Lesson 194-August 25, 2019
Lesson: “Is This a Hard Saying?”
Scripture: John 6:47-59
Lesson Goal: To understand the truth of Jesus concerning eternal life.
Introduction: As we begin this lesson please consider this question: What does it mean to have “everlasting life?” Please read John 3:36.
(v47) Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
“Verse 47 is one of the clearest and briefest statements in all the Word of God concerning the way of Salvation. The Lord Jesus stated in words that could hardly be misunderstood-that Whoever Believes In Him Has Everlasting Life. Notice He introduced these momentous words with His emphatic ‘most assuredly.’ This is one of many verses in the New Testament that teaches that salvation is not by works, not by law keeping, not by church membership, not by obeying the Golden Rule, but simply by believing in the Lord Jesus Christ!” (Believers Bible Commentary).
Question: What does it mean to believe in Jesus Christ? Please explain “believes” found in verse 47.
(vv48-51) Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
F.F. Bruce states, “Jesus is not only the living bread in contrast to perishable food (verse 37 over against verse 27); He is the life giving bread, delivering those who receive him from the power of death, which even the manna could not achieve for those who ate it. The Israelites of the wilderness generation fed on manna and yet they died. For all its wonderful properties as the ‘grain of heaven…the bread of angels’ (Psalm 78:24ff.), it could not impart eternal life; those who received it sustained bodily life by it, but even so they died at last. The true heavenly bread by contrast-that is the Son of God Himself-bestows spiritual life on those who ‘eat’ of Him (believe, appropriate Him by faith); and this spiritual life is maintained by Him and safeguarded from the menace of death.”
The religious leaders had already tried to get Jesus to prove to them that He was greater than the prophets. In 6:30-31, these verses had used Moses as the standard for measuring Jesus. They believed Moses had supplied the manna in the wilderness (they were wrong in this assumption). God had supplied the manna. The reli-gious leaders wanted to see how Jesus would measure against Moses. Jesus refused to take their bait but rather drew attention to the manna’s physical and temporal bread. Eating of this bread sustained them for a day, and again in the process must be repeated. They had to gather and eat daily the manna that was supplied. Ulti-mately this bread would not keep them from dying. Jesus without diminishing or demeaning Moses’ role in God’s plan presented the truth of He Himself as “the bread of life.” This bread (Jesus) is the spiritual bread that has come down from heaven that completely satisfies the eternal cravings and hunger that leads to eternal life.
An important truth, all important truth, is that it is not just enough to see this bread or to recognize this breadMatt Carter and Josh Wredberg offers us some very helpful insight concerning Jesus, the bread of life. “Imagine being famished. You’ve had an extremely busy day and just haven’t had time to eat. Your stomach is growling, and all you think about is food. You sit down at the table, and a plate of fresh dinner rolls is set before you. What would you do? You’d take one (or two or three) and start eating. Why? Because the only way to satisfy your hunger is to eat. Bread only does you good if you eat it. How do you eat the bread of life? Jesus tells the crowd to eat His flesh and drink His blood. Is He endorsing cannibalism? No, to eat means to believe. When you take a bite of bread, you believe it’s safe for you to eat (it’s not going to kill you); plus you believe it will give you strength. You can’t eat it halfway. Chewing and spitting out is not eating. You either eat or you don’t. The same is true of believing on Jesus. You either believe Him or you don’t. You either trust He will give you life so you receive Him fully and completely, or you don’t. There’s no middle ground when it comes to believing on Jesus. When you eat, you internalize the food.”
They continue, “thinking about eating is not the same as eating. Knowing nutritional facts is not the same as eating. Understanding how food is processed by the body is not the same as eating. To believe is to internalize the truth about Jesus. It’s to receive Him into you soul. Thinking about Jesus is not the same as believing. Knowing facts about Jesus is not the same as believing. Understanding how Jesus saves a person is not the same as believing. Believing is staking your life on the fact that the only way to live is to receive Him. It’s placing all your hope on Him to sustain you. It’s placing all your confidence in Him as the only one who can give you life and strength and a future. And the best part of eating the bread of life is there’s no bill. All you have to do is receive it.” The cost has already been covered.
“Those who believe in Jesus not only have the hope of eternal life in the future but also enjoy the possession of that life even now as the present tense of (v47 ‘believes’) indicates. (MacArthur).
(v52) “The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, ‘How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?”
As sadly and often has been the case, the religious leaders missed it. They missed the importance and significance of Jesus’ words. In their grumbling, murmuring, and quarreling, they missed His meaning! They were blinded by their unbelief. They could not understand Jesus’ words because of the darkness of their unbelief.
(vv53-59) “Then Jesus said to them ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is food indeed and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats my flesh and drinks my blood abides in Me and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.’ These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.”
Notice that in Jesus’ response He did not try to clarify their misconceptions or their blind misunderstandings. Their problem was not intellectual, it was spiritual.
In Jesus’ words He was offering metaphorically the importance and essential fact of His sacrificial death as an atonement for sin. It is by faith (believing) that this becomes appropriate into an individual’s life. One must eat His flesh and drink His blood (vv53-59).