“I am that bread of life…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.” Jesus
At the time Jesus came into the world the Jews were looking for a messiah that would deliver them physically from the power of Rome. Jesus was the messiah but he did not come in power. He came with humility and meekness.
The Israelites were drawn to the miracles that he did. Where ever Jesus went he healed sick people. He made the lame walk, caused the blind to see and cast out demons. The miracles served to prove that he was indeed the Son of God, and demonstrated His compassion for others.
On two occasions he even fed thousands of people with just a little bit of food. Other miracles healed people of outward problems but the giving of nourishment could allow people to live without constantly preparing their next meal. Labor could be greatly reduced and an army would always be fed.
Think of the political slogans. “A fish in every Pot” “Let them eat barley loaves” Just the fact that he was able to reach up to 20,000 people (including women and children) In one day, was enough to send people clamoring for Him as their King.
But Christ would have none of it. He did not want people following him because of physical food. So He went away. He escaped their advances and when they found Him again, He was quick to explain to them that He was not what they wanted, but He was everything they needed.
Not for food that perishes
In John 6:25-59 Jesus takes great pains to explain why He came to down from heaven. This is the day after he had fed the Five Thousand Men. Some of the multitude comes and finds Him. He knows exactly what their motives are “…not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled” v.26
The rest of the passage follows their conversation. Jesus tells them “Do not labor for the food which perishes but for the food which endures to everlasting life.” V. 27 they ask what work they should do. Jesus Answers them that the work of God is to believe in Him whom he sent.
Then they ask for a sign, evidently still looking to get something else out of it. They even bring up manna as an example. But Jesus is quick to point out that the manna did not come from Moses and that the same person that gave manna is giving “the true bread from heaven” v. 32 ”The bread of God is He who…gives life to the world.” V. 32
Manna was a sustaining food. It was what the Israelites lived on for 40 years. But as Jesus pointed out they ate manna and are dead. It is good to eat healthy, to live in a healthy environment, to follow safety guidelines. But in the end we will all die a physical death. Yet if we embrace the Bread of life we will not die a spiritual death.
Jesus Christ came so that we could live eternally. He said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” V. 35