Summary: Speaking to the multitude who received the bread and fish multiplied in the wilderness, Jesus declared himself the Bread of Life. They looked for another meal, but He wanted them to see Him as the Christ, the one who satisfies the hungry soul.
The Bread of Life
John 6: 35-40
The Bible records several statements made by Jesus referring to Himself as the I Am. This was actually one word spoken in the Greek language – eimi, which is simply I AM. It was also translated “it is I” in some passages. John 4:26 – Jesus saith unto her, I that speak unto thee am he. John 6:20 – But he saith unto them, It is I; be not afraid. John 8:24 – I said therefore unto you, that ye shall die in your sins: for if ye believe not that I am he, ye shall die in your sins. John 8:28 – Then said Jesus unto them, When ye have lifted up the Son of man, then shall ye know that I am he, and that I do nothing of myself; but as my Father hath taught me, I speak these things. John 8:58 – Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am. Jesus referred to Himself in these passages by using the Old Testament name for God. Exodus 3:14 – And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. John’s gospel records the majority of the I Am statements of Jesus.
It is important to understand the context in which these statements were spoken. Jesus had come as the promised Messiah. He was God in human form, coming to provide redemption for fallen humanity. While many realized Jesus was special, not at all like other men, most failed to see Him as the Christ. These I Am statements were made with purpose – to reveal Himself as the Christ. He wanted them to see Him as their Savior and Redeemer, come to provide salvation.
We are thousands of years removed and yet these statements continue to hold great significance. Many believe that Jesus was a historical figure who lived and died, but many stop short of seeing Him as the Christ, Savior of the world. As believers, these statements also remind us of what the Lord has provided for us through salvation. We have received much in Christ.
Over the next few weeks, I want to consider the I Am statements recorded in John’s gospel. Today we will examine the affirmations of Jesus as we see Him as: The Bread of Life.
I. His Identity Defined (35-36) – Jesus revealed His true identity. We discover:
A. His Affirmation (35) – And 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. Jesus begins this powerful statement with an affirmation of who He is: I am. This is the first of several “I Am” statements that Jesus reveals concerning Himself in John’s gospel alone. He said, “I am the Bread of life; the Light of the world; the Door; the good Shepherd; the Resurrection and the Life; the Way, the Truth, and the Life; and the true Vine. He wanted them to see Him for who He was. He was much more than one who worked wonders; He is the I AM! Surely this brought to mind when Moses stood by the burning bush. Ex.3:14 – And God said unto Moses, I AM THAT I AM: and he said, Thus shalt thou say unto the children of Israel, I AM hath sent me unto you. Jesus would later proclaim His deity in John 8:58 – Verily, verily, I say unto you, Before Abraham was, I am; and in Rev.1:8 – I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the ending, saith the Lord, which is, and which was, and which is to come, the Almighty. We must see the Person of Jesus as He is, the I AM!
B. His Provision (35b) – he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. The multitude was seeking physical bread that would only sustain them for a while, but Jesus offered the Bread of life that once received, man would never hunger again. He offered life giving water that would forever satisfy the thirst of a hungry soul. Rev.21:6 – And he said unto me, It is done. I am Alpha and Omega, the beginning and the end. I will give unto him that is athirst of the fountain of the water of life freely.
Many today are like those who came to Jesus that day. They are looking for things to satisfy but can’t seem to find what they desire. Many look to pleasures of the flesh, alcohol, or a bottle of pills, but once the effects of those influences wear off there is still a hunger and emptiness in the soul. Jesus is the only One who can provide what we need, and His provision is eternal. One touch from the Lord and you will be forever changed!