The Gospel of John records seven times that Jesus uses the term I AM to describe different aspects of His ministry. The use of the term I AM would not be lost on those listening to Jesus because I AM happens to be one of the titles of God in the Old Testament. So when Jesus spoke using this term, people sat up and took notice. In this post we will look at what Jesus meant when He claimed to be “the bread of life.”
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” John 6: 35 In verse Jesus says, ‘“ I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I shall give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
Jesus is speaking these words to the same people that He had feed by the miracle of multiplying the loaves and the fishes. These people seem more interested in figuring out how they can get another free meal than trying to understand Jesus message. Jesus reminds the crowd that what is important isn’t perishable food, but Spiritual food that can change a person’s life.
In response to Jesus the crowd demands, “’What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.’” John 6: v.2 8, 29 Here is the crux of the matter. The crowd believes there is something they can do to earn the love of God. They want power, signs and miracles. They want Jesus to give them a magic formula so they can be happy and successful the rest of their life. They want bread that they can feel,touch and own, and whatever work Jesus demands of them they are willing to follow if He will just give them that formula for living.
Jesus surprises them by saying He is the bread of life. He is the answer to their needs and wants. He can assure them they will never thirst nor hunger again spiritually if they trust in Him. All they have to do is believe in Him and they will never hunger and they will have eternal life. This promise is assured because He will give His flesh at Calvary’s cross as a living sacrifice for their salvation.
It’s easy for us to get caught up in the “I want” game, and there is nothing wrong with wanting to improve our lot in life. But, when the pursuit of success and wealth becomes the motivating driver in our life at the expense of the Spiritual, maybe we need to rethink our priorities. Jesus says, “I am the bread of life,” everything else is temporal and passes away with time. But the assurance of eternal life is guaranteed, not only by the word of God, but through the blood of Jesus shed at the cross.
Next post we will look at Jesus saying, “I am the light of the world.”