Week 3 Day 1, Finding Life in Christ: The Bread of Life.
Finding Life in Christ: The Bread of Life.
Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum. 60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. 67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” – John 6:47-69
John 6:66, is a passage of great significance: From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. Here’s a passage where a bunch of people who had stated to follow Jesus basically said, “No we’re not going to follow any more.” The reason they turn back and no longer follow him is because they finally figure out what following Him actually means. When Jesus clarifies what it really means to follow him they turn and walk away. What is it that we have to understand and accept to follow Jesus but so many people find so hard to accept? The issue is what Jesus says in verse 48. He says, “I am the bread of life.”
There is a lot that could be said about this passage. There are many interesting questions it raises but in this study we are going to go right to the heart of its message in relationship to discipleship, or following Jesus. In verse 48 Jesus claims to be the bread of life.
Before you go any farther what is your first response to that statement. What do you think it means?
This is not just an issue that shows up here. Think about the story of the life of Jesus. Jesus public life didn’t begin until he was thirty-years-old. The beginning of his public ministry is made all the more dramatic by the mystery of his childhood. We are only told that he grew in wisdom and stature and favor with God and man. We can only imagine his life in a small village learning to be a carpenter and waiting for God’s time. Then it comes it He steps out of quietness, He is baptized by John the baptism and confirmed by the descent of the dove and the voice of the Father: This is my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased. This is an amazing moment in human history. God in human flesh is about to begin his earthly ministry. What is the first thing that he does? What is his first day on the job? He doesn’t preach a sermon or perform a miracle or choose disciples. He goes out into the wilderness alone and stops eating for forty days. For forty days he went hungry. I know that there are many spiritual benefits to fasting but there is also at the heart of this fast a strong statement that Jesus was making about the central question in human life and discipleship. The most important question any person asks is, “What is it that will fill my hungry heart?” Jesus is saying that his hunger will be fed by God.
What are some of the things we all hunger for as human beings? What does it mean to think of God as the one who satisfies these hungers?
Our memory verse for this week is John 7:38 “Whoever believes in me, as Scripture has said, rivers of living water will flow from within them.”
Continue reading the Bible. Keep reading the gospel of John. If you are reading a lot and finish John consider reading Galatians, Ephesians, Philippians or Luke. Or ask the group or person you are doing The Walk with to make suggestions. The important thing is to try to be consistent in your reading. Write down your questions, thoughts and insights as you read. Don’t forget to review your memory verse from last week and this week.