“I am the bread of life. . . . I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.”
There were reasons why people were so happy to have an abundance of bread out on the mountainside (John 6:1-13). They were really hungry, and suddenly—miraculously—there was fresh, free bread!
But on the next day some people come to Jesus with a few questions. They know the story of Moses and how God fed his people with manna in the desert (Exodus 16), and they are trying to understand who this new bread-making miracle worker is. They know that their ancestors were fed in the wilderness long ago, so how can Jesus claim to be the one sent by the manna-giving God?
When Jesus tells them that he himself is the bread that came down from heaven, they just can’t believe it. Jesus is saying that he has been sent by God and that he has seen God. And when Jesus says, “Whoever eats this bread will live forever,” he is referring back to the miracles God did in the past, and he is pointing forward to the everlasting life that is to come. Jesus is putting himself at the very center of the story of all that God is doing to save the whole world. And the only thing we need to do to be a part of what God is doing is to believe in the one God has sent (John 6:29).
Jesus, we believe that you have been sent by God, and we believe that you are the bread of life, which you have given for the life of the whole world. We receive your gift with humble thanks. Amen.
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