John 6:35-51: The word of a Gentleman.
“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. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.’41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, ‘I am the bread that came down from heaven.’ 42 They said, ‘Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, “I came down from heaven”?’43 ‘Stop grumbling among yourselves,’ Jesus answered. 44 ‘No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: “They will all be taught by God.” Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life.48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live for ever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’ NIV
David Livingstone was battling with doubt and loneliness in the jungles of central Africa. Then he came across (37). He wrote in his journal, ”That is the word of a Gentleman of the most strict and sacred honour. He would never break His Word.”
Although it is true, as we saw yesterday, that Jesus fully satisfies (35), not everyone will believe (36). (By the way, there is the idea of eating with enjoyment in verses 50, 51. It is both delightful and satisfying to feed on all that Jesus is.) But we should not be surprised at any lack of response we experience. Jesus met with negativity and rejection. Again, as we observed yesterday, people can be so wilfully blind and obtuse (41, 42).
The mystery of the sovereignty of God is at work in every conversion (37, 38, 44, 45). We come to Jesus and believe in Him. This is our choice. But the deeper truth is that we only make this movement towards Christ because of the Father’s drawing power.
All who come to Jesus find Him to be ‘the bread of life’ (48) who gives life. ‘Eternal life’ (47) is a new quality of life: the life of heaven begun here on earth. But it is also quantity of life; never-ending life; resurrection life (39, 40, 44, 50, 51). It is the best life available and the longest life imaginable
Jesus reveals God (46). He is ‘the window into God’ (Michael Green). He shows us what God is like in terms of a human life.
And He is also the redeemer.He gave His life for our life (51).
”Jesus lays great emphasis on his resurrection as completing his work for those who come to him. It is not enough to impart eternal life. That would bless the spirit, but leave the body untouched. And he cannot rest until the whole of our complex nature shares in the emancipation and fullness of his salvation. A transfigured manhood and a glorified body must be the crown of his service to his own. By his mighty power, he will raise them up in the likeness of his glory, that they may share his royal and exalted state. Nothing less will satisfy him, or undo the ruin that sin has introduced. Let us feed on Christ, by meditation on his words and by communion with himself, of which the sacred Feast of the Lord’s Table is a perpetual reminder.” F.B. Meyer: ‘ Devotional Commentary’, p.463.