John 6:30-36: None but Christ…

“30 So they asked him, ‘What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’32 Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’34 ‘Sir,’ they said, ‘always give us this bread.’35 Then Jesus declared,  ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe.” NIV

In this passage we meet with one of seven ‘I am’ sayings made by Jesus in the fourth gospel (35). Many commentators take these to be staggering intimations of divinity, reflecting God’s self-revelation in Exodus 3:14. He seems to draw on that rich Old Testament theology.

Don’t you greet verse 30 with a sense of incredulity? Yet it shows how spiritually obtuse we, the human race, can be. These people had been seeking Jesus off the back of the miracle of the loaves and fishes (22-24). They had been so impressed by it, so how could they now ask this?

They were possibly thinking that Moses showed his credentials in the miracle of the manna. Jesus corrected their thinking about it, saying it was not Moses who provided that ‘bread from heaven’, but God the Father. And it was only a type, or shadow of Christ, who was to come (and, who, of course, had now come (30-32).

The ‘bread of God’ is ‘he’, not it (33, 35).

True satisfaction is to be found in Jesus.

Real life is to be found in Jesus.

This life/satisfaction is for ‘the world’.

BUT only those who ‘come’ to Jesus; who ‘believe’ in Him, will receive it (35, 36). In fact, to believe in Jesus gives definition to what is meant by coming to Him.

The crowd had come to Christ in a physical/geographical sense. They had made an effort to seek Him out. But they didn’t really want HIM – only what He had to offer materially. Like the woman at the well (4:15), they took Jesus literally, whereas He intended to be taken spiritually.

”Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labour on what does not satisfy?’ (Isaiah 54:2a). That question still comes to us across the centuries with startling force and relevance.

Augustine said, ”Thou hast made us for thyself, and our hearts find no rest until they rest in thee.” 

There is in every heart a ‘Jesus-shaped hole’, and try as you might, you will not be able to fill that vacuum with anyone or anything else. What keeps you from coming to Him and believing?

Prayer: As the old hymn says, ”Now none but Christ can satisfy; no other Name for me. There’s love, and peace, and lasting joy, Lord Jesus found in thee.” There is no one like you Lord, and I love you, and am deeply grateful.