John 6:35, 47-51 ESV
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
We, who are Christians, serve a triune God – Father, Son and Holy Spirit – three distinct persons in one being. Jesus Christ is the Son of God, yet he is also God the Son. For, not only was he with God in the beginning, but he is God. He is our creator God, for through him all things were made which were made (See: John 1).
Jesus, although he was God, left his throne in heaven, came to earth, took on human flesh, suffered as we suffer, and was tempted in like manner as we are also tempted, yet without sin. While he walked the face of this earth he was fully God yet fully man. He was the promised Messiah (the Christ) of then God’s people, and yet most of them rejected him as their Messiah.
Jesus Christ is The Way, The Truth and The Life. No one comes to the Father except through him. He is the Light which shines in the darkness, which gives light and life to humankind. He is the living Word of God and he is the bread of life who has given his life for us that we might live with him for eternity, and that we may walk in victory over sin while we still live on this earth.
John 6:52-59 ESV
The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” Jesus said these things in the synagogue, as he taught at Capernaum.
Feed on Him
Jesus is the Bread of Life in a spiritual or a figurative sense, not in a literal sense. To eat of his flesh and to drink of his blood is also not literal, but figurative. He is not physical bread, but spiritual bread which gives life to all who partake of him. And, to partake of him in this sense is to participate with him in his death to sin and in his resurrection to life by us dying with him to sin and living with him to righteousness, empowered by the Holy Spirit now living within those of us who believe (See: 1 Pet. 2:24).
Our flesh hungers after many things which will never satisfy the deep longings of our souls and which will not ever breathe the breath of life into us for eternity, but often will leave us empty, always craving for more. But, when we partake with Jesus in his death to sin and in his resurrection to new life in him, created to be like God in true righteousness and holiness, then we will be satisfied. We will then find our fulfillment in him alone.
To feed on Jesus is to feed on his Word, not just intellectually, but to take his Word into our lives and to apply it to our life’s circumstances. It is to walk in obedience to our Lord and to his Word. It is, too, to walk as Jesus did in humility, in submission to the Father, in truth, in integrity, in purity and in holiness, as God gives us strength and power to overcome the world and to walk by his Spirit and no longer according to our sinful flesh.
John 6:60-65 ESV
When many of his disciples heard it, they said, “This is a hard saying; who can listen to it?” But Jesus, knowing in himself that his disciples were grumbling about this, said to them, “Do you take offense at this? Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe.” (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father.”
A Hard Saying
Many people these days are teaching a false grace gospel which leaves out the cross of Christ in our lives, and which does not require that we eat of Jesus’ flesh and drink of his blood. They require no death to sin and no living to righteousness, but they reduce the gospel of our salvation to merely an acknowledgment of Jesus, and an acceptance of his death for our sins, as though our salvation is merely forgiveness of sins and the promise of heaven when we die. But, if that were true, this would then not be a “hard saying.”
But, it is hard, because our salvation is not just a free ride to heaven while we live like hell on this earth. Our salvation does not pacify our flesh. It puts it to death! It does not merely forgive our sins, but it eradicates sinful practices from our lives, so that we no longer walk in sin but now in the Spirit and in holiness and righteousness.
The whole purpose of God’s grace to us is so that we may say “No!” to ungodliness and worldly (fleshly) passions (lusts) and live godly, upright and self-controlled lives while we await our Lord’s return (Tit. 2:11-14). Jesus died, not just to forgive us our sins, but to transform us, and to conform us to his likeness. This is what it means to eat of him, to become like him in his death and in his resurrection in living in victory over sin and in the Spirit.
John 6:66-71 ESV
After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” Jesus answered them, “Did I not choose you, the twelve? And yet one of you is a devil.” He spoke of Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray him.
We Have Believed
Many people today are following the wrong gospel and a false Jesus, because they have bought into the lies which say God requires nothing of us other than to “believe,” which is rarely ever explained. But, biblical belief is divine persuasion, and if persuaded by God as to his plan for our lives, then we will walk in his ways and in his truth, and we won’t look for an escape clause that allows us to still walk in sin while claiming heaven as our home.
True belief in Jesus is an acceptance, not only of his death on a cross for our sins, but of the necessity of us dying with him to sin so that we might live with him for eternity. That is why scripture teaches that the way of salvation is the way of the cross, which is a narrow road which few travel. And, it says that the broad road, which is traveled by the majority, does not lead to heaven but to destruction. And, that is the way of the flesh, not the Spirit.
So, to believe in Jesus Christ is not just an escape from hell and the promise of heaven. Jesus said that if anyone would come after him, he must deny self, take up his cross daily and follow (obey) him. He said if we hold on to our old lives (of living for sin and self) we will lose them for eternity. But, if we lose our lives (die with him to sin) for his sake, then we will gain eternal life with him (See: Lu. 9:23-25; cf. Rom. 8:1-17; Eph. 4:17-24).
So, to believe in Jesus is to walk with him, by his Spirit, free from the control of sin over our lives and in his holiness. It is daily dying to sin and self and daily submitting ourselves to our Lord to follow him in his ways and in his truth. It is accepting the “hard saying” instead of rejecting it, that to be in fellowship with our Lord, and to partake in him, means living a crucified life, a life yielded to the control of the Holy Spirit in our lives.
Just a Closer Walk with Thee
Hymn lyrics by Anonymous/Unknown
Music by American Melody
“For indeed He was crucified because of weakness, yet He lives because of the power of God. For we also are weak in Him, yet we will live with Him because of the power of God directed toward you” (2 Co. 13:4 NASB).
I am weak, but Thou art strong;
Jesus, keep me from all wrong;
I’ll be satisfied as long
As I walk, let me walk close to Thee.
Through this world of toil and snares,
If I falter, Lord, who cares?
Who with me my burden shares?
None but Thee, dear Lord, none but Thee.
Just a closer walk with Thee,
Grant it, Jesus, is my plea,
Daily walking close to Thee,
Let it be, dear Lord, let it be.
*copyright status is public domain
Tuesday, August 28, 2018 – Thank You, Jesus, that you died that we might die to sin and live to righteousness! Amen!