In looking at John chapter six we find many topics that can be discussed. We see the fourth and fifth miracle or sign that shows us that Jesus is the Son of God, God in the flesh. The fourth sign was the feeding of the 5,000 not counting women and children. Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, blessed the food, and fed everyone with it. In the end, there were 12 baskets of leftovers. The fifth sign was of Jesus walking on the water to meet the disciples who had left earlier in a boat. The overall theme of chapter six is that Jesus is the bread of life.
The fourth sign leads into the conversation about Jesus being the bread of life. Those that ate of the bread and fish sought out Jesus the next day. Jesus tells them that the only reason that they are looking for Him is that they had their fill. This is a similar situation that we find in John chapter four where the Samaritan woman was at first only interested in her physical needs. In comparing these two chapters we can see that there are two different types of responses when people come to Christ and find that God is interested in healing them spiritually. The Samaritan woman came to faith in Jesus and lead many in her town to faith in Jesus as well. Here in chapter six, we see that they focused on their physical needs once again. When Jesus pointed this out and told them that it's the spiritual healing that God wants to do in their lives and things got hard to understand they turned from following Jesus. Ministering to physical needs is important, but we have to understand that many people will want their physical needs met but will reject Jesus; just like the people did in chapter six. This is a reminder that many will come to Jesus only for the physical blessings but when things get hard they turn away.
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. But as I told you, you’ve seen Me, and yet you do not believe. Everyone the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will never cast out.” John 6:35-37 HCSB ( https://www.bible.com/72/jhn.6.35-37.hcsb )
Jesus tells us that He is the bread of life and anyone who comes to Him will never be hungry or thirsty again. Two of the things that sustain our lives: bread and water. If we are going to have physical life then we must eat and drink water. Without enough food and water, we will slowly die. We all have physical life, sustained by eating and drinking. Jesus is saying that it is only possible to have spiritual life through eating and drinking in Jesus. Jesus is the sustainer of our spiritual life.
Many may reject this and say that they have spiritual life and are active in spiritual matters. Rather it's New Age or some other religion that the world calls spiritual. The problem is that in the fall of mankind through Adam and Eve we are all spiritually dead. Anything one does that is outside of a relationship with Jesus is spiritual death; no matter how spiritual it may make one feel. There is no life outside of Jesus.
This is a hard truth to accept and many will reject it, but truth doesn’t depend upon belief. God is truth and anything true comes from God regardless of our spiritual disposition. This is why Jesus says that the only ones that can come to Jesus are the ones that the Father has given Him. How do we know if we are among the ones given to Jesus by the Father? The answer is in the way that we respond to the truth of Jesus being the living water and bread of life. Jesus is saying to all of us, “Come and be eternally satisfied in Me.” Jesus is the only way we can have fulfillment in this life and for all of eternity.
Questions for reflection:
Where are you finding your fulfillment? The things of the world or in Jesus?
What is the difference between spirituality from the perspective of the world and the spiritual life we find in the Bible?