John 6:48-59

Henry Mahan

(Vs. 48) "I am that bread of life." The first things to note in this statement are two words, "I AM." This goes back to Moses' question in Exo. 3:13-14 when he asked the Lord, "What is Thy name?" The answer was, "I AM." The use of this title by our Lord Jesus at once identifies Him as Jehovah of the Old Testament and confirms His Deity. Read carefully the following verses: John 8:58, John 18:4-5, John 8:12, John 10:9, John 10:11, John 11:357 John 14:6, John 15:1. Christ is the true and only bread that not only gives life but upholds and maintains spiritual life. He is the bread which every sinner needs and without which he will perish.

(Vs. 49) The manna in the wilderness was only a type of Christ, Just as the rock which gave forth water was a type of Christ (I Cor. 10:4). Neither had any saving benefit nor power even to give or maintain physical life, much less spiritual life. Those who ate the manna died physically and evidently eternally, for they entered not into Canaan (Heb. 3:17-19).

(Vs. 50) "I am the bread of life," Who came from the highest heaven, from the bosom of the Father (I Tim. 1:15; Gal. 4:4-5). If a man eats of Me (the bread of life), he shall NEVER die eternally. Eating Christ, the bread of life, is believing on Him, receiving Him by faith. Believing on Christ is expressed by eating because eating is the reception of food to our stomachs for the sustenance of physical life, so receiving Christ by faith is the application of Christ to the soul for the beginning and continuance of spiritual and eternal life.

(Vs. 51) Three things are significant from this verse.

(Vs. 52) The Jews, like Nicodemus, were trying to interpret spiritual things in a carnal sense (John 3:4).

(Vs. 53) This verse and the two which follow contain an amplification of what He said in Verse 51. While our Lord was the Lamb slain from the foundation of the world, He MUST come to earth and die. The decrees of God do not render unnecessary the obedience to and fulfillment of them. Even so, while Christ has been given a people and has redeemed them by His life and death, they MUST hear the gospel and believe (John 6:37-44; Rom. 10:13-15). Christ must be received and believed or men have no life!

(Vs. 54) He that believeth on the Son HAS eternal life (John 5:24; I John 3:2). He has it now in a sure and just way (Rom. 3:26), and one day he shall possess it fully (Eph. 4:2-9).

(Vs. 55) It is not just eating that nourishes a man, but eating the RIGHT FOOD! If a man eats poison, he will die. It is so spiritually. His flesh is true life-giving meat; and His blood is saving, cleansing blood. Neither is His body, given for us, typical food, but that, which actually saves. A man is not saved because he believes something or someone; but it is the Christ of Scripture, the Christ of God, Who alone can save (II Cor. 11:3-4).

(Vs. 56-57) Christ speaks here of that living, vital union the believer has with Him (John 15:1-5). The word "dwelleth" is translated "abideth." Believers enjoy the most intimate union, communion, and fellowship with Christ. As the Father and Son are ONE, we are one in the Son (John 17:23). What He has, we have; and where He is, we are! He lives in dependence upon the Father; we live in dependence upon Him. Also note: The tense of the verb is "eateth" and "drinketh," meaning that we constantly feed upon Him, look to Him, and continue in Him.

(Vs. 58-59) This is a summary of what He has declared in the previous verses. The synagogue in which He taught these things was in Capernaum.

Henry Mahan
Ashland, Ky.