Saturday, May 10, 2014

Bread Which Came Down

John 6:41-51

The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?"

Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught by God.' Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father. Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life."

"I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes from down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world."

Again Jesus is trying to explain who He is, what is His purpose. We are not much different from these Jews. How many times we sometimes need to hear something before we understand!

He used an example. As the Israelites were fed by bread which came down from heaven in an endless, substantial, satisfying way, Jesus also came down from heaven in the flesh to provide a way spiritually. While the Israelites physically ate, Jesus offers Himself as the bread of life for eternity.

There's a point made that causes confusion. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him. It makes it sound like God has already chosen those who will follow Him and those who will not. It's one of those mysteries we may never understand. Salvation is definitely a spiritual thing. Only by the power of God will someone understand and receive Him. We don't just, on our own, make the decision. We may think we have, but God works behind the scenes of our lives to bring it about. He draws us. Not necessarily with miracles or signs, although that causes belief to rise up, but the final act of His power alone.

It doesn't mean that the word shouldn't be preached. It doesn't mean we stop praying for lives to be saved. There's the scripture that comes to mind to explain this: I planted, Apollos watered, but God gave the increase. (1Corinthians 3:6). People still need to preach, teach and water, but the end result is God's. He gets the glory for it. God created all with a will and sometimes we will not to believe. It's that choice I so often mention.

So, if God has worked in someone's life and He knows the desire in any one person to receive Christ, He will impart His wisdom and ability to understand. And yet it's still a mystery. I have repeatedly shared how one moment (and it was literally a moment) I was pushing God away until someone said something that utterly caused me to become undone and pliable in His hand. I wasn't saved at that moment, but He had broken through something in my heart and opened it to receive Him the next day! Not my will to receive because I didn't initially want to. Someone had planted, another watered, and this day God gave His increase.

A moment in time where He steps in. I can't explain how. That's what makes God God and we mere humans. I can't ultimately say that by our own openness it happens. He's just always at work behind the scenes. And why some never choose is the biggest mystery of all, seeing how Jesus, the bread of life, the living water, has all we need over the things this world has to offer which can be removed in a heartbeat. But Jesus offers something eternal.

He and He alone is the bread from heaven. I repeat myself. Like the manna came down from Jesus came down. Both for the sake of feeding and preserving life. What I did not say here is written in the following scripture...not just the bread but what God proclaims. He sent His Son, Jesus, the Word of God, in the flesh. Receive Him, the bread of life, the Word, receive eternal life. That simple.

Deuteronomy 8:3 - So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord.

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