the "bread of life" (vv.35, 48) and saying that coming to him is like eating bread such asnever to be hungry. He has underlined that message with theassertion that he has come from heaven and that respondingpositively to him is what God desires.

Now there is the straightforward objection that Jesus is knownto many, as are his family: he's grown up among them so how can heclaim to have come from heaven? Jesus doesn't deny his familybackground but simply repeats that coming to him as the heavenlyman is like eating bread from which you will never hunger and thatcoming to him is the will of God.

Having thus repeated his argument the significant addition comesat the close of the passage: "Whoever eats this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world ismy flesh". This is a plain reference to his death. In the versesthat follow it will open up a further conversation, but for now wehold to the stark assertion that Jesus makes. For Jesus, his life'spurpose is seen through the lens of his death.

To Ponder

  • When someone dies and people begin to share their memories ofthe deceased we may find that, though we thought we knew them well,there's much we didn't know and missed out on. Familiarity can dullour ability to see afresh. How do we stay open to learning newthings through longstanding relationships?
  • There's much about modern society that leads us to be silentabout death, but if Jesus sees the purpose of his earthly lifethrough the lens of his death to what extent should we do the same?And how do we talk of it?
  • The great Welsh hymn Guide me, O thou great Jehovah has thelines "Bread of heaven - feed me now and evermore". How does Godfeed you and your faith?
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