John 6:26-35 I Am the Bread

 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’[c]

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

I Am the Bread

Jesus points out to those looking at the feeding of the 5000 that they are completely missing the point.  The crowds that follow him around the shore of Galilee are interested in what he can do and not at who he is.  As they see what he can do and they want more, jesus can be seen as serving their nationalistic and private ideals.  He doesn’t however just provide bread like a king, he is the bread.  Life in relationship with Jesus will result in the most basic appetites being satisfied.

So why isn’t that true for us?  Why do we become Christians and still end up with little satisfaction?  It’s because we too are like the crowds of Galilee.  Many become Christians because Jesus is going to deliver our perceived needs and even our wants.  However, Jesus often strips away every distraction – family, friends, dreams, and health – in order to make sure we are left with nothing but the pure sustenance of himself.  Jesus doesn’t provide everything we need, he IS everything we need.  He is God incarnate.

Prayer

I am often not satisfied becase I am lost looking for something in this life besides you.  Help me not to have to have your gifts taken away because all of my longing is realised in you.

Questions

  1. Who questions Jesus and how?
  2. How does Jesus turn their question on them?
  3. What does it mean that Jesus is the bread of life?
  4. How do you find sustenance in Jesus?
  5. Is he enough?  Really?
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About Plymothian

I teach at Moody Bible Institute in Chicago. My interests include education, biblical studies, and spiritual formation. I have been married to Kelli since 1998 and we have two children, Daryl and Amelia. For recreation I like to run, play soccer, play board games, read and travel.
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20 Responses to John 6:26-35 I Am the Bread

  1. Rachel says:

    I used to heartily sing along with the rest of my camp
    “You, Oh Lord, are my sustenance,
    the one I depend on for all my needs!
    You, Oh Lord, are my sustenance,
    teach me not to depend on my deeds!”
    If he is my sustenance, why does he not seem to satisfy? If his is the bread of life, why do I not hunger for his word?

    I imagine that finding sustenance in Christ would mean overflowing with the fruits of the Spirit and experiencing a deep abiding presence of Christ through each day. I cannot say that I am experiencing what I described. I wish I were!

  2. karas says:

    I imagine it must have been difficult for Jesus to see so many people so thoroughly missing the point. This applies to teaching, I think. We may be trying to communicate something, and the students just don’t get the real meaning behind, say behaving appropriately. It is not to get a momentary reward or avoid a meager punishment, but to glorify God.
    This question of whether or not Jesus is enough is something I’ve had to think about when it didn’t feel like Jesus was enough, or rather, when I had Jesus, but was pretty miserable with my situation. I knew in my head that as long as I had God I should be able to have joy, but I didn’t have it. This has made me question what I mean when I say Jesus is enough. However, after coming through that time, I would still hold the fact that Jesus is enough. My perception was off, not Jesus’ sufficiency. And He was faithful to bring me through that situation and continues to be faithful. Therefore, yes, Jesus is all I need–I just struggle to constantly see/believe it.

  3. Janice Lee says:

    I find that much of my daily schedule is focused around mealtimes. If I miss a meal, I feel hungry, weak, tired, and grouchy. My prayer is to find sustenance in Christ and to seek full satisfaction in Him because He is the bread of life who offered Himself for us!

  4. Jenna says:

    1. The crowd that had eaten the bread asked Jesus what they needed to do to do what God wanted. Their focus was on action and basic, earthly things.
    2. Jesus tells them that the only thing God requires them to do is to “believe in the one he has sent.” He tells them that they were following Him because He gave them bread, not because of who He is – the bread of life.
    3. Jesus is sufficient and will provide for all of my needs.
    4. Learning about Jesus from God’s Word is a major way that I stay satisfied in God. When I get disappointed with things in life, I can turn to God’s Word and being reminded of who God is.
    5. I definitely sometimes struggle with being content with where God has me right now. I get discouraged and dissatisfied, but I know that God’s plan is best, even when I don’t see it.

  5. Sara Cavitt says:

    1) The people who Jesus had previously fed are questioning how to be continually fed.
    2) He explains that they are missing the point. Earthly bread is different than bread that is eternal.
    3) It means that He fills and nourishes every need.
    4) I find sustenance in Jesus through being in His Word and in prayer and worship.
    5) He is enough, but sadly, I often lose sight that He is all I really need.

  6. Kathleen says:

    The 5000 who Jesus had fed began to question Jesus. Jesus states that they are missing the point. He wants the people to understand who He is and not just be impressed with the miracles he is performing. Yes, Jesus is really enough but often I forget to look to him. I think I can provide for myself. He is constantly bringing me back to himself.

  7. zacbodine says:

    “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” -Jesus

    I have read this statement about 4x’s now whilst doing this devotion. There is something about it that just sticks to my heart. I do not know why but as I read this I feel like I sometimes turn Christ into a show or a magician and other times I turn him into a tyrant. I love that Jesus addresses both of these extremes in the gospels and that he defines who he is. I trust him help me trust him more.

  8. Beth Coale says:

    1. The crowd, they must be Jewish because they talk about “their ancestors”
    2. It is like what was said in the post about the miracle of the 5 loaves – He keeps challenging and stretching them, not giving them the answer they expect.
    3-5. This metaphor is quite meaningful to me. My stomach hurts pretty often and bread is something bland that doesn’t hurt. So, for me, it’s calming. Also, when I spend 2 months in Thailand, bread was hard to find and I missed it most of all! So, for me, it’s something I desire. To “abide in Christ” is something I both find peace in and desire to when I am not – and, when I’m not desiring that enough, I still have the desire to desire that.

    I just read this this morning: “You cause… bread to strengthen a man’s heart.” (Psalm 104:15) =D

  9. Mary says:

    The crowds that follow Jesus ask what they can do to do the works that God requires, and then they want to see Jesus perform a sign proving that he is sent from God! Did they not just see him multiply 5 loaves and two fish into enough for 5,000 people with more left over?! And many other signs before that too I’m sure. Bread provides sustenance for the body and Jesus provides sustenance for our souls.

    I am reminded of Paul’s letter to the Philippians where he says he has learned to be content in all circumstances (vs. 11-13). I too have experienced both feast as well as famine and have learned that when the famine comes it is because God is teaching me to depend solely on Him. He wants to be first in my life. Keeping this in view, I have learned not to hold too tightly to the things and the people that I love, because they are all on loan from God.

  10. Chelsea P. says:

    I like how Prof Worrall said Jesus does not provide everything we need, he IS everything we need. Jesus IS the living water. He is was sustains us; gives us life. We find out sustanance in him by drinking from him, lovin him, growing in relationship with him, experiencing him more. It is so easy to go after other loves, we are so easily distracted. May the Lord increase our love for him and allow us to have tastes of satisfaction in him so that we desire him more and more.

  11. Austin Brose says:

    The crowd on the other side of the lake questioned Jesus by asking him what they must do to obey God’s commands. Jesus then asks them a question that implies that all they need is faith in Him, and Jesus will accept them. Jesus is the bread of life in the sense that he is the only spiritual food that we need, He fills us up completely. I find sustenance in Jesus by reflecting on His teachings, by soaking up His presence in my life, and by speaking with Him. He is really enough, He is all that we need.

  12. tim pruiett says:

    The crowds were the ones questioning Jesus. Jesus truly is enough but often, in my life I make Him out to be not enough. He is all i could ever need and hope for but, often I put the things of this world ahead of him.

  13. Lacy says:

    1. The crowd asks Jesus to show them a(nother) sign.
    2. He tells them that Moses gave them a sign of heavenly bread, but he is the bread. What they need is not temporal gifts from Jesus, but Jesus himself.
    3. Like food for the body, Jesus fills and satisfies the hunger and need of our souls.
    4. When I am satisfied with his approval, I don’t fight for the approval of other people.
    5. He absolutely is enough, even though often I don’t live as if that is true.

  14. Amy McCashen says:

    1. The people who followed him to the other side of the lake.
    2. Jesus confronts their motives for following him.
    3. This means that if Jesus is IN you and you IN him, that we can never die- death meaning separation from God.
    4. I find this in Him when I spend time with him alone, seeking him out, praying, reading his word, and honestly wanting to be fed by him.
    5. YES! Always enough.

  15. Nick says:

    The people who followed him from Galilee question him. He points out that their reasons for following him are superficial. They are only interested in what he can give them and not who he is. It means that he alone is enough to satisfy all of my desires, and I need to seek him and let him fill me, instead of just chasing after what I hope that he can provide me with in this life, because what I can receive in following him is much more than what I can receive on this earth.

  16. Who questions Jesus and how? The crowds were able to question Jesus because they followed Him to the other side of the lake.
    How does Jesus turn their question on them? He states how they they seek Him “not because [they] saw signs, but because [they] ate of the loaves and were filled.” So He recognizes that still do not believe in Him as the Son of God and Savior (Messiah!).
    What does it mean that Jesus is the bread of life? He is the Messiah.
    How do you find sustenance in Jesus? I rely on Him as my Messiah and Lord of my life.
    Is he enough? Really? I can only fully know myself when I know God. The more I know God the more I can have a more accurate knowledge of my self-life.

  17. nataliaria says:

    In this passage, Jesus converses with the people who had witnessed His miraculous feeding of the 5000, who have followed Him to Capernaum. In response to their questions, Jesus calls the people out for their true motivations; they do not desire to honor Him as King of their hearts. Rather, their motivation in pursuing Him is that He might provide for their physical needs and their entertainment by performing other great works.

    Jesus’ identity as the bread of life means that no one experiences eternal (true) life without first partaking of Him. Faith in Jesus, likened to eating the bread of life, brings the believer into a healed relationship with God, where the believer grows more like Christ through the process of sanctification.

    In many ways, it is easier for me to see Christ as my provider and sustainer in the non-visible aspects of my life. I know that any true patience, kindness, grace, or humility that I find in my heart is a product of His work in remaking me every day. He is the provider of energy when I am worn, and the desire to pursue excellence and perseverance in my tasks and relationships. Cognitively, I know that He is enough, but I have not experienced the removal of all other support systems, such that I was truly and utterly dependent on Christ, who is enough.

  18. Ashley says:

    Jesus is the bread of life. He is the substance to life’s meaning and the sustenance to all that lives and breathes. To partake of Christ is to grasp the one who will never cause us to want nor hunger again. He satisfies the desperate soul. I find sustenance in Jesus when it feels as if everything else is stripped away. Yes, I know in my head that Jesus is enough. He has to be. If he is not enough, what is? To be honest, though, I find that it is often very difficult to get my heart to follow my head. Although I know that he is enough, I find myself wanting everything and everyone else. If/when I happen to attain these things, I find that they are disappointing and dulling to the senses compared to Jesus. These things are food that rots; why don’t I latch onto food that lasts forever?

  19. Sarah Deurbrouck says:

    What a powerful passage! I love that the people ask what work they must do and Jesus responds by saying to just believe. And it brings me such comfort to know that Jesus, the one whom I believe in for eternal life, is the bread of life.

  20. Rebekah Thompson (Bekah) says:

    1. those who have just been fed by Jesus
    2.He switches there question around to have a different meaning, and answer the question they are truly seeking
    3. He gives us true life, a life that can be completely satisfied in him.
    4. He is the great provider who gave us everything, he has already provided more than what we need to survive, and to be happy, and to be joyful, trusting in him for the troubles and the good times.
    5. He really is

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