The people wanted to see something miraculous; to see God, but Jesus knew their real need wasn’t to see something but to learn something! To learn truth! He knew these hard-heads were going to twist His words because they’d already shown they couldn’t see or hear spiritually. Believing the Word of God enables us to hear and learn from God and receive the faith to come to Jesus and place our trust in HIM (Romans 10:17)! When Jesus said “I Am the Bread of Life”, He wasn’t claiming to be like manna because the manna could only sustain life for a little while. The Jews ate it every day and still died! Jesus claims to be greater than manna! He says, “When a person eats of this Bread of Life, they will never die, ever!” Verse 51 is often confused with talk of the Lord’s Supper, but in the context here it has nothing to do with the communion sacrament. Here, “Eating the Living Bread” is a figurative expression meaning to “Believe on Jesus.” When you consume (that is believe) Jesus Christ in your heart, you live forever! Not only did the Father choose to give His Son to save the world, but Jesus makes it clear that He is choosing to give His flesh to make it happen (John 3:16)! Now Jesus makes it clear that this bread is His flesh, which He gave for the life of the world! It’s a declaration from Jesus Himself that He intends to give His life as a sacrifice for His friends, His people, His nation, His world, and for you and me! The crowd refused to hear with spiritual ears. Instead, they howled in protest arguing, “This man wants us to eat His flesh and drink His blood!” They knew the law (Leviticus 17:10-12), and they should have realized that Jesus, being Jewish Himself, would never teach that His flesh and blood were to be eaten literally, or advocate for folks to break God’s law! They should have put 2 and 2 together with their own self-professed knowledge of the scriptures and understood what Jesus was saying by giving His flesh (Isaiah 53: 2)! Had they heard spiritually, they would have understood eating His flesh was figurative language in the context of Him being The Bread of Life, and if they would receive Him, He’d give them life forever! Jesus speaks of His flesh sacrificed and blood spilt to atone for the sins of all who would receive Him. Effectively Jesus says, “Just as you take food and drink into your body and it becomes part of you in nourishing and sustaining your life, so too you must receive Me into yourself, so that I become part of you to give and sustain in you eternal life! This is a picture of God’s grace through Jesus! Just as eating and drinking are absolutely essential for us to live in these earthly bodies, eating and drinking the spiritual food of Christ is essential for eternal life (Matthew 4:4)! You are what you eat physically and spiritually! Once you partake of Jesus, you enjoy a mutually abiding relationship! You remain in Him and He remains in you!
Lesson4Life: The flesh and blood of Jesus Christ gives eternal life to all who receive Him!