Reading Time: 4 Minutes
A short note about the “Jews.”
John 6.41-42 – Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
The Gospel of John has been used for anti-Jewish purposes throughout history. The Jews did complain about Jesus. It is my guess that the “Jews” in this instance is short-hand for Jewish leaders and does not refer to all Jews.
After all, Jesus was Jewish. His followers were Jewish. The Jewish leaders did reject Jesus, but the vast majority of Jesus’ early followers were Jewish.
The Jewish authorities could not see beyond their prejudiced opinions about Jesus. As a result, they could neither hear Jesus nor receive his message. Let’s make sure that we are open to what Jesus is doing in our lives, whether we understand it or not.
Meditate on this for a while.
John 6.43-46 – Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Please spend some time thinking about these three thoughts.
(1) One of the reasons why we pray for other people is that they can’t come to Jesus unless he draws them. The good news is that God delights in drawing people into a friendship relationship with Jesus.
(2) If we shall be taught by God, what are we waiting for? Let’s daily ask the Holy Spirit to teach us. Remember, every thing Jesus was to his followers, the Holy Spirit is to us.
(3) Jesus is the only person who has come from heaven to earth to tell us what God is like. Let’s keep meditating on his life for our own good.
Jesus talks about eternal life and enrages the crowd.
John 6.47-51 – Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Here is the good news. If we become intimate with Jesus – symbolized by eating the Bread of Life – we are given the gift of an amazing quality of life (eternal life) both now and forever.
C. S. Lewis said this about Jesus: “No one could make the claims Jesus made and be just a good man. He is either a liar on the level of Satan himself, or a lunatic with a brain like a poached egg, or exactly who he said he is” (This is my paraphrase of C. S. Lewis’ words.)
The religious authorities believed that Jesus must have been either crazy or evil. As we will read in tomorrow’s article, they sought to kill him because of his claims.
One of the reasons why I believe Jesus’ message is because I experienced his life-changing love over fifty years ago. I also get to regularly see Jesus give people the kind of life that they never dreamed possible. Personal experience is a great way to know who Jesus is.
Jesus often confronted religious people with ideas that challenged their views. I believe he did this out of love and out of a desire to see people know him in a real way. In what way is Jesus challenging readers of real-voices today? Openness to what he says and trust in his direction is always a superior way to live.
Dear Jesus, I know that you are challenging me. I also know to some degree how much I resist your direction. Please give me the grace and power to simply trust you, believing that you only desire that I experience the best life possible. Thank you.