Tuesday, October 12, 2010

Bible Study John 6b Bread of Life & How to Eat it

John 6:22-71. After the miracle feeding, people came to look for Jesus, and even crossed the sea to Capernaum. Here we have some of the most profound teaching of Jesus.

Q1 Jesus uses the metaphor of 'Bread' to explain spiritual things to the people and revealing his purpose. Please go into the details to discover spiritual lessons.

The people had been fed and came looking for more bread (6:26). It is naturally that Jesus use it to illustrate spiritual truths.
  • People work to get bread.
  • They eat bread, daily, to maintain physical life on earth.
  • They eventually died.
  • Bread only sustains physical life for awhile.
In Contrast,
  • Jesus the Spiritual Bread
    • Joh 6:35  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. 
    • Joh 6:48  I am the bread of life. 
  • It gives eternal life. They who eat shall not die (spiritually)
    • Joh 6:50  This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, that anyone may eat of it and not die
    • Joh 6:51  I am the living bread which came down out of heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever
  • Must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have true spiritual life. 
    • Joh 6:53 unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you don't have life in yourselves. 
    • Joh 6:54  He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day
    • Joh 6:56  He who eats & drink me lives in me, and I in him. (i.e. abide)
      Joh 6:57  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.
    • Joh 6:58 He who eats this bread will live forever.
    • This eating and drinking of Him is later institutionalized as the Holy Communion.
What is the meaning of 'eating Jesus flesh (bread of life) and drink Jesus' blood?

In John 3 that we studied earlier, Jesus pointed out to Nicodemus that a man's life had a spiritual dimension besides the familiar physical dimension. Man needs a rebirth in the spirit in order to see the Kingdom of God. So we know Jesus is referring to the spiritual dimension again here.

The cue is given in Joh 6:63  It is the spirit who gives life. The flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and are life.

The way to eat spiritual bread of Jesus is to listen to His words daily as we eat bread daily for our physical life.

Two chapter earlier, Jesus is even more specific about how eat. Joh 4:34  Jesus saith unto them, My meat is to do the will of him that sent me, and to finish his work.

In the temptation of Jesus, Mat 4:4  But he answered, "It is written, "'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.'"

As we digest the bread, we should also digest His words - by understanding with the heart and putting them into obedient action as the good soils of the Parable of the Sower.

We can then summarized that eating spiritual bread is actually listening and obeying Jesus. Eating the spiritual bread of Jesus, we develop our rebirthed spirit so that we grow into maturity, bearing the fruit of the Spirit Gal 5:23-24 and consummating into the full glorification of Eternal ZOE life of God at Christ's return Rom 8:30.

We can find further support for this interpretation in:
  • Joh 15:7  If ye abide in me, and my words abide in you, ...
  • Joh 15:10  If ye keep my commandments, ye shall abide in my love.
  • 1Jn 2:3  And hereby we do know that we know him, if we keep his commandments. 
See also Five Habits for Effective Christian Living

    Q2 "Familiarity Breeds Contempt".  Do you agree? What shall we do?
    In verse John 6:42  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?' "
    Sharing the Gospel and bearing witnesses to our own family members seem to be the most difficult things to do. Preachers can travel overseas for great mission trips where their own home, family, neighborhood, and friends are not reached! By the power of God, we shall be a shining light wherever we are.

    Q3 What does "Joh 6:44  No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him" mean?
    There are some who uses verses like these (see also Joh 15:16  Ye have not chosen me, but I have chosen you) to argue that only selected people are meant to be saved. But the Bible tell us that
    • 2Pe 3:9  The Lord is not slack concerning his promise, as some men count slackness; but is longsuffering to us-ward, not willing that any should perish, but that all should come to repentance. 
    • 1Jn 2:2  And he is the propitiation for our sins: and not for ours only, but also for the sins of the whole world.
    The Father and Jesus chose everyone but not everyone want to respond and accept the invitation. He chose all but some do not want to chose Him. 

    Q4 We tend to be very carnal like the people. What shall we do?
    Just like Nicodemus, people still see things physically and take offense that Jesus ask them to eat his flesh and drink his blood. (6:52 How can this man give us his flesh to eat? 60 hard teaching, 66 they left Him.) Nicodemus eventually got it. Hopefully, some of the people did too. (John 7:40 Many of the multitude therefore, when they heard these words, said, "This is truly the prophet.")

    We need to be reminded often:
    • By Jesus: Joh 6:27  Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you
    • By Paul: 
      • 1Co 15:1  Now I would remind you, brothers, of the gospel I preached to you, which you received, in which you stand
      • Col 3:2  Set your minds on things that are above, not on things that are on earth.
      • Rom 15:15  But on some points I have written to you very boldly by way of reminder, because of the grace given me by God 
    • By Sending Another
      • Timothy: 
        • 1Co 4:17  That is why I sent you Timothy, my beloved and faithful child in the Lord, to remind you of my ways in Christ, as I teach them everywhere in every church.
        • 2Ti 2:14  Remind them of these things
      • Titus: Tit 3:1  Remind them ....
    While we need to have daily fellowship with Jesus and also need a fellowship group for our spiritual growth.

    See also What is the meaning of Yielding to the Spirit?
    Christianity Rediscovered: We can do Nothing apart from Jesus

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