The Bread of Life, part 2

John 6:42-71

Now, the thrill-packed conclusion of this section:

43-52:  Jesus tells them to stop grumbling amongst themselves, always a command we need to keep in mind, for while we grumble, we neglect what He is teaching.  He goes on to give a memorable passage in which He tells them that those who believe in Him will have eternal life, and that we must eat of Him to have life.  We must eat of His flesh which He will give for the life of the world; physical bread will not give eternal life. The people, who are always stuck on the mere physicality of life are horrified!  Yuk!

53-59:  Since the people are determined to be stuck on the physical, Jesus gives them physical.  He talks about eating His flesh and drinking His blood as though He were going to offer Himself to a bunch of cannibals.  Of course, the traditional Sunday school lesson will teach here that Jesus was only speaking of Communion: Laughable!  Again, we only see physical things.  Jesus was talking about what Communion represents; the reality of Communion.  Communion has little to do with its physical aspects; it is all about redemption and what sustains a new life.  When we eat of the bread and drink from the cup, are we nourishing our bodies?  Hardly…

We do this in remembrance of what He did for us; this is important.  We go through an act that symbolizes taking Jesus into ourselves to sustain our lives spiritually. When you eat a meal, food enters you body and in due course provides energy and nourishment to your body; the elements that make up the food become one with your body on a molecular level. Thus, in a sense the food becomes a part of you.  When we take the Spirit within us (the indwelling of the Holy Spirit) the Spirit becomes a part of who and what we are spiritually, and grows within us when we allow it− this gives us eternal life.  This gives us fellowship with God, which was God’s purpose for creating Man in the first place and completes the cycle of redeeming and reclaiming Mankind for God.

  Experience of Israel in Exodus Expectations of the Crowd in John 6 Jesus as the Bread of Life
Frequency Eat manna daily Eat bread daily Eat Bread once
Giver Moses Prophet like Moses God through Christ
Recipients Jews Jews All mankind
Spiritual Lesson Ate & learned nothing Eat and learn nothing Learn Christ
Result Died Die Eternal Life



Section 4: John 6:60-71

Upon hearing all of this, the people following Jesus largely abandoned Him. Of course, we now know that this is typical of people who cannot allow themselves to discern spiritual truth.  People will often follow Jesus for a time, but when they realize that this involves more than a “get out of jail free” card, and that it will result in growing far beyond the merely physical they bail.  Jesus spoke one more great line here, one that we should commit to memory: “The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life.”  This is truly something we must always keep in mind, for they are the key to unlocking the things of God.


It is important to note that Jesus in this discourse used typology in His treatment of manna and bread.  The manna is the type, Jesus is the antitype or the reality that the type represents.  God gave provision to the Israelites in the Wilderness with the manna; it sustained them.  However, this was not God’s ultimate purpose.  His ultimate purpose was to redeem Mankind to Himself through Christ, thus the manna as sustenance was the type of Jesus the Redeemer and sustenance unto eternal life.  A related type would be the Communion elements: they are not what redeemed us, they are the representation of the body and blood of Christ: Christ is the redeemer. Of course, the Old Testament in particular is full of typology. Moses as the leader and redeemer of the people was a type of Christ, the Promised Land is a type of Heaven, and so on…

About Don Merritt

A long time teacher and writer, Don hopes to share his varied life's experiences in a different way with a Christian perspective.
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3 Responses to The Bread of Life, part 2

  1. DWMartens says:

    In recent years, when I think of the “Lord’s Prayer” saying “give us this day our daily bread”, my mind goes to Jesus being the Bread of Life. I need that daily Bread whether or not I have anything to eat to sustain my physical life.

  2. Pingback: The Bread of Life, part 2 — TLP – quietmomentswithgod

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