READ | John 6:22-71
21 Then they willingly received him into the ship: and immediately the ship was at the land whither they went.
22 The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Yahushua went not with his disciples into the boat, but that his disciples were gone away alone;
23 Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that Yahushua had given thanks:
24 When the people therefore saw that Yahushua was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Yahushua.
25 And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?
26 Yahushua answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
27 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 the Father sealed.
28 Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of Elohim?
29 Yahushua answered and said unto them, This is the work of Elohim, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
30 They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
31 Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
32 Then Yahushua said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of Elohim is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Rabbi, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Yahushua 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.
36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven.
42 And they said, Is not this Yahushua, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?
43 Yahushua therefore answered and said unto them, Murmur not among yourselves.
44 No man can come to me, except the Father which hath sent me draw him: and I will raise him up at the last day.
45 It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of יהוה. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me.
46 Not that any man hath seen the Father, save he which is of יהוה,he hath seen the Father.
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 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.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Yahushua 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.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 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.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Yahushua knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Yahushua knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Yahushua unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Kepha answered him, Rabbi, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art the Messiah, the Son of the living Elohim.
70 Yahushua answered them, Have not I chosen you twelve, and one of you is a devil?
71 He spake of Judas Iscariot the son of Simon: for he it was that should betray him, being one of the twelve.
After Yahushua had miraculously fed five thousand people, He sent the multitudes back to their homes in the evening. That night was when He walked on water and rescued His disciples as they all journeyed to the other side of the lake. The next morning, the same crowds Yahushua had fed searched for and found Him. Unfortunately, they were not motivated by their hunger for spiritual truth; rather, they were hoping for some more free food.
This greatly disappointed Yahushua, so He exhorted them to seek not for what temporarily sustains physical life, but for what was vastly more important, the eternal life that only He could give them. One reason Yahushua had supernaturally provided physical food was because He was hoping the people would see Him as their source for true spiritual food.
Yahushua then explained that God’s spiritual food is far superior to any physical food. All that physical food can do is keep a person’s body alive, and it can only do it for a limited amount of time because everyone eventually dies. The spiritual food that God is offering, however, gives life to our spirits, the part of us that the Bible calls the “inward person.” That inward person will live forever, but unless he eats some of God’s spiritual food, he will be forever sinful and destined to spend eternity in hell. But if he eats God’s spiritual food, he will be reborn and spend eternity in heaven.
Not only that, but God’s spiritual food will one day affect his physical body as well. On the last day, God will resurrect everyone’s body who has believed in Yahushua, making them into “glorified bodies” that will never become sick, grow old or die! What physical food can’t keep alive for more than a few decades, God’s spiritual food will resurrect and keep alive forever! That’s why Yahushua said that when we eat God’s spiritual food, we will never hunger or thirst again. He meant that His gift of eternal life, once received, was sufficient for all eternity. It’s not something that needs constant replenishing. One meal is good forever!
God wants everyone to eat His spiritual food, and Yahushua told the people that they could eat by simply believing in Him. They, however, were still much more interested in physical food, and, hoped that He would again provide free bread. They requested a sign that would convince them to believe in Him. Because it was food they were after, they mentioned how Moses had miraculously provided bread for the people of Israel, the manna they gathered each morning from the ground.
Yahushua explained that it wasn’t Moses who provided the bread, it was God. Now the same God was offering everyone “true bread,” the spiritual food that could give them eternal life. Yahushua then stated that He was God’s true bread sent from heaven, indicating that what people really needed was for Him to come inside their spirits.
But His audience began to murmur over what He said. They knew He had been born like any other person, so how could He claim to have come from heaven? They didn’t know, of course, that Joseph wasn’t actually Yahushua’ father, and that Yahushua had come from heaven via Mary’s womb.
Finally, continuing to expand on His comparison of Himself to food, Yahushua revealed what would uniquely qualify Him to offer eternal life to the world, and what people must believe in order to receive the eternal life He offered: He would die, offering Himself as a sacrifice so others could have eternal life. Yahushua said, “This bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live….I assure you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you cannot have eternal life within you. But those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them at the last day. For my flesh is the true food, and my blood is the true drink” (John 6:51, 53-55).
Of course, no one can, and neither does Yahushua want anyone to actually eat His flesh and drink His blood. But Yahushua wants us to receive Him into our spirits, just as we receive physical food into our bodies. And He wants us to believe that He died for us, pouring out His blood and giving His body so we can have eternal life. In Yahushua’ comparison, eating represents receiving and believing. Eating Yahushua, God’s true bread, means believing in Him. It means becoming one with Him, just as Yahushua said, “All who eat my flesh and drink my blood remain in me, and I in them” (John 6:56).
Many people who were listening that day didn’t like what they heard. They took what Yahushua said literally, not figuratively as He intended, and just as any sincere person would have taken Him. They really didn’t want to understand because they didn’t want to believe what He was saying about Himself. So they left Him. But Peter, a sincere believer, confessed that he believed Yahushua alone had the words of eternal life and that He was “the Holy One of God” (John 6:69), the Messiah. Even if he didn’t fully understand all Yahushua said, he and the rest would be staying with Yahushua, as all true believers would.
QUESTION: Yahushua said that people can’t come to Him unless they are drawn by the Father. Does this mean that God is only drawing certain people to Yahushua?
ANSWER: No. Yahushua said that if He was lifted up on the cross, that He would draw everyone to Himself (see John 12:32). So Yahushua is drawing everyone , but unless He and His Father drew people, none would come to Him, because all are so blinded by sin and hard-hearted.
QUESTION: Did you see any correlation with what we read today and the church’s practice of taking communion?
ANSWER: When we eat the bread and drink the grape juice, it represents eating Yahushua’ body and drinking His blood. That sounds like Christians are cannibals! However, we’re not! I hope you realize now that partaking of the communion elements represents our becoming one with Yahushua and reminds us of His substitutionary death for us. Just as the bread and grape juice go into our stomachs and then nourish every cell in our bodies, so Yahushua, by His Holy Spirit, has come into our spirits and given us eternal life. Just as we become “one” with the bread and grape juice, so we’ve become one with Yahushua. He’s in us and we’re in Him. That’s why it’s called communion, because what we do symbolizes our communion with Yahushua (and each other). Also, communion reminds us that our oneness with Yahushua was made possible by His sacrificial death, when His body was broken (like the bread is broken) and His blood was shed, represented by the grape juice.
APPLICATION: Some of what we read today was difficult to understand, just as Yahushua’ disciples expressed to Him. However, we have a good idea of what Yahushua meant in general. And, like Peter, even if we don’t fully understand everything Yahushua said, we know He’s the only One who has the words of eternal life. So we’ll keep right on following Him! Someday we will understand what we don’t understand now.