Jesus, the bread that gives life
Text: John 6:41-59
What is interesting about this passage is the strong resemblance between the Jews in these verses and the Israelites in the wilderness.
The same pettiness seen here among the Jews was seen in the reaction of the Israelites when they were in the wilderness. In Exodus 16:3 they say that they were led into the wilderness to starve to death, and then they received abundant provisions: God sends manna…
Then, in Numbers 11:4-6 we read that the manna was no longer good enough. They began craving meat and so they complained that they were sick of the manna.
The manna kept them alive to travel through the desert so that they could enter the Promised Land. Yet they are not satisfied. Their hearts are filled with ingratitude. They are blinded by everything they do not have instead of seeing the wonder of what is happening right before their eyes.
The Jews think and do the same. They are ungrateful and stare blindly at the miracles instead of seeing where they are headed. Jesus can give them the bread that will give them the strength to enter the eternal kingdom of God. However, they refuse to believe.
How do we respond to this call? We can also say that it is outrageous and that there is no evidence ...
If the Israelites had reasoned like that, they would never have entered the Promised Land. They also had no evidence that they would ever enter the Promised Land.
Yet Jesus keeps this promise and we have a choice to make: We can decide to give up our faith because we only see the desert (desert = world around us) and accept that this is all we can live for. Or we can decide to accept Jesus’ Word as the truth and believe that it holds a glorious future for us.
In this Jesus was also the perfect example for us. He believed the Word of the Father and therefore willingly surrendered Himself to death (also see John 10: 17-18), because He trusted that the Father would resurrect Him through the Spirit. There was no evidence, but the Father's Word was enough. That is why it says in Hebrews: “For the joy set before him he endured the cross, scorning its shame, and sat down at the right hand of the throne of God.” (Heb. 12: 2).
Just as the Israelites ate the manna to keep them alive until they entered the Promised Land, so we receive salvation from Christ to keep us alive so that we can enter eternal life.
Don’t stare blindly at the desert around you. Believe in Jesus as your Saviour. He holds a glorious future for us. A future that fills us with joy over what awaits us.