The Gospel of John: a commentary & meditation 
 "If anyone eats of this bread, he will live for ever"

Scripture: John 6:41-51

41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, "I am the bread which 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'?" 43 Jesus answered them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.' Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who 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 which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh."

Meditation: God offers his people abundant life, but we can miss it.  What is the bread of life which Jesus offers?  It is first of all the life of God himself -- life which sustains us not only now in this age but also in the age to come. The Rabbis said that the generation in the wilderness have no part in the life to come. In the Book of Numbers it is recorded that the people who refused to brave the dangers of the promised land were condemned to wander in the wilderness until they died. The Rabbis believed that the father who missed the promised land also missed the life to come. When Jesus offers us real life he brings us into a new relationship with God, a relationship of trust, love, and obedience.  And he offers us real life which last forever, a life of love, fellowship, communion, and union with the One who made us in love to be him forever.  To refuse Jesus is to refuse eternal life, unending life with the Heavenly Father. To accept Jesus as the bread of heaven is not only life and spiritual nourishment for this world but glory in the world to come. Do you accept Jesus as the bread of life?

"Lord Jesus, you are the living bread which sustains me in this life.  May I always hunger for the bread which comes from heaven and find in it the nourishment and strength I need to love and serve you wholeheartedly.  May I always live in the joy, peace, and unity of the Father, Son, and Holy Spirit, both now and in the age to come".

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(c) 2001-2006 Don Schwager