Lesson 192-August 11, 2019
Lesson: “The Bread of Life”
Scripture: John 6:30-40
Lesson Goal: To better understand Jesus “the Bread of Life.”
Introduction: Please read John 6:2 and John 6:26. Warren Wiersbe states, “The disciples may have been impressed that so many people stayed through a storm in order to seek their Master, but Jesus was not im-pressed. He knows the human heart. He knew that the people originally followed Him because of His mira-cles (v2), but now their motive was to get fed! Now their interest had degenerated to the level of food.”
Wiersbe continues, “Jesus pointed out that there are two kinds of food: food for the body, which is necessary but not the most important, and food for the inner man, the spirit, which is essential. What the people needed was not food but life, and life is a gift. The words of Isaiah come to mind: “Why do you spend money for what is not bread, and your wages for what does not satisfy?” (Isaiah 55:2).
Wiersbe further explains, “The people picked up the word labor ’work’ and misinterpreted it to mean they had to work for salvation. They completely missed the word ‘give’. Steeped in legalistic religion, they thought they had to ‘do something’ to merit eternal life. Jesus made it clear that only one ‘work’ was necessary-to be-lieve in the Savior. When a person believes in Christ, he is not performing a good work that earns salvation. There is certainly no credit in believing, for it is what God does in response to our faith that is important (see Ephesian 2:8-10).
We begin in the Scripture text of today’s lesson with verses 30 and 31.
(v30) Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do?
The crowd wanted to see and believe.
Question: What does it say about a belief that must see in order to believe? (“that we may see it and believe You”).
Question: What had the crowd witnessed less than twenty-four hours earlier?
Question: What does the crowd ask for in v30?
Question: What had Jesus told the crowd in v29?
(v31) “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written. He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
The crowd wanted Jesus to prove His Messiahship by providing them with an unending supply of food, see verse 34.
(v32) Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.”
Jesus “corrected their faulty memory of Hebrew history. Moses did not provide anything; God provided the manna” (Swindoll), The crowd had used Scripture to provide a basis for their request (Psalm 78:24-25; Exo-dus 16:15). They had misunderstood and misapplied the text. The subject of the text was not Moses but God. God was the provider!
Moses had not provided the miracle of manna, God had provided. The God that gave and supplied the manna was now supplying “the true bread from heaven.”
(v33) For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.
In verse 33 we see a picture of the message of the gospel. Notice seven times in this dialogue Jesus referred to His “coming down from heaven” (John 6:33, 38 41-42, 50-51, 58).
Question: What is the significance of Jesus’ reference to Himself “coming down from heaven?”
“The manna, though it was truly bread supplied by God, was merely a type that foreshadowed the ultimate, ‘true bread.. Which comes down out of heaven-’ The Lord Jesus Christ.” (MacArthur)
(v34) Then they said to Him, “Lord give us this bread always.” Even as these words are spoken the crowd is speaking and thinking in terms of some lasting material bread for the meeting of their physical needs. “The crowd wanted the bread so they would not have to toil to maintain life. People today still want Jesus Christ only for the benefits He is able to give” (Wiersbe). Obviously at this point the crowd still did not understand Jesus was speaking of Himself as “the true bread” (v 32).
(v35) And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life, He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Jesus very clearly states the truth! Those who truly come to Jesus (believing) find in Him the satisfaction of their spiritual hunger forever. Those that believe in Him find the spiritual thirst of their souls forever satisfied. Very clearly Jesus established the fact that He is not talking about material bread that He, Himself, is the “bread of life.”
“To partake of the bread of life they must come to Him, they must believe in Him. This total self-commitment to Christ, this approaching Him by faith is the secret of eternal life and perpetual soul refreshment” (F. F. Bruce).
In verse 35, we have the first of Jesus’ “I Am” sayings recorded in the Book of John.
“There are two important words in verse 35 concerning man’s role or part in eternal salvation. Those two words are “come” and “believes”. “To come to Christ is to forsake the old life of sin and rebellion and submit to Him as Lord. Though John does not use the term “repentance” in the idea of coming to Christ (I Thessalo-nians 1:9). As Charles Spurgeon put it, ‘You and your sins must separate, or you and your God will never come together.’ To believe in Christ is to trust completely in Him as the Messiah and Son of God, and to acknowledge that salvation comes solely through faith in Him. Repentance and faith are two sides of the same coin; to repent is to turn from sins, and to believe is to turn to the Savior (MacArthur).
(v36) But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. The crowd had seen the miracles of God in the feeding of the thousands but they had not seen the God of the miracles.
(vv37-40) All that the Father gives me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
In these verses we find the explanation of the process of personal salvation. In these verses we find “these are among the most profound words Jesus ever spoke, and we can not hope to plumb their depths completely. Je-sus explained that salvation involves both divine sovereignty and human responsibility. From our human and limited perspective, we cannot see how divine sovereignty and human responsibility can work together, but from God’s perspective there is no conflict. When a church member asked Charles Spurgeon how to reconcile these two he replied ‘I never try to reconcile friends’” (Wiersbe).
We can know most assuredly that God is both active in the saving, as well in the preserving of those who have surrendered and commit themselves to Jesus Christ.