"And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst." [John 6.35]
It has been said that reading the Bible is like peeling an onion; every time you unpeel one layer, you find another one underneath. In other words, there are often several different levels of understanding to be found even in such a simple statement or verse. With this statement from the Gospel record of John, Jesus stirred up the Jews, causing no small amount of dissent, yet what did Jesus mean by it? "Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?" [ John 6.60]
Why did Jesus choose the symbol of the bread? Well, bread was a staple food for the Jews, just as it is today. Everyone understood bread was essential to life and hunger was something experienced by most people in those times. At its simplest, this quotation of Jesus means that just as bread is vital to mortal life, so Jesus is essential to everlasting life. We can see then that the hunger referred to, is a spiritual hunger and the thirst, a spiritual thirsting. These represent our longing to understand, to make sense of this life.
In (John 1:1 NIV) the Bible says - In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God.
Because Jesus is the Word, his being and the scriptures feed us like bread. Because we are his children, take him into our own hearts and lives, claim his power, and ask for forgiveness, we are washed clean with his blood.
His body is sufficient to bring forth what we need to fortify our relationship with the Holy Spirit. Jesus is mediary to God.
How does one, in our current day eat the flesh of Jesus and drink His blood?
The Lord`s Supper reminds us that we have to keep it as a rememberance of the Lord Jesus, who is given to us as a Lamb of God to be sacrifice as a sin offering.
Jesus Said This my body which is for you ; do this in rememberance of me and in the same way He gave thanks saying
this cup is a new convenant in my blood and do this, whoever drink it in rememberance of me. I Corinthians 11: 24, 25 ....Similar can be found in Matthew 26:26-28, Mark 14:22-24, Luke 22: 17-20
For whoever eat this bread and drink the cup, proclaim the Lord`s death until He comes. Therefore whoever eats bread or drink the cup of the Lord in an unworthy manner will be guilty of sinning again the body and blood of Lord Jesus Christ.
When they found him on
the other side of the sea, they asked him, "Rabbi, when did you come
Jesus answered them,
"Most certainly I tell you, you seek me, not because
you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled. Don't work for the food which
perishes, but for the food which remains to eternal life, which the Son of
Man will give to you. For God the Father has sealed him." They said therefore to
him, "What must we do, that we may work the works of God?"
Jesus answered them,
"This is the work of God, that you believe in him
whom he has sent." They said therefore to
him, "What then do you do for a sign, that we may see, and believe
you? What work do you do? Our fathers ate the manna in the
wilderness. As it is written, 'He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'"
Jesus therefore said
to them, "Most certainly, I tell you, it wasn't Moses
who gave you the bread out of heaven, but my Father gives you the true
bread out of heaven. For
the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to
the world." They said therefore to
him, "Lord, always give us this bread."
Jesus said to them,
"I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not
be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. But I told you that you have seen
me, and yet you don't believe. All those who the Father gives me
will come to me. Him who comes to me I will in no way throw out. For I have come down from heaven,
not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. This is the will of my Father who
sent me, that of all he has given to me I should lose nothing, but should
raise him up at the last day. This is the will of the one who
sent me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes in him, should have
eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day." The Jews therefore
murmured concerning him, because he said, "I am the
bread which came down out of heaven." They said, "Isn't this
Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How then does
he say, 'I have come down out of heaven?'" Therefore Jesus
answered them, "Don't murmur among yourselves.
No one can come to me
unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up in the
last day. It is written
in the prophets, 'They will all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who
hears from the Father, and has learned, comes to me. Not that anyone has seen the
Father, except he who is from God. He has seen the Father. Most certainly, I tell you, he
who believes in me has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the
wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes
down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came
down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.
Yes, the bread which I will give for the life of the world is my
flesh." The Jews therefore
contended with one another, saying, "How can this man give us his
flesh to eat?"
Jesus therefore said
to them, "Most certainly I tell you, unless you eat
the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don't have life in
yourselves. He who eats
my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at
the last day. For my
flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks
my blood lives in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and
I live because of the Father; so he who feeds on me, he will also live
because of me. This is
the bread which came down out of heaven--not as our fathers ate the manna,
and died. He who eats this bread will live forever." These things he said in the
synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.