And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven,< not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
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 will be crucified for the blasphemy of claiming to be God, but the first claim here might be even more extreme. What could, “I am the bread of life.” possibly mean?
The answer is in the very next sentence—if they can understand it. “He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” The words “hunger” and “thirst” don’t refer to literal eating and drinking, but to the broader concept of our craving for that which gives life.
If they can get past the analogy, the next few sentences are the whole gospel in a can. They’re even reformed theology in a can. “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out.”
Unfortunately, the people can’t get past the analogy; they can’t even get up to the analogy.
They’re stuck on where Jesus is from.
That isn’t as unreasonable as it sounds. Everyone sees everything through the lens of their experiences (sometimes called their worldview). That’s how every living being functions. We know some things from experience, and we learn new things through new experiences (including listening to teaching) and the information contained therein.
But when that new information doesn’t fit into the framework we’ve already established, our world-view is challenged. When that happens, there are two possible outcomes: either our worldview changes or we reject the new information. Most people are naturally closed minded and instantly choose the latter.
But by asking the question, “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’?” these folks show that they are not closed minded.
At least they’re trying.
These Monday—Friday DEEPs are written by Mike Slay. To subscribe to all the DEEPs click here:
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Except as indicated, Scripture taken from the New King James Version. © Copyright 1982 by Thomas Nelson, Inc. Used by permission. All rights reserved. ESV stands for the English Standard Version. © Copyright 2001 by Crossway. Used by permission. All rights reserved. NIV stands for The Holy Bible, New International Version®. © Copyright 1973 by International Bible Society. Used by permission. All rights reserved. KJV stands for the King James Version.