Day 15: Hard to swallow (bread of life, part 1)
This is the first post in a series. Over the next several days, we're going to look in depth at John 6. Today we're looking at verses 22 through 40. Tomorrow, we'll look at 41-51.
When I don’t like something, even if I have never tasted it, my first reaction is to reject it. Many a parent has told their child that what they were eating was chicken, when it was anything but. Some ideas can be especially difficult to swallow, too... the mere suggestion of them can be like an unwelcome odor from an unusual food. Especially if we were expecting something else.
I like green beans. Telling you what vegetable I like is a shorter list. I recently have become a fan of sweet potatoes. They are vegetables, right?
Today we read a portion of a long passage where Jesus talks about himself as food.
He has their attention now, and Jesus is presenting himself in a very new way.
I have wrestled with writing about a longer section of chapter 6, or breaking it into bite-size morsels. I have chosen the bite-size.
In this blog, I often try to help us stay on track with the Big Picture. To do that means (I think) that we spend some time, just a little, and begin to understand what Jesus is talking about.
I think we can step through this. Keep your Bible open.
In verses 22-35 they come looking for bread. They really wanted to find him. Did you notice they got in boats and went looking? Jesus noticed their effort. He tells them they should seek the food of eternal life.
They naturally ask, “How do we get that food?” Jesus basically says, Believe that I am from God. He calls for them to HAVE FAITH in Him.
To which they say, “Prove it!” There is this big discussion about Manna. In their minds, it was about free food, every day. Yet, another perspective would assert the story of Manna is about God training people to trust Him, to HAVE FAITH. (See Exodus 16).
They identify Manna with Moses. Jesus identifies it with God.
Jesus then dials it up a notch and says if they want real bread, it is Him. He is the Bread of Life. Come to Him, and you will never be hungry… Manna forever!
So what are these folks looking for?
It starts out as bread, but it is more, it is bread forever.
When you want “bread forever,” you are looking for security. In verses 36-40, Jesus invites them to embrace the security they will find in Him. Read those four verses. Jesus assures their (our) security, if only we believe. He says that He will lose no one.
Pause for a moment and reflect. Jesus is saying that in Him, you will find security. He is the source of eternal food. He will not lose you.
This may be a new idea for you. Jesus is pushing you (and me). He is offering more than being the kind of God that is invisible, that you “throw a prayer 'up' to in a desperate moment”. He is saying to trust Him fully.