I am the bread of life
After feeding 5,000 men and presumably another 15,000 women and children (v.10), Jesus gives a speech about being the bread of eternal life (vv.32-58). What Jesus said turned away thousands, leaving him to question whether his 12 closest followers would continue to surrender their lives to him (v.67).
I am the Son of God
By claiming he is the bread of life, Jesus is first of all saying that he is the Son of God (v.40). We’ve already seen how offensive this claim was to the religious elite (John 5:18), and now we see how perplexing this claim is to Jesus’ local crowd (v.42).
Over a dozen times in this speech Jesus says he’s come from his Father’s side in heaven. A claim that was difficult to accept back then and just as difficult today.
I offer you eternal life
By claiming he is the bread of life, Jesus is also saying that he is offering eternal life (vv.47-48). The crowds wanted Jesus to be their next Moses (v.14) or David (v.15), they wanted their lives sorted out now, but Jesus kept offering them so much more.
Isn’t that so much life us today? Jesus offers us eternal life, but we reject him, because he doesn’t conform to who we want him to be, or offer us what we want him to offer us.
Come to me!
Over twenty times in this speech about bread Jesus urges his listeners to come and believe in him. The disciples answer in v.68, summing up the 3 big themes of Jesus speech, “Lord, to who shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God”. The disciples rarely get things right, and they’ll get it wrong again, but here they get that Jesus really is the Son of God, that he has come to offer eternal life, and that therefore they must come to him.
How have you responded to Jesus’ radical claims? Are they too ludicrous to get your head around? They should be though! Are they too confronting for you? They should be though.