Text: John 6:25-40 (Because preached to an elderly congregation, the Authorised Version was used on this occasion)
1. “I am the bread of life”
The bread of life is not a thing, but a person. 1 Cor 10:16 ‘The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?’
V 33 – ‘The bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven.’
Jesus points to himself – what a claim!
“For him hath God the Father sealed.” V27 (Cf. his baptism: 2 Pet 1:17 For he received from God the Father honour and glory, when there came such a voice to him from the excellent glory, This is my beloved Son, in whom I am well pleased.). See also ‘My Father,’ v32.
“If you had known me, you would have known my Father,” Jn 14:7; cf. 8:19
“He who has seen me has seen the Father,” Jn 14:9; cf. 12:43
“He who believes in me, believes not in me but in him who sent me,” Jn 12:44; cf. 14:1
“Whoever receives me, receives not me, but him who sent me,” Mk 9:37
“He who hates me hates my Father,” Jn 15:23
“He who does not honour the Son does not honour the Father who sent him,” Jn 5:23
“I and my Father are one,” Jn 10:30
You either have to laugh at him, or take him very seriously indeed. The one thing you can’t do is ignore him.
2. “I am the bread of life”
This is the first of the 7 “I am” statements in John’s Gospel. Others:
“I AM the Light of the world” (Jn 8:12)
“I AM the Door of the sheep” (Jn 10:7, 9)
“I AM the Good Shepherd” (Jn 10:11, 14)
“I AM the Resurrection and the Life” (Jn 11:25)
“I AM the Way, the Truth, the Life” (Jn 14:6)
“I AM the true Vine” (Jn 15:1, 5).
Jn 8: 58f Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Then took they up stones to cast at him: but Jesus hid himself, and went out of the temple, going through the midst of them, and so passed by.
3. “I am the bread of life”
Not the cake; nor the caviar; nor the chocolate. The bread of life sustains. Bread = ‘the staff of life’. Not just for the privileged few. The bread of life satisfies – “he that cometh to me shall never hunger,” v35.
4. “I am the bread of life“
That is, the bread that gives life. ‘Life unto the world,’ v33. Ordinary bread can support physical life for a while. It spoils, v27. Jesus gives ‘food that endures to eternal life.’
This is not just a statement: it is an invitation. Our old life is one of poverty, hunger, dissatisfaction. Here is a free gift – we don’t work for it, it is given to us, v27-29. “Come unto me.”