"For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me.John 6:38(NASB)
Jesus gave a detailed discourse about the Bread of Life to the same multitude who had just partaken of the five barley loaves and two small fishes. Throughout His ministry, Jesus was teaching the people that He had been sent from God to carry out the will of the Father. He taught that He alone is able to satisfy the hungry soul and provide for our bodily needs. He was proclaiming to be the promised Messiah, Who had come in fulfilment of Scripture.
Jesus wanted to show... that just as He was able to heal all their sicknesses and provide for their physical needs, He is also the One Who could heal the broken soul, release them from the slave-market of sin, bind up their emotional distresses, and bring inner peace and joy to their heart. Jesus alone is the One that can supply the spiritual food every one of us so desperately needs.
Jesus often used the natural to illustrate a spiritual truth, and the feeding of their bodies with food was used as a demonstration of what He could do for them in the spiritual realm. Jesus referred to Himself as, "the Bread of Life" to emphasise the lesson He wanted them to learn. "I am the bread of life", He told them. "No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever thirst again."
Jesus told this crowd the truth when He called Himself, "the Bread of Life", for in Him was Life. In Him was Life everlasting. He was the Giver of Life, and He is the Sustainer of Life. When He referred to Himself as, "the Bread of Life", He was meaning spiritual Life - eternal Life. He came to bring hope for the lost, joy for the sorrowing, strength for the weak, and encouragement for the downhearted. And He came to supply spiritual food for hungry soul. Jesus came down to earth from heaven to breathe new life into those who were dead in their sin and estranged from God.
The Lord Jesus did not simply come to sustain their physical life but to give eternal life, and this was the vital message He sought to teach this great multitude. But they were more interested in the next miracle He would perform, so that they could fill their bellies for a few, short hours. They were more interested in the material things of this life, than the spiritual food He offered that would feed their soul through time and into eternity.
But the Lord could read their hearts. He knew that this carnally minded crowd did not believe His claims to be sent from God. They refused to believe in Jesus unless He produced a miracle.. equivalent to that of Moses - who 'fed' the children of Israel with manna for 40 years! The people of Israel didn't want just one meal of bread and fish, but a lifetime supply!
They had missed the point of the loaves and fishes and their eyes were blinded to the truth. Although they were prompted to follow Jesus, it was only to gratify their earthly appetites and not to satiate their spiritual poverty. "But as I told you before, you've seen Me and yet you do not believe," Jesus continued. "Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out."
For those of us who read this passage today, we gain great joy and satisfaction in knowing that we, who came to Christ and believed on Him, will never be cast out. We know we have an everlasting supply of spiritual food. But the crowds in Jerusalem Who heard the Son of God proclaim this staggering truth, refused to see God the Son standing in their midsts. They would not trust the words that came from the incarnate Word of God, Who told them, "I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him Who sent Me."
Jesus was attempting to teach this unbelieving crowd that His life did not begin in Bethlehem as the son of Mary. He was the incarnate Word. He was the eternal Word of God, made flesh. He was in the beginning with God and He Himself was God. He existed before Abraham and was greater than Moses. He was the Lord Whom king David worshipped, for He was the root and stem of Jesse. Jesus has existed from all eternity with His heavenly Father - yet they refused to recognise Him and believe Him.
Jesus came to do the will of His Father by bringing redemption to the lost race of man. So close is the relationship between Father and Son, that the perfect will of the Father reflects the perfect will of the Son. And the perfect will of the Son is always in total agreement with that of His heavenly Father.
So united in Spirit and Truth are the Son and the Father, that Jesus was the radiance of His heavenly glory on earth. Jesus was the exact image of His Father's essence - in holiness and purity, in goodness and grace, in compassion and mercy, and in every godly attribute forever and ever. And yet, He was rejected by this unbelieving crowd, who were more interested in their next meal than their eternal life in the kingdom to come.
May we learn what lessons the Lord has to teach us through His Word and by His Spirit. May we never become so spiritually short-sighted that we refuse to believe the truth. May we rejoice in the joy of our salvation and may we become so rooted and grounded in Him that we may be able to comprehend with all the saints what is the length, and width, height, and depth of God’s love, and to know the love that surpasses knowledge - so we may be filled with all the fullness of God.
Heavenly Father, thank You that the Lord Jesus set aside his position in heaven to come down to earth as a Man, to dress Himself in human flesh, and live a perfect life so that we might be redeemed by faith in His shed blood. Thank You that Jesus is the Living Bread of Life, and that in Him is eternal life for ALL who believe on His name. Keep me from developing carnal desires and fleshly appetites, and I pray that I may feed on Him in my heart, by faith with thanksgiving and praise, all the days of my life, for His greater praise and glory. This I ask in Jesus' name, AMEN.