The Bread of Life

I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.

John 6:48-58

Your family heritage and upbringing does not and cannot save you. It shocks me every time I hear someone talk about a person’s discipleship and they say, “They come from good stock.” My cows come from good stock, so they produce good tasting steaks. My chickens come from good stock, so we get plenty of eggs. Good stock is for livestock not justification! Just because someone’s family followed the Lord does not make all that family righteous. In fact, no one in any family will ever follow the Lord were it not for grace. 

The unbelieving Jews that confront Jesus in this scene use the same argument that others use. They claim their right to heaven because their father is Abraham or their fathers were brought out of Egypt by Moses. Jesus plainly shows them that their family heritage means nothing in terms of eternal salvation and security.

Jesus tells them, and us, that there are saved people among the Gentiles, not just among the Jews. That is what He means by the term”world.” This is confirmed in Revelation: 

And they sung a new song, saying, Thou art worthy to take the book, and to open the seals thereof: for thou wast slain, and hast redeemed us to God by thy blood out of every kindred, and tongue, and people, and nation;

Revelation 5:9

Jesus then uses a metaphor of “partaking of His body and blood” to show that the key to salvation is not in our birth-line or will but in being united with Jesus Christ. This unity with Christ also provides one of the most comforting facts of sovereign grace. If you are now or have ever been part of Christ, then you were placed there by God the Father when He gave you to His Son. And never forget, just a few verses before this Jesus said, “I will never cast you out!”

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