Bread from Heaven (John 6:24-35)

The Miracle of the Loaves and Fishes, ca. 1545–50

Tintoretto (Jacopo Robusti) (Italian, Venetian, 1518–1594)
Francis L. Leland Fund, 1913 (13.75)
The most helpful comment on John 6 I’ve ever heard is from New Testament scholar Dr. Donald Carson, who says in his commentary on John’s Gospel, “John chapter 6 is not about the Lord’s Supper: the Lord’s Supper is about John 6.” The key statement in this passage is Jesus’ unequivocal, “I am the bread of life.”

There is great humor in this passage. For example, Jesus has just fed 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish. Then he crossed a lake without a boat. What is the crowd’s response? “What miraculous sign will you show us?” Jesus could justifiably have responded, “Well… how about the loaves and fish routine immediately followed by walking on water trick?” Then there is the whole bit about, “How can he say he came down from heaven. Hah! We know his parents.”

The point our author John is making here is that the evidence was not the issue. Rather, the issue was and continues to be unbelief. Jesus had already demonstrated himself to be the Son of God. He would do so again and in a manner without precedent at his resurrection.

There is nothing more demonstrative God can do even today to reveal Jesus as Messiah and Savior. Thus the work of the believer consists of only one simple act: to believe this. All of life then flows from this belief in grace and peace.

Do you believe that Jesus is the bread of life? In other words, do you believe that he is the vital sustenance you need to live, and to live abundantly? John 6 is his body broken for you and his blood shed for you. It is finished. The Lord’s Supper points us to John 6, which in turn points us to Jesus. Rest and rejoice.

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