In the previous message about the bread of life, we saw Jesus with the multitude of people who followed him on the other side of the sea at Capernaum. These were those people that Jesus fed a night before with bread and fish. They once again came to Jesus in anticipation of another feeding. Jesus knowing this told them that they should be looking instead for the bread that will give them eternal life. Jesus told them that he is the bread of life and that it is the will of God that, all those that believe in him, he must not lose and he will raise them on the last day and that it is the will of God that we must believe in him. That was John 6:30-40. Now, Jesus continues his talk in verse 41-51, which is our passage today.
John 6:41-51 (ESVST)
So the Jews grumbled about him, because he said, “ I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “ Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven ’?”
This is again a very typical reaction of unbelievers even today. Simply because Jesus comes from a particular family or background, how can he possibly have come from heaven. We know who his father and mother are, so, how can he have come from heaven? We know this person so and so, he is a drunkard, a thief, a womanizer, etc, how can he be now telling us about God? We are very good to judge a book by its cover. He is white, he must be racist or he is black, he must be a thief. As you can see, we are no different to those that were listening to Jesus on that day. They were confused because of their unbelief.
43 Jesus answered them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘ And they will all be taught by God. ’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me — 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Jesus was not going to leave them confused in their unbelief. Jesus then answers them by pointing out a very important theological point. Now, this is a very controversial point among Christians. Jesus told them that no one can come to him unless God draws him. In other words, for anyone to come to Jesus meaning, for anyone to believe in Jesus, God must draw him, otherwise, they cannot believe. This is what is called Predestination or Election. This is a sermon on its own. I don’t want to discuss it here in detail but just to say that, no one seeks salvation out of his own will. You will only seek salvation when God has drawn you to it. God himself through the Holy Spirit will draw you towards accepting and believing in Jesus. Once God draws you, you cannot refuse. I know this might be raising a lot of questions in you right now and I can only say that, for now, just take it as it is.
So, once God has drawn you to believe and you eventually believe, Jesus says that he will raise you up on the last day. Jesus then quotes Isaiah 54:13 which says that
Isaiah 54:13 (ESVST)
All your children shall be taught by the Lord,
and great shall be the peace of your children.
Jesus is simply saying that all those that God chooses to draw them, God himself will teach them and guide them to salvation. This reminds me as well of Ezekiel 36:25-28
Ezekiel 36:25-28 (ESVST)
I will sprinkle clean water on you, and you shall be clean from all your uncleannesses, and from all your idols I will cleanse you. 26 And I will give you a new heart, and a new spirit I will put within you. And I will remove the heart of stone from your flesh and give you a heart of flesh. 27 And I will put my Spirit within you, and cause you to walk in my statutes and be careful to obey my rules. 28 You shall dwell in the land that I gave to your fathers, and you shall be my people, and I will be your God.
Once God has done this, you will be in a position to appreciate and believe in Jesus. Once God does this to you, He has taught you and He has drawn you. Just to make sure that they don’t get confused again, Jesus says that, he is not spaying that everyone has seen God. He says only he has seen God because he is from God. I know this is a huge concept to grasp, nonetheless it is true. You can only come to Jesus, if God draws you to him. So Jesus was saying here that, I am not surprised by your unbelief, you will not believe unless God has made you to believe.
47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Then Jesus said, whoever believes, has eternal life. To inherit eternal life, all you have to do is believe. Jesus did not say you have to believe and pay tithe, believe and do good works or believe and follow the law, Jesus just said believe and nothing else. If you believe, you have eternal life. Full stop!!!! Jesus continues to say, their fathers ate manna in the wilderness and they died meaning, the bread that they ate was only to supply them physically but spiritually they died but, he is the bread that came down from heaven so that whoever eats it, will not spiritually die. He says if you eat of this living bread, which he is, you will live forever. He then concludes by saying, this bread that he will give for the life of the world, it is his flesh. Meaning he will give his life for the life of the world. He will die, so that those who believe in him, must not die.
The question is, which bread are you eating right now, the living bread that Jesus offers, that leads to eternal life or the bread that leads to eternal condemnation?