Monday, March 22, 2010

John 6 - The Bread of Life

by Katrina

LINK: John 6
Parallel Passages:
John 6:1-13 ~ Matthew 14:13-21 ~ Mark 6:30-44 ~ Luke 9:10-17
John 6:14-21 ~ Matthew 14:22-33 ~ Mark 6:45-52
John 6:22-71

BACKGROUND
John 6:1-15
Jesus multiplied the bread to miraculously feed the 5000, and the people responded by trying to force him to become king. Jesus withdrew and avoided their plan.

John 6:16-26
Jesus walked on the stormy sea out to the boat where his disciples were. It frightened the disciples greatly to see him walking on water, but when Jesus assured them of who he was, they received him into the boat. At that moment the boat miraculously reached shore. The multitude followed and found Jesus the next day. They weren't even after the signs and miracles of Jesus per se, they just wanted more food from him.

John 6:27-71
Jesus told the multitude (Katrina's paraphrase), "Don't put your life effort into the things of this world; rather work for things of eternal value. This is the work of God, and you do it by believing in Me (Jesus)." They asked Jesus for a sign, something like the sign Moses gave when he provided manna in the wilderness. Jesus countered (my paraphrase again), "It wasn't Moses who gave you bread; it was God." So, the crowd asks for some of this bread as a sign. Jesus presented himself to them as the bread of life who came from heaven.

The Jews didn't like that claim and began to grumble. So Jesus continued to explain that he was the bread of life. The Jews continued to complain and argue. But Jesus' explanation was even more offensive to them. He said they would have to eat of his flesh and drink of his blood in order to have life.

Even the disciples were having trouble with this idea. Jesus explained to those who were following him that he really did come from heaven and that spiritual life comes from the Holy Spirit. Only those who the Father drew would come to Jesus. Many did not believe and left him at this point in his ministry.

Jesus asked the twelve if they wanted to leave to. They wisely said that there was no one else who had the words of eternal life, so there was no where else to go. Then, although Jesus himself had chosen these twelve men, he knew that one of them served the devil.

REFLECTION/APPLICATION
Jesus came down out of heaven to give life to the world. What does Jesus say about himself as the bread in this passage? What are the implications of these things? What happens to those who partake of this bread? Make a list and meditate on these things today.

PRAYER
Father, thank you for providing life to us through Jesus your son. May we work hard for things of eternal value and not waste much time, energy, and resources on things that will not last. May we do the work you have for us to do to bring you honor and glory. Amen.
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