The Gospel of John – Lesson 16 – John 6:25-59

25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: You are not looking for me because you saw the miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not continue to work for the food that spoils, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” 28 So they said to him, “What should we do to carry out the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God: that you believe in the one he sent.” 30 Then they asked him, “So what miraculous sign are you going to do, that we may see it and believe you? What miraculous sign are you going to perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the real bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said to him, “give us this bread all the time!” 35 “I am the Bread of Life,” Jesus told them. “The one who comes to me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But I said to you that you have also seen me, and you do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me, and the one who comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me: that I should lose none of those he has given me, but raise them up on the Last Day. 40 For this is the will of my Father: that everyone who sees the Son and believes in him may have eternal life. And I will raise him up on the Last Day.” 41 So the Jews started grumbling about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They asked, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? So how can he say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Stop grumbling 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, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 I am not saying that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He is the one who has seen the Father. 47 Amen, Amen, I tell you: The one who believes in me has eternal life. 48 “I am the Bread of Life. 49 Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that anyone may eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats this bread, he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Amen, Amen, I tell you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves. 54 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day. 55 For my flesh is real food, and my blood is real drink. 56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in him. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like your fathers ate and died. The one who eats this bread will live forever.” 59 He said these things while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Jesus was experiencing a time of great popularity. Big crowds were following him everywhere. On this occasion the crowds journeyed a great distance to locate Jesus. But the problem was the people were following Jesus for the wrong reasons. The previous day they saw Jesus do an amazing miracle. He took a small amount of food and used it to provide enough food for thousands of people to eat their fill. When they were finished eating there was more food left over than what they started with. As the people found Jesus they were probably filled with anticipation. By now they were probably getting hungry again. Perhaps Jesus would give them another miracle meal. Perhaps he would do something even more amazing.
Jesus needed to show them that their hearts weren’t focused on the right things. The miraculous meal he provided them the previous day met their physical needs for a short time. The same thing was true when God miraculously fed the Israelites in the wilderness for forty years in the time of Moses. Every day God provided them with enough food to sustain their bodies. But the next day they would always need to eat again. But now Jesus promised to give them a special food that would never spoil. It was food that would endure to eternal life.”

Initially the crowd wanted what Jesus promised. But then Jesus explained he wasn’t talking about food for their physical bodies. He was talking about food for their souls. He promised the one who ate what he provided would never go hungry. That’s when Jesus announced that, “I am the Bread of Life,” Jesus told them. “The one who comes to me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty.” 

This statement angered the people. How could Jesus be the “Bread of Life?” Did he really want them to eat his flesh? That would be cannibalism. But Jesus was talking about food for the soul. We feast on the Bread of Life when we partake of the good news of the Gospel and believe that Jesus Christ is the Son of God and our Savior. This special Bread of Life satisfies us with everything we need for our salvation. Jesus supplies all those needs. The more we partake of the good news of Jesus, the more certain we become that our sins are forgiven and that eternal life in heaven is ours.

Sometimes we’re like the crowds that followed Jesus. We’re looking for impressive visible displays of our Lord’s power. We’re not satisfied when he doesn’t give it to us. But our Lord is merciful to us. He gives us something truly impressive. He gives us the good news of the Gospel. The message seems so simple on the surface. But the good news that Jesus humbly gave his life to forgive our sins fills us up so completely that we will never hunger or thirst for anything to make us right with God. Our Lord invites us to come often and feast on his flesh and blood often in his Word. We can be certain that the one who feasts on our Savior will never hunger or thirst for anything needed for our salvation. As Jesus promised in verse 54 of our lesson, “The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the Last Day.”

Discussion Questions

1 – The crowds traveled a great distance to find Jesus. Why wasn’t he impressed with their devotion?

Jesus looked into their hearts and saw they were only focused on the fact that he filled their stomachs the previous day. They were looking at Jesus as a traveling miracle worker who would provide their bodily needs. They totally ignored their need for a Savior from sin, death and the devil.

2 – In verse 38, Jesus said he came to do the will of the one who sent him and not his own will. If Jesus is the Son of God, then isn’t his will the same as that of his heavenly Father?

Jesus is the Son of God and his will fully agreed with his heavenly Fathers’ will. But as Philippians 2 reminds us that Jesus made himself nothing and took on the nature of a servant so he could humble himself even to death on the cross. (See Philippians 2:5-8) Although he always remained God, he hid his divine nature so he could submit completely to the will of his heavenly Father. By this he won forgiveness of sins, eternal life and salvation for us.

3 – Is Jesus referring to the Lord’s Supper in verse 54 when he tells us to eat his flesh and drink his blood for eternal life?

It is true that we partake of Jesus’ true body and blood in the Lord’s Supper and that the Lord does assure us of eternal life in this special meal. However at the time, this was not what Jesus referred to. The Lord’s Supper wasn’t instituted until Jesus ate the Passover with his disciples on the night before he died. At the time Jesus spoke these words he was specifically referring to partaking of him through his Word.

If you have any questions about the Word of God we studied in this lesson please contact Pastor Greg Tobison. You can send your questions to
revgtobison@gmail.com.