Saturday, April 15, 2006

Bread of Life 1

Well, here are some of my initial observations on Jesus' statement in John 6. Most of it is going to be text focus, which is where most reflection begins for me anyway.

I notice that the people are drawn to Jesus because they ate bread and were full; the feeding of the five thousand just happened at the beginning of the chapter. They at least recognize that Jesus can provide for them, even though it is physically motivated on banal needs.

Jesus takes advantage of this opportunity to do a little teaching on the true nature of the food that he offers. This is bread that endures to eternal life. He changes their slightly misplaced focus from Moses to God: " is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father" (6:32). They like the proposal and ask Jesus to not give them something he has already given them (physical bread), but to give them this bread that gives life to the world (6:33-34).

It is at this point that Jesus makes the emphatic statement, "I (not someone or something else) am the bread of life." I can't get past how Jesus says that 'coming to him' (whatever that means) will allay their hunger and 'believing in him' (whatever that means) will assuage their thirst. The presence of Christ in their life will actually take away their hunger and their thirst.

When I really think about this, I want this. To know (and beyond experience) God's presence in such a deep and real way is something for which I passionately long. The only way that I can describe it in words is to be caught up in the Spirit, to be overwhelmed with God's holiness. It forces me to fall down to my knees. I can't help but be taken and shaken, yet firmly established in the hands of the one called 'The Bread of Life.'

Father, continue to help me understand Jesus statement here in John 6. Reveal the depth of this statement to me. It seems a little hidden and I don't understanding it completely. But, I know that you are the revealer of all mysteries. Help open my eyes to this bread from heaven.

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