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The Scriptorium

Heavenly Bread

Jesus is all the life we need!

The Gospel of John: John 6.22-40

Read and meditate on John 6.22-40.

Jesus is becoming increasingly direct with people. His signs are now public and spectacular. His teaching is straight to the point of God’s will and man’s salvation. He exposes the sins and false motives of people, even as He invites them to come to Him for salvation.

22The next day, when the people standing on
the other side, who knew that they were gone,
observed that only one boat had been there,
and Jesus had not entered it, to share
the trip with His disciples – 23but there came
boats from Tiberius unto that same
place where, when Jesus thanks had given, they ate
the bread – 24the people did not hesitate
to sail off to Capernaum, and went
in vessels, seeking Him. 25They found Him then,
and asked Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”
26But Jesus answered them and said, “Now hear
Me, for I say to you, you seek Me, not
because you saw the signs, although these ought
to have been the reason. No, you ate the bread
I freely gave you, and were filled. 27Instead
of seeking food that perishes, you should
work for the food that lasts, that is, the good
food, which the Son of Man will give to you,
which gives eternal life. The Father, Who
has set His seal on Him will make it so.”
28They said, “What shall we do, where shall we go
that we may work the works of God?” 29But He

replied, “God’s work is to believe in Me,
Whom He has sent.” 30They said to Him therefore,
“What sign or wonder will You then perform,
that we may see it, and believe in You?
31Our ancient fathers, as they traveled through
the desert, ate the manna, sent from heaven.”
32But Jesus said to them, “This bread is given
not by the hand of Moses; the true bread
My Father gives to you from heav’n instead.
33The bread of God is He Who has come down
from heav’n, and gives life to the world around.
34They said to Him, “Lord, give us this good bread
always!” 35And Jesus said to them instead,
“I am the Bread of Life. Whoever to
Me comes shall hunger never more. He who
believes in Me shall never thirst. 36I said
to you that you have seen Me clearly, yet
you still do not believe. 37All whom to Me
the Father gives will come to Me, and he
who comes to Me, I will not turn away.
38From heav’n have I come down to you today,
and not to do My own will, but the will
of Him Who sent me. 39And My Father’s will
is this: of all those He has given Me,
I should lose nothing, but they all will be
raised up on the last day. 40The will of Him
Who sent Me is that every one of them
Who sees the Son, and who believes in Him,
may have eternal life, and all of them
will I raise up on the last day.”

- John 6.22-40

1.  Jesus carefully blends the works He did with the message He proclaimed. We see that very clearly in this passage. How should this counsel a local church in thinking about its ministry? Complete this prayer: Lord, let the things that I do and the things that I talk about…

2.  Salvation and works are not separate from one another. We simply need to keep them in perspective, remembering all the while, that it is God Who is at work within us, to will and do of His good pleasure (Phil. 2.13). Summarize what Jesus taught in this passage about the works we must do with respect to the bread that endures to everlasting life. Lord, let my works and my words always…

3.  We can’t fool Jesus about our motives for following Him. As those who look to Jesus, we will either seek the will of the Father in all things, or our own will. How can we tell which we’re committed to at any time? Lord, grant me faith to trust in you and wisdom to…

4.  Eating, being hungry, and being thirsty: Jesus associates these with human desires and God’s will, putting Himself right in the middle. What kind of hunger and thirst does Jesus satisfy? How should we expect to feed on this Bread of Life? Let me find Your Word a source of great satisfaction and nourishment, Lord, so that…

5.  It’s likely that the people who heard Jesus talking about being raised on the last day had no idea what He meant by this. He would demonstrate this, however, in due course. But Jesus was already focusing on that glorious event, and it’s a good thing He was. Why? Bring together into one prayer the prayers you composed for questions 1-4.

“The Father then brings to the Son, by knowledge and God-befitting contemplation, those to whom he decreed the divine grace. The Son receives and revives them, and engrafting his own good into those who are of their own nature apt to decay and shedding on them as a spark of fire the life-giving power of the Spirit, re-forms them throughout unto immortality. But when you hear that the Father brings them and that the Son gives the power of renewed living to those that run to him, do not go off into absurd fancies, as though each were supposed to do individually and severally what belongs appropriately by nature to each. The Father is co-worker with the Son, and likewise the Son with the Father, and our salvation and recuperation from death to life is the work, so to say, of the whole Holy Trinity.” Cyril of Alexandria (375-444 AD)

How many ways can you identify in your own life that the Father has given you to Jesus, and He holds on to you, so that He does not lose you, and is even now giving you the blessings of everlasting life? Give thanks and praise to God for them all!

Closing Prayer
Praise the LORD!
Sing to the LORD a new song,
AndHis praise in the assembly of saints.
Let Israel rejoice in their Maker;
Let the children of Zion be joyful in their King.
Let them praise His name with the dance;
Let them sing praises to Him with the timbrel and harp.
For the LORD takes pleasure in His people;
He will beautify the humble with salvation.
Let the saints be joyful in glory;
Let them sing aloud on their beds.
Let the high praises of God be in their mouth,
And a two-edged sword in their hand…

Psalm 149.1-6

Psalm 149 (Toulon: I Greet Thee, Who My Sure Redeemer Art)
Sing to the Lord a glorious song and new!
Praise Him you people, to Whom praise is due!
Let us rejoice, let us be glad in Him
Who has created us and cleansed our sin.

Praise Him with dance, with tambourine and lyre!
To be so praised is God’s one great desire.
Lord, beautify Your holy ones with grace;
Show us the mercy of Your saving face.

Sing to the Lord, exult with great delight!
Sing on your beds with joy to God by night!
Sing praise and take His Word into your hand;
Publish His grace and wrath in every land!

T. M. Moore

Jesus is the Centerpiece of all Scripture, as He Himself explained (Jn. 5.39). But how can we learn to see Him there? How do the primary themes of Scripture revolve around Jesus? Our online course, Introduction to Biblical Theology, shows you how best to get at, get into, and get with the Word of God, so that you can grow more consistently in the Lord. It’s free, and you can study at your own pace. For more information or to register, click here.

We are happy to offer each week’s Scriptorium studies in a free weekly PDF, suitable for personal or group use. You can download all the studies in our series on the Gospel of John by clicking here. Please prayerfully consider sharing with The Fellowship of Ailbe through your giving. You can contribute to The Fellowship by clicking the Contribute button at the website or by sending your gift to The Fellowship of Ailbe, 19 Tyler Drive, Essex Junction, VT 05452.

Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. All psalms for singing adapted from The Ailbe Psalter. All quotations from Church Fathers from Ancient Christian Commentary Series IV a and b: John, edited by Joel C. Elowsky, General Editor Thomas C. Oden (Downers Grove: InterVarsity Press, 2006. Verse translation of John by T. M. Moore.

T.M. Moore

T. M. Moore is principal of The Fellowship of Ailbe, a spiritual fellowship in the Celtic Christian tradition. He and his wife, Susie, make their home in the Champlain Valley of Vermont.
Books by T. M. Moore

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