John 6:30-36 - The Source of Spiritual Satisfaction
Last week we learned that man has a gnawing hunger within for both the physical and the spiritual. Just as there is physical hunger that only physical food can satisfy, so there is a deeper, spiritual hunger in the pit of the human soul that only spiritual food can nourish. Man hungers for both food and material things and for God and spiritual things, things such as love and joy and peace. Therefore, most of man’s time and energy are spent in seeking to satisfy his hunger. We learned that:
1. Man has a great hunger, a great need (v.22-25).
2. Man’s motive is corrupt (v.26-27).
3. Labor for food that endures—that gives eternal life (v.27).
4. Do the work of God—believe (v.28-29).
This week we are going to learn that Jesus is the only Bread that can feed man’s hunger, the hunger that gnaws and gnaws within his inner being. There is no other source upon which man can feed and be nourished.
1. The people demanded proof (v.30-31).
2. Christ is the true bread (v.32).
3. Christ is the Bread of God (v.33).
4. Christ is the Bread of Life (v.34-35).
5. Christ was seen, but rejected (v.36).
A. The Claims of Jesus
1. The people demanded proof (v.30-31)
Jesus had just made some phenomenal claims. He claimed to be...
q the Son of Man (John 6:27).
q the One who feeds man, who gives man bread which gives eternal life (John 6:27).
q the One whom God had sealed (John 6:27).
q the One whom God had sent into the world (John 6:29).
q the One upon whom men were to believe (John 6:29).
The people demanded proof. Note two revealing things about the nature of man.
a) Man Focuses Upon The Physical And Material (John 6:26-27)—Remember last week we looked at Esau & how he did not care about his birthright, all he wanted was to feed his stomach (Genesis 25:27-34). We learned how to beware of Paying to high a price for temporary satisfaction. Esau traded the lasting benefits of his birthright for the immediate pleasure of food. He acted on impulse, satisfying his immediate desires without pausing to consider the long-range consequences of what he was about to do. We can fall into the same trap.
Jesus said, “Take heed to yourselves, lest your, hearts be weighed down with partying, drunkenness, and cares of this life (Luke 21:34).
1) The Cost of Discipleship (Mark 8:34-37)
(a) The Parable Of The Rich Fool (Luke 12:13-21)
(b) It is a choice that we make & we must choose not to indulge in the passing or temporary pleasure of sin like Moses did (Heb.11:24-25). This takes a purposing of our hearts (Dan.1:9), & a continuing keeping our hearts with all diligence (Prov.4:23).
b) Man Demands That He First See, Then He Will Believe (v.30)—This is totally contrary to true faith. It is not the way faith works. A man must first believe God, then he sees. Faith must precede sight.
1) It Takes More That Believing In Miracles To Be Saved—It is one thing to believe in His miracles but something else to commit oneself to Jesus Christ and continue in His Word (John 8:30-31).
1. Miracles & Signs That Jesus Did Were Important & John says that he even wrote his book to record these signs and to encourage his readers to trust Jesus Christ and receive eternal life (Jn 20:30-31)… “And truly Jesus did many other signs in the presence of His disciples, which are not written in this book; but these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Christ, the Son of God, and that believing you may have life in His name”.
2. Seeing Is Believing, Is Not The Christian Approach. (1) Lazarus (John 11:4,23,40); (2) Thomas (John 20:29). Even though we have never seen Jesus we love Him (1 Pet.1:8)
3. When Jesus Was on the Cross, people still wanted a sign (Matt.27:35-44)
4. The Nobleman Believed Jesus’ Word Before He Seen the Miracle (John 4:46-53)
c) Our Father’s Ate The Manna In The Desert (v.31cf. Exodus 16:1-15, 21, 35)—Note that Jesus said to them that their fathers at the manna in the wilderness and are dead (v.49,58). Manna literally means “what is it?” So for the next forty years, six days a week, every morning the Jews ate “What is it?”
2. Christ is the true bread (v.32).
a) Man Cannot Provide True Bread, That Is, True Satisfaction, Only God can. Moses was not the one who gave Israel the manna from heaven; God was the One who gave the manna.
1) We must look both beyond other men and beyond the things of this world. Men and things cannot meet the hunger of man; they cannot provide true satisfaction.
(a) Jesus said, “Whoever Drinks Of This Water Will Thirst Again”
1. What is it that you are hoping to achieve or attain in life?
2. What is it that you think will bring you satisfaction and happiness?
3. What is it that you are pressing towards? The goals that you hope to fulfill?
4. Whatever it is, write over the top of it, “Drink of this water but you will thirst again.”
"For My people have committed two evils: They have forsaken Me, the fountain of living waters, And hewn themselves cisterns--broken cisterns that can hold no water. (Jeremiah 2:13 cf. 1 John 2:15)
b) God Alone Provides True Bread, That Is, Provides True Satisfaction (v.32b)
1) The Bread the Father Gives Is “True” Bread—the words true, truth, and real are taken from two Greek words very much alike.
1. “Alethes” means true, the opposite of false.
2. “Alethinos” means the true, the genuine, the real. It is the opposite of the unreal, the ficticious, the counterfeit, the imaginary. It is also the opposite of the imperfect, defective, frail, uncertain. Jesus Christ is seen as the true, the real, the genuine life which has come to give life to every man.
This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
3. Christ Is The Bread Of God (v.33).
a) The Origin Of The True Bread Is God Himself—It is bread which came down from or “out of” (ek) heaven itself. This Means Several Things.
1) The Bread Of God Is Not Bread Which Comes Out Of The Clouds Above Earth. Rather, it is bread which comes “out of” (ek) heaven itself, out of the spiritual dimension of being, from the very presence of God Himself.
2) The Bread Of God Is Not Physical Bread. It is of the nature of God Himself, spiritual and eternal bread (cp. John 6:50-51).
3) The Bread Of God Is Possessed By God; therefore, only He can give it, and man cannot have the Bread of God unless God gives it to man.
4) The Bread Of God Was A Person. Note the personal pronoun “He,” and the word “bread” (ho artos) which is masculine. Note that “He,” the Bread of God who feeds and nourishes man, came down or “out of” heaven. He was not born of the earth. He came from the very presence of God Himself:
He who comes from above is above all; he who is of the earth is earthly and speaks of the earth. He who comes from heaven is above all. (John 3:31 NKJV)
For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. (John 6:38 NKJV)
And He said to them, "You are from beneath; I am from above. You are of this world; I am not of this world. (John 8:23 NKJV)
Jesus said to them, "If God were your Father, you would love Me, for I proceeded forth and came from God; nor have I come of Myself, but He sent Me. (John 8:42 NKJV)
Now we are sure that You know all things, and have no need that anyone should question You. By this we believe that You came forth from God." (John 16:30 NKJV)
b) The Bread Of God Gives Life To The World (v.33).
1) The Purpose Of Bread Is To Give Life & Apart From Jesus There is no life.
“As thou hast given him power over all flesh, that he should give eternal life to as many as thou hast given him. And this is life eternal, that they might know thee the only true God, and Jesus Christ, whom thou hast sent” (John 17:2-3).
(a) Jesus Christ Is The Source Of Physical Life
q The Bible says “all things were made by Him” (John 1:3), and He holds everything together by the Word of His power (Heb.1:3).
(b) All Spiritual Life Comes from the Lord Jesus
q John said of Jesus, “In Him was life; and the life was the light of men.”
q Jesus said “I have come that they may have life, and that they might have it more abundantly (Jn.10:10).
q Jesus not only opens the door, He is the door (John 10:7, 9) & if anyone enter’s by me, he will be saved, and will go in and out and find pasture. Note this that Peter stood at the door outside (John 18:16).
q Jesus not only promises bread, He is the bread (John 6:31-35, 41, 48-58 God gave His only Son)
q Jesus not only shows the way, He is the way (John 14:6)
q Jesus not only bestows life, He is life (John 14:6)
What Does Scripture Say About the Word “life”?
q Life is the opposite of perishing (Jn.3:16,36; 5:24,29; 10:27-28)
q Life is eternal-forever (Jn.10:10)
q Life is satisfaction (Jn.6:35)
q Life is self-denial (Jn.12:25)
q Life is sowing to the Spirit (Gal..6:8)
q Life is to live for & magnify Christ (Phil.1:20-21)
q Life is described as a race (Heb.12:1-4)
q Life is described as a narrow gate (Matt.7:13-14)
q Life is being spiritually minded (Rom.8:5-7; 2Cor.10:3-5)
q Life is found only in Christ (Jn.5:26; 6:27, 40, 47; 11:25-26), who abolished death, and brought life & immorality to light through the gospel (2Tim.1:10).
q Faithfulness in this “life” determines your rewards in eternity (Lk.16:10-12 cf. 1Cor.4:1-2).
He who has the Son has life, and he who does not have the Son does not have life (1Jn5:12)
2) The Bread Of God Came From Heaven To Give Life To The Whole World. It was not just to one person or to one nation that He came. He came to the whole world (1 John 2:1-2). He came to sacrifice Himself, to feed and save a starving world.
“In the last day, that great day of the feast, Jesus stood and cried, saying, If any man thirst, let him come unto me, and drink” (John 7:37).
“For there is no difference between the Jew and the Greek: for the same Lord over all is rich unto all that call upon him” (Romans 10:12).
“Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth. For there is one God, and one mediator between God and men, the man Christ Jesus; who gave himself a ransom for all, to be testified in due time” (1 Tim. 2:4-6).
4. Christ Is The Bread Of Life (v.34-35). There are four significant points here.
a) The People Requested The Bread Of God (v.34)—they said, “Lord, give us this bread always.”
1) The People Called Jesus “Lord” (Kurios).
How much they understood of His deity is not known. apparently it was just an address of respect. However, The Point Is Clear In The Bible.
1. When a person asks for the Bread of God, he must call Jesus “Lord” and be ready to submit to Him as Lord, serving Jesus day by day (Luke 9:23; Romans 10:9-13).
2) Note That The People Requested: “give us this bread always”
This was a once-for-all request (the Greek aorist tense). The people wanted this Bread of God once-for-all, so that they might have a permanent provision. The Bible is again clear on this point. Salvation, that is, partaking of the Bread of Life, is to be a permanent experience. It is to be a once-for-all experience.
b) The Claim’s of Jesus— “I am the Bread of life” (v.35)—Eight times in John’s Gospel Jesus said who He was, each time to deepen our understanding of His provision for us.
1. “I am the bread of life” (John 6:35)—Bread is the basic sustenance for the physical life of man. Even so is Jesus for our spiritual life.
2. “I am the light of the world” (John 8:12). Jesus then expanded this statement to show that He came to guide His people into knowledge and right living: “ … he that follows me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.”
3. “Before Abraham was, I am” (John 8:58). The Greek says “before Abraham was brought to existence [geneŒsthai], I am.” Abraham was created, but Jesus was self-existent; He has always been (John 1:18).
4. “I am the door” (John 10:9) states that faith in Jesus is the only means of entrance into God’s kingdom.
5. “I am the good shepherd” (John 10:11). Jesus is our personal protector just as the shepherd is of his sheep.
6. “I am the resurrection and the life” (John 11:25). Jesus raised us from spiritual death to spiritual life (Eph. 2:1). He also promised an incorruptible body (1 Cor. 15:52, 53) and a life far better than that of this earth (Phil. 1:21).
7. “I am the way, the truth and the life” (John 14:6). Jesus summed up the progression of the Christian life as it moves toward its completion in heaven.
8. “I am the vine” (John 15:5). Lastly, a Christian’s usefulness comes from his indispensable union with Christ.
c) If A Man Comes To Christ, The Bread Of Life, He Will Never Hunger (v.35)
1) Often Christians Speak Of Salvation As “Coming To Christ.” That’s an accurate, Biblical description, for Jesus Himself said, “Come to Me, all who are weary and heavy laden, and I will give you rest” (Matt. 11:28); “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35); “If any man is thirsty, let him come to Me and drink” (John 7:37). Those are metaphors for salvation.
2) Coming To Christ Satisfies: Psalm 107:9 says, “He has satisfied the thirsty soul, and the hungry soul He has filled with what is good.” King David wrote “But they who seek the Lord shall not be in want of any good thing” (Psalm 34:10).” In Psalm 23, he noted “I shall not want,” and “My cup overflows” (vv. 1, 5). Jeremiah 31:14 says, “ ‘My people shall be satisfied with My goodness,’ declares the Lord.”
d) If A Man Believes, He Will Never Thirst (v.35)—The picture (symbolism) is switched from hunger to thirst. Man’s need is more than met; not only is his hunger satisfied, but his thirst is quenched.
1) This Does Not Mean He Will Never Hunger After Righteousness (Matt.5:6). He will, but his hunger and thirst will never go unsatisfied. He “shall be filled”.
e) How Do I Know If I Am Truly Hungering And Thirsting After Righteousness?
1) Are You Satisfied With Yourself? Are you self-righteous & think that everybody else is wrong and you’re right? If there is in you any sense of self-satisfaction, I wonder whether you know what it is to hunger and thirst after righteousness.
2) Does Anything External Satisfy You? Do you find that things have an influence on how you feel? Do you fill your appetite with the wrong stuff and then lose that appetite? A hunger for righteousness will be satisfied with nothing else.
3) Do You Have A Great Appetite For The Word Of God? The rules, the obedience of which brings about righteousness, are in His Word. Jeremiah said, “Your words were found and I ate them” (Jeremiah 15:16). If you’re hungering and thirsting after righteousness, you will have such an appetite for the Word that you will devour it. If you’re not hungering and thirsting after righteousness, maybe your child of God who’s being sinful. Or maybe you’re not a child of God at all.
4) Are The Things Of God Sweet To You, or are you Chasing Happiness? Proverbs 27:7 says, “Honey seems tasteless to a person who is full, but even bitter food tastes sweet to the hungry.” I can recognize somebody who is seeking righteousness, because when God brings devastation into his life, he is filled and satisfied. He receives it of God, even though it’s painful. Some people can rejoice only when good things happen. When tough things happen, they don’t like it. They are not hungering and thirsting; they are merely chasing happiness.
5) Is Your Hunger And Thirst Unconditional? Remember the rich young ruler who told Jesus Christ that he wanted to know how to enter the kingdom, but he wasn’t willing to give up his possessions? His hunger was conditional, and he was never filled. What about you? Do you say, “I want Christ and my _____ fill in the blank”
5. Christ was seen, but rejected (v.36). The point is that the people were without excuse. They had every opportunity in the world.
Þ The Bread of God had “come down from heaven.”
Þ The Bread of God had come to give life to the world.
Þ The Bread of God had been seen (cp. 1 John 1:1-3).
Þ The Bread of God was being seen and proclaimed that very moment.
Any of the people could have easily come to Christ, yet sitting there and hearing the glorious news, they still did not believe.
He came to His own, and His own did not receive Him. (John 1:11 NKJV)
He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him." (John 3:36 NKJV)
Therefore I said to you that you will die in your sins; for if you do not believe that I am He, you will die in your sins." (John 8:24 NKJV)
He who rejects Me, and does not receive My words, has that which judges him----the word that I have spoken will judge him in the last day. (John 12:48 NKJV)