Summary: Jesus tells us of five wonderful things that a person receives when he accepts Jesus.
Last week we talked about the way a person partakes of the bread of life. Jesus spelled out for us in verses 41-51 what a person must do to partake of the bread of life, that is, what a person must do to come to know Jesus personally.
Tonight in verses 52-58, Jesus tells us of five wonderful things that a person receives when he accepts Jesus. Let’s look at what Jesus tells us.
To recap, Jesus had tried to tell these religionists that He was the Bread that came down out of heaven and that one must eat of this bread in order to have eternal life. This left the religionists a little perplexed.
READ 52-53. The religionists were debating what Jesus meant. “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” If one took His words literally, it would be kinda gross—all this talk about eating someone’s flesh. Some interpreted his words as a parable, in a figurative and symbolic way.
Others had no idea what He meant, but they DID see that HE was claiming to be the most important person in the world. Of course, that really bothered them. How could any man claim to be so important to the world? How can this be? He’s just a man. How can this man give His flesh for the world and the world receive eternal life?
Maybe a few of the disciples understood what Jesus was saying. The point to it all is that the religionists were disturbed. This message had been going on and on for a while and Jesus had made claim after claim, and some of it was offensive to them. So they were angry and argued with one another as to how they should respond.
But Jesus responds in v.53 by proclaiming a much more shocking thing: unless a man receive Him, that man has no life dwelling within him.
We said last time that the Greek tense of the words “eat” and “drink” literally meant it was a once-for-all act. He wasn’t talking about parking again and again. He wasn’t talking about a person feasting on Him day by day through prayer and Bible study. He was talking about a one-time event.
So in this, we see that Jesus was telling us that there’s more to receiving Him than praying and studying His word each day. That’s a mental knowing of Christ. Jesus was talking about receiving Him once for all. So we see from this that praying and knowing God’s Word will not give you eternal life. Receiving Christ personally will.
And unless a person receives (eats and drinks) Christ, they have no life within them. They are dead spiritually and eternally. If a person doesn’t have a real and true relationship with the true and living God, they are doomed to eternal death and separation from God. Partaking of Christ is absolutely essential in order to truly live—in order to possess real life that lasts now and forever.
And somehow we, as Christians, need to get that point across to the lost. No matter how much you come to church, how many Bible studies you attend, how active you are in Sunday school, no matter how regular you are in worship attendance, none of that will get you to heaven. People go to a lot of ritual and organized church schedules to get to heaven when all they REALLY have to do is accept Jesus.
And once you receive Jesus Christ and partake of the Bread of Life, you receive 5 wonderful things according to Jesus. READ v. 54. Do the first thing you receive is eternal life. We need to note that the word that Jesus used for “eat” in this verse is different that the previous verses. This word “eat” means to eat eagerly, to grasp at chunks, to eat with pleasure. It creates the picture of hungering after Christ and eagerly wanting to feed and feast on Him.
The tense of the word is also different here. It’s the present tense and it means a continuous action. So a person must continue to eat and to develop and grow into the habit of feasting on Christ.
And note the point. A genuine believer is a person who partakes of Jesus continually. Day by day that person will feat on Christ. That’s the person who has eternal life.
READ v. 55. The second wonderful thing that one receives after accepting Christ is true satisfaction. The word “real” in this verse simply means not false. We already know that the things of this world do not give true satisfaction. All of these worldly pleasures are false, and false satisfaction doesn’t last.
True satisfaction comes from receiving Christ. That’s the Lord’s point in this verse. Just as real life on the earth comes from eating and drinking food, so real and abundant life comes from eating and drinking Christ.