[The following scripture passages and questions are here to guide you in your thinking. The questions are not answered. If you are truly seeking, you will sense God guiding you. You will see and understand those things which are most needful for you. And, most importantly, you will know that God cares for you.]
Read: John 6:30-51
Jesus Christ had fed the 5000 and a group of them followed Him to Capernaum. They sought him with the wrong motive, wanting more bread, not a Savior. They confronted him and asked for more bread as a sign from God that Jesus was who He said He was. They sought miraculous manna, a bread that was provided for the children of Israel in the wilderness.
John 6:32-33 “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Exodus 16:4-35 gives the account of the giving of Manna in the Wilderness. Rules concerning the gathering of the manna are given. This manna continued to be provided for the children of Israel for forty years until they reached the Promised Land and began to gather and eat the grain that was growing there. The account of the manna is a wonderful picture of believers feeding daily on Christ, drawing their spiritual nourishment from Him. In John 6, the Lord Jesus Christ clarifies the symbolism of the Manna.
Question: Did the children of Israel deserve the manna that God provided? (Yes or No.)
Question: Was the manna provided as a result of the religious practice of the leaders of the people? (Yes or No)
Question: Is it possible for people to seek Jesus for the wrong reason? (Yes or No)
John 6:35-40 “Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst…..All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
Notice how Jesus points to Himself as the “bread of life,” a bread that satisfies all spiritual hunger. It is a person’s belief in Him that enables that person to be spiritually alive and satisfied. That person is assured that, having believed in Jesus, he/she will never be cast aside and will experience the resurrection and eternal life.
Question: (True or False) Only good people, the deserving, can come to Jesus and receive eternal life.
Question: (True or False) It is not enough to merely “look” on Jesus, to know about Him, in order to receive eternal life.
Question: Define the word “believe” and determine if you believe in Jesus Christ. (Use a dictionary if necessary.)
John 6:48-51 “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Once again the Lord Jesus Christ points to Himself as the bread of life. The poor often ate from day to day, not knowing where the next meal would come from. Their existence depended on bread. In the same way our spiritual existence depends on partaking of the spiritual bread of life.
Notice the word “anyone.” There were a lot of religious people in the days of Christ’s ministry who were disqualified from receiving eternal life. They stumbled in disbelief over His declaration that His flesh was the bread of life.
Question: Have you ever been desperately hungry for food? The same desperation for spiritual food is experienced by many. What does it mean to be hungry for spiritual food?
Question: Explain “if anyone eats of this bread.” Does it help if you substitute “partakes” for the word “eats”?
There is a lot of figurative language in this passage. Figurative language is often used in the Bible to present powerful and vivid truth. The essential fact is that spiritual hunger can only be satisfied by believing in Jesus Christ who gave His life on Calvary as payment for the sin that separates us from God. It is the need for God that many suffer from. It is a desperation to be free from the dark hopeless and painful existence of a life apart from God. Are you hungry?
Scripture quotations are from The Holy Bible, English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles, a division of Good News Publishers. Used by permission. All rights reserved.