GOSPEL READING: John 6:35-40
35 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. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me; and him who comes to me I will not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me; 39 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 at the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
Meditation: Why did Jesus call himself the bread of life? The Jews understood that God promised them manna from heaven to sustain them on their journey to the promised land. Bread is the very staple of life. We could not live without food for very long. Bread sustains us. But what is life? Jesus clearly meant something more than mere physical existence. The life Jesus refers to is connected with God, the author of life. Real life is a relationship with the living God, a relationship of trust, love, obedience, peace, and joy. This is what Jesus makes possible for us – a loving relationship with God who created us for love with him. Apart from Jesus no one can enter that kind of life and relationship. Are you satisfied with mere physical existence or do you hunger for the abundant life which Jesus offers?
Jesus makes three claims here. First he offers himself as spiritual food which produces the very life of God within us. Second, he promises unbroken friendship and freedom from the fear of being forsaken or cut off from God. Third, he offers us the hope of sharing in his resurrection. Jesus rose physically never to die again. Those who accept Jesus as Lord and Savior will be bodily raised up to immortal life with Jesus when he comes again on the last day. Do you know the joy and hope of the resurrection?
Lord Jesus Christ, your death brought life and hope where there was once only despair and defeat. Give me the unshakable hope of everlasting life, the inexpressible joy of knowing your unfailing love, and the unwavering faith and obedience in doing the will of our Father in heaven.
1 Make a joyful noise to God, all the earth;
2 sing the glory of his name; give to him glorious praise!
3 Say to God, “How awesome are your deeds! So great is your power that your enemies cringe before you.
4 All the earth worships you; they sing praises to you, sing praises to your name.” [Selah]
5 Come and see what God has done: he is awesome in his deeds among men.
6 He turned the sea into dry land; men passed through the river on foot. There did we rejoice in him,
7 who rules by his might for ever, whose eyes keep watch on the nations — let not the rebellious exalt themselves. [Selah]
Daily Quote from the Early Church Fathers: Possessing the Scriptures, by Augustine of Hippo, 354-430 A.D.
“When you understand anything in the Scriptures, it is love that is manifesting itself to you. When you fail to understand, it is love that is hiding itself from you. Those, therefore, who possess charity possess both what is manifest in the divine words and what is hidden in them.” (excerpt from Sermon 350,2)
Scripture quotations from Common Bible: Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 1973, and Ignatius Edition of the Revised Standard Version of the Bible, copyright 2006, by the Division of Christian Education of the National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved. Citation references for quotes from the writings of the early church fathers can be found here.
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