Food, Glorious Food!

Opening Prayer

God, I want to know You! Draw me into relationship with You.

Read John 6:41–59

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 forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

Reflect

In Jesus, the bread of life, we’re saved, forgiven, freed, restored and reconciled. Let that sink in for a moment!

Knowing about God and knowing God are as different from one another as a picture of a loaf of bread is from an actual loaf of bread! These Jews think they know God, taking pride in their observance of rituals rather than enjoying the relationship to which the ritual pointed. In contrast, why is it so important that the internal work that initiates faith is not ours (44,45; Eph. 2:8,9)? And what is the right response to God’s overtures (Jas. 4:7,8)?

In Jesus, knowing God is about an abiding relationship (56). We take in to ourselves the life which he died to give (55,57). Our lives become intertwined with his, hardwiring his purposes in us, making us part of the body of Christ led by Jesus, our Head (Eph. 4:15,16). Last year, Archbishop Justin Welby, on discovering that his birth father was someone other than he’d believed him to be for his entire life, responded confidently: “I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.” No matter our human origins we define ourselves as those the Father not only fully knows but fully loves and on whom he pours all the blessings reserved for his Son.

Apply

As you go to bed tonight invite God’s peace to guard you as you sleep, and as soon as you awake declare verses 1–5 over your day.

Closing prayer

God, reveal to me the identity You have given to me in Christ Jesus our Lord.

Syndicated via Scripture Union. Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.

Terry Schneider