Day 17: You are what you eat (bread of life, part 3)
What is your favorite food? Does it have to do with your upbringing? Your ethnicity? Food is an identifier. Some people today describe themselves as “foodies”. They like all sorts of food. What food do you eat that really describes you?
My answer is Ice Cream and Beer. You know, don’t you, that these contain all the major food groups recommended by the USDA. Comfort food. I have had to abandon these tastes. Now I am trying to eat in a conscious and lean manner.
Jesus is inviting people to consciously eat.
People are really struggling with what Jesus is offering them, about himself.
In chapter 5 he literally fed their bodies. Now he is telling them he is the food of life. He is their security and he is their path to an eternal destiny.
He is not done.
In verses 52-59 he tells them of their identity.
Faith is like eating; you consume that which you have faith in. Remember the Lamb of God. Jesus has already been identified with the Passover Lamb, and the Jews identify themselves as those who eat of this Lamb.
Many have connected this to the Lord’s Supper and/or Communion. Certainly, there is more than a hint of that here, but it is not explicitly spoken of. How do you process Jesus’ statement about eating and drinking? Literally? Figuratively? There has been a lot of ink spilled on this part of the Gospel of John.
Let’s stay connected to the text.
The language is sacrificial.
Jesus is pointing that He will sacrificially give himself. Remember he has told them (and us) that we are secure with him, he who is the Bread of Life. He has told us our destiny is with him for eternity.
Now he tells us our identity is found in Him.
He finds his identity in the Father (there is a one-ness here). You and I find our identity in Jesus.
How? How physically do we “proclaim” that we are one with Jesus? We are what we eat. We identify ourselves by that which we take into ourselves.
Yes, the language is shocking. Not because it strikes of cannibalism, but because the God that is above and beyond all, is inviting us to have one-ness, to have communion, with Him.
We, like the people chasing after Jesus, are worried about the cares of our day—our daily bread. Jesus does not ignore our concerns. He does point us “higher-up and higher-in”.
How? Full faith in him. How can he communicate “full faith”? Jesus tells us, to put our faith in him…in His flesh and blood.
The goal is to stay on track with the Big Picture, and in the process not dismiss this bite-size morsel. Jesus is saying you will find your life “in Him”; in Him you will be offered your true identity.