“I am that bread of life. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
John 6:48, 51
The religious people who heard Jesus had some of the same struggles that many have in our day. They were trusting in their tradition and heritage and did not recognize Jesus as the Christ and the Savior of the world. Jesus told them that their responsibility was to trust in Him. They boasted of the way God had given their fathers manna, or bread from Heaven, to eat. This was such an incredible miracle and testimony of God’s provision for the needs of His people. Day by day, for all those many years of their wilderness wanderings, hundreds of thousands of Israelites were sustained by God’s supply of bread. But, Jesus wanted them to see that the manna was a type or picture of His supply for their lives, and identified Himself as the “bread of life.” Manna could sustain for physical life, but only Jesus could provide eternal life.
Numerous valuable truths are found in this powerful teaching. The passage clearly identifies the deity of the Lord Jesus Christ. He is the Bread that “came down from heaven.” He came from Heaven because He is eternally co-existent with God the Father and the Holy Spirit. We also see the importance of Christ’s death on the cross. He said that the bread that He would give is His flesh, which He would give “for the life of the world.” The bread that He offered was not for Israel alone, but for every sinner that ever lived.
Jesus would have to die for our sins in order that we might live. This is the way of salvation, through faith in His death and resurrection. To be saved, one must believe on Christ. He would have to trust in Him, not in tradition or religion. It is by faith that we partake of His offer, “if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever.” When a person trusts Christ, and Him alone for salvation, he immediately receives eternal life.
The manna also serves as a great reminder of our dependence on the Lord. As the manna was provided daily for Israel, God also provides daily for our spiritual nourishment. They would go out early every morning and gather the day’s provisions. God provides for our daily encouragement and direction as we faithfully spend time with Him, partaking of His sufficiency.