Okay, a subject keeps popping up (not here, I thought I would share it here.), John chapter 6:22-63 “The Bread of Life”. This passage is often associated with Mat, 26; Mk. 14; Luke 22; 1Cor.11 “The Last Supper”
The two have nothing to do with each other. Paul doesn't make a reference to anything in John 6. John 6 isn't talking about fellowship with idols or with fellow Christians. John 6 is talking about fellowship with Jesus. In the Gospels the bread symbolizes Jesus body and the wine symbolizes his blood. We have to listen carefully to the questions asked, the answers given and a few key points Jesus makes in short statements.
The key point Jesus takes off with is (Manna) - "What work do you perform? Our Fathers ate the manna...as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven..." Jesus answers "but my Father gives you the true bread from Heaven." They ask to be given this bread and Jesus makes THE statement - "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst."
Here we should be able to identify the physical from the spiritual. The manna was physical and eaten, Jesus is physical but for himself he uses the words "comes to" and "believes in."
I always wonder a best way to explain or show vs. 41- 58 because the issue is with the people grumbling and disputing (not believing) what Jesus is telling them. And he is actually being pretty plain and straight forward until vs.53-58 here it switches to metaphorical speech and gruesome. It becomes so hard to hear that the disciples remark vs.60 "who can listen to it?" Again Jesus goes to clearer speech vs.63 "it is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life."
During all of this talking Jesus says two things that should draw our thinking to the cross and ascension; vs. 51b "And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh" and vs. 62 "Then what if you were to see the Son of Man ascending to where he was before?"
Jesus is talking about faith.
vs.27-29 "Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal." Then they said to him, "What must we do, to be doing the works of God?" Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent."
If we can pull away from the metaphoric speech and think on what we have received from the body and blood - life forever, his seal the Holy Spirit.
"But there are some of you who do not believe" (For Jesus knew from the beginning who those were who did not believe, and who it was who would betray him.) And he said, "This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless it is granted him by the Father" vs, 64,65
I use the ESV unless otherwise stated.
Picture from Faithlife info graphics.
I have always found it interesting that in that passage of scripture, the people demand a miraculous sign. John clearly states in verse 22 that these were the very same people who had witnessed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000 men just the day before. Huh?
Many did not want the Bread of Life, they only wanted bread.