Lasting Results

Key Verse: “Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”
—John 6:35

Selected Scripture:
John 6:25-59; 7:37-39

TO FEED A MULTITUDE OF five thousand people while teaching in the vicinity of the Sea of Galilee, the Lord miraculously multiplied five loaves and two fishes. The multitude associated that miracle with Moses having provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness. They surmised that Jesus was therefore that prophet of whom Moses had long before prophesied. (Deut 18:15) Convinced, the multitude became intent upon forcibly installing the Lord as their king. The Lord withdrew to the other side of the sea when night fell. Perplexed by his departure, and hungry once again, the people sought out the Lord the next day.—John 6:1-25

Knowing they sought fleshly, not spiritual, sustenance, Jesus said, “The truth of the matter is that you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you believe in me.” (vs. 26, The Living Bible) He added, “Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (vs. 27) Missing the spiritual point, the multitude asked, “What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.” (vss. 28,29) Proving they had misunderstood the Lord’s miraculous provision of food the previous day, the multitude said, “What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” (vss. 30,31) The message of the multitude was clear: they would believe on Christ only if he would continue to supply them bread, as Moses had done.

Giving God the glory where the multitude had not, the Lord said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.” (vss. 32,33, Revised Standard Version) Still seeking literal bread, the multitude said to him, “Lord, give us this bread always.” (vs. 34, RSV) Speaking plainly, Jesus said, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst. 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.” (vss. 35,40, RSV) The Lord contrasted that which gave temporary relief from fleshly hunger to the Truth which, when believed, satisfies all spiritual yearning. “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”—vss. 49-51, RSV

The multitude took his words literally, “The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” (vs. 52) Jesus was speaking figuratively of the value of his sacrifice being imputed to all believers during the Gospel Age for their justification, being made acceptable, thereby, to follow him in the likeness of his death that they may be raised in the likeness of his resurrection.

Dawn Bible Students Association
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