Living Bread

John 6: 51

I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever, and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.

It’s easy enough to accept this verse at face value. If someone says to us that Jesus is the bread of life we easily agree with them. What, though, does this verse really mean? Jesus said we are to eat this bread. If we do, we shall live forever. Okay, sign me up but how does one eat this bread?

Here is another question. Does this verse speak about consuming the Word or about communion? Better still, is there something else we are missing entirely? How do you imagine we are supposed to ingest this living bread, the bread of life, as it were? Go a step further and ask, how are we supposed to consume Jesus. That almost sounds disgusting, doesn’t it?

The truth of the matter is that He lost some people over this teaching which is kind of interesting. He had just told them how to have eternal life and they fell away. He even asked the twelve if they were going to leave also. As you know, they stayed with Jesus but this teaching was so strong and so difficult that many people stopped following Jesus. I guess we have the same problem today though. When the message gets tough the weak just leave.

It is a simple thing for us to say that in order to be saved, in order to gain eternal life we must partake of Jesus. The more difficult part is in figuring out what that means in practice. I am going to leave this for you to decide for yourself. Obviously this was not some platitude that Jesus offered. Had it been a shallow, non-substantive message, people would not have left him. So, there has to be something deep and strong about this, probably something which requires something of us. In any event, there is no life without Jesus, no life without eating the bread from heaven.