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I AM…The Bread of Life
“Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.”
John 6:35 NASB1995
The Gospel of John is unique from the other (synoptic) Gospels. Matthew, Mark and Luke tell us about what Jesus did during His time on Earth; they are more fact-based, focused on the humanity of Jesus and have concordance on many events. The Gospel of John is different - written by the “beloved disciple”, this Gospel, according to Precept Austin (a superb on-line aggregator of biblical commentary) is 92% unique and primarily focused on the divinity of Jesus as the Word that was God and with God and preceded creation.
There are seven “I Am” statements in John that I will be exploring (actually, there are eight and the eighth, scattered throughout John, is saved for the summary and last devotional in this series). The first “I Am” statement is in John 6:35. Jesus is in a synagogue in Capernaum addressing His disciples and the Pharisees and Scribes. This event is not long after the miraculous feeding of the 5,000 and the miracle of Jesus walking on water on the Sea of Galilee. The crowd comes to hear Him because they believe He may perform another miracle and provide them with physical bread to satisfy hunger. Jesus makes it clear that the bread He provides is spiritual in nature and will require His bodily sacrifice. His blunt statements about his Body and Blood and His sacrifice drive many casual disciples away that day.
As I do quite often, I like to quote the commentaries of David Guzik. Here is his commentary on John 6:35 from the Blue Letter Bible :
b. I am the bread of life: In Jesus’ answer, He hoped to lift up their eyes from material bread and earthly kingdoms, and on to spiritual realities. They needed to put their confidence in Jesus instead of in material bread.
i. “This is the first of the distinctive ‘I am’ sayings of this Gospel (where Jesus uses ego eimi with a predicate).” (Bruce)
c. He who comes to Me shall never hunger: Jesus explained that the one who comes to Him – that is, receives Him, believes upon Him – will find his spiritual hunger satisfied in Jesus.
i. “The coming here meant is performed by desire, prayer, assent, consent, trust, obedience.” (Spurgeon)
ii. “This verse should not be regarded as an abstract statement. It constitutes an appeal. Since Jesus is the bread of life men are invited to come to Him, and to believe on Him.” (Morris)
iii. “Faith in Christ is simply and truly described as coming to him. It is not an acrobatic feat; it is simply a coming to Christ. It is not an exercise of profound mental faculties; it is coming to Christ. A child comes to his mother, a blind man comes to his home, even an animal comes to his master. Coming is a very simple action indeed; it seems to have only two things about it, one is, to come away from something, and the other is, to come to something.” (Spurgeon)
Guzik quotes the always eloquent Charles Spurgeon in this commentary. Faith in Christ is simple and fulfilling, an action of coming to Him like a child to a parent. He provides the spiritual sustenance that is needed every day of our lives into eternity. By relying on Him for this eternal sustenance, we are to have faith that He will provide for our temporal needs as well.
The next “I AM” statement will be explored in the next devotional: John 8:12, I am the Light of the World.