Friday, July 30, 2010

Jesus the Bread of Life (Jn. 6:30-40)

John 6:30-40

The people asked Jesus what miraculous sign would He show so that they could believe. They talked about the manna Moses gave their forefathers to eat in the desert as the sign. Actually this is not the most important thing. What is more important is the meaning symbolised by that even, that is that the Word of God that has been sent to them. The material will decay but God’s Word will stand forever.

The Father has sent Christ as the Bread of Life. He is the Bread that was sent from heaven. The Jews could not understand because they were not interested in the truth but only in food. They used their religious faith to seek temporal things of the world. This is what frequently happen in religious temples.

Religiosity is something unique in human beings which is not found in animals. Animals do not pray. They do not have the concept of eternal life. They cannot seek the truth. They are stuck in material world. But human beings can connect to spiritual things. So man has dual needs, material and spiritual. The fervency of faith and religiousity are great but ironically humans tend to use such great functions to pursue temporal things. Do you need to use religious spirit and energy to seek after temporal things?

The crowd went after Jesus for material food. Jesus exposed their motive immediately. God used manna as an illustration. What God truly wants to give is the eternal word, not the material food.

The manna was material and temporal. Their ancestors ate manna and died. But what God wanted to give ultimately is the true bread from heaven, Christ, the Word become flesh. So the Word of God is not subjective imagination. It is Jesus Christ who came from heaven, sent by God that the world might have life. He is the Son of God. He is the true bread of life. Jesus declared that He is the Bread of life, that if you eat him, you will never go hungry and thirsty. So believers partake of the Word. This is hard to accept because it is against our fallen reason.

After hearing this, they could not accept it and wanted to leave Him. Here Jesus made it clear that nobody could come to the Him unless the Father enabled him. In another passage, Jesus said, “My sheep hear My voice and follow Me. The reason you cannot hear Me is because you do not belong to Me.” He is the bread that comes from heaven and yet they do not receive, not because it is not true, but because they do not belong to Him.

Jesus said if not for His Father, nobody would come to Him, and of all that the Father give He shall lose none. This is the reformed doctrine of predestination. People came to Christ because of the will of the Father. For those who come, none shall be lost.

This is difficult to accept because men like to hear that the freedom of choice lies with them. They like to hear that it is in their power to choose to become believers. But the truth is, if not for the sovereign will of God, man cannot believe. It is the will of God that of those God cause to believe in Christ, none will be lost.


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