Sunday (August 12): Scripture: John 6:41-51
41 The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, “I am the bread which came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, `I have come down from heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered them, “Do not murmur among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, `And they shall all be taught by God.’ Every one who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46 Not that any one has seen the Father except him who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven; if any one eats of this bread, he will live for ever; and the bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Meditation: Do you receive the word of God with trust and submission? A number of Jesus’ contemporaries, including most of the religious authorities, rejected his authority to speak in the name of God. They despised him because they thought they knew who he was – supposing him to be an uneducated laborer from an out-of-the-way town called Nazareth. They regarded Mary, his mother, and Joseph, his foster father, as ordinary people with no particular distinction to their name. How could such a common man claim to be God’s spokesman? They were even more offended when Jesus claimed something which only God could claim. He claimed to be the very source of life which comes from God and which lasts forever (John 6:51). Don’t we make the same mistake when we refuse to listen to others because we think they are inferior to us? We can miss what God may wish to speak to us through others, especially if we despise the instrument which God chooses to work through. John states that the Jews murmured at Jesus. They listened to him, but with a critcal heart rather than with an open ear and an earnest desire to learn what God wanted to speak to them through his Son Jesus. There are many different ways that people can choose to listen to others: with an atitude of superiority, with indifference, or with a teachable spirit that wishes to learn, grow, and be transformed. How do you listen to God’s word?
God offers his people abundant life, but we can miss it. What is the bread of life which Jesus offers? It is first of all the life of God himself – life which sustains us not only now in this present age but also in the age to come. The Rabbis said that the generation in the wilderness have no part in the life to come. In the Book of Numbers it is recorded that the people who refused to brave the dangers of the promised land were condemned to wander in the wilderness until they died. The Rabbis believed that the father who missed the promised land also missed the life to come. When Jesus offers us real life he brings us into a new relationship with God, a relationship of trust, love, and obedience. And he offers us real, abundant, sustaining life which last forever – a life of enduring love, fellowship, communion, and union with the One who made us in love to be united with him forever. To refuse Jesus is to refuse eternal life, unending life with the Heavenly Father. To accept Jesus as the bread of heaven is not only life and spiritual nourishment for this world but glory in the world to come. Do you accept the Lord Jesus as the bread of life?
“Lord Jesus, you are the living bread which sustains me in this life and for all eternity as well. May I always hunger for the true and sustaining bread which comes from heaven and find in it the nourishment and strength I need to love and serve you all the days of my life.”
1 I will bless the LORD at all times; his praise shall continually be in my mouth.
2 My soul makes its boast in the LORD; let the afflicted hear and be glad.
3 O magnify the LORD with me, and let us exalt his name together!
4 I sought the LORD, and he answered me, and delivered me from all my fears.
5 Look to him, and be radiant; so your faces shall never be ashamed.
6 This poor man cried, and the LORD heard him, and saved him out of all his troubles.
7 The angel of the LORD encamps around those who fear him, and delivers them.
8 O taste and see that the LORD is good! Happy is the man who takes refuge in him!
9 O fear the LORD, you his saints, for those who fear him have no want!