I AM the Bread of Life
Jesus’ “I Am” statements in the Gospel of John show us both our own spiritual neediness and his complete sufficiency as our Redeemer to meet our every need. In John 6, near the time of the Passover, Jesus walked on water as the “I Am” who leads his people through the sea, as he did at the exodus (John 6:20; Psalm 77:16-20). Having fed thousands in the wilderness with five barley buns and two fish, Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life.” Jesus is simple bread—not filet mignon for the wealthy, but the nourishment for the destitute. His miracle of multiplied bread was a sign pointing to himself as life-sustaining nourishment for our souls. Yet many stuffed their stomachs but missed the sign, since only the Father’s sovereign grace draws people to the Son, to have their hearts’ hunger satisfied. When Jesus states explicitly that “consuming” him as the bread of life from heaven involves relying on his sacrificed flesh and shed blood, many are scandalized and turn away…while others eat and drink, and live forever.
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