John 6 is LONG!!! 71 verses but man do they just lay it out for you. Most people focus on the very first part where Christ feeds the 5,000 because that is easy. But If you ever wondered who is this Jesus and how exactly does salvation work? Vs 22-71 will give it to you.
But, just as God had given this world over to Satan for a time, I have seen how these words are twisted and used for man's own pride and glory instead of Christ. An old saying goes like this and is so true - For God said, I have come to save and set free. To which Satan replied, "Great! Let’s organize and make religion!" - That’s exactly what the Jews did then and what so many churches do today; they replace the freely given love and sacrificial salvation Christ offered for those whom God has drawn, with their own version of rules, rituals, and regulations and ‘to-do’ lists.
Jesus tells many disciples in this passage that “I am the bread of life. All who come to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst...All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.”
There you go. That’s it right there. We are drawn by the spirit and come to Jesus. Jesus saves and we live for him, knowing He is truly the Son of God, not just in knowledge but with the fear and respect and love any child will show a good and loving parent. Just like that child, we drink in everything Christ teaches and live in His loving shadow, trying to copy his teachings.
This is where it gets hard for some: Jesus goes on with the analogy of being the bread of life telling us that we must daily live for him. We can’t just “know” He is there. Verses 53-56 are “truly truly I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me and I in him.” Ok so that isn’t so clear. Many people there didn’t get it and many many left. To be clear - Jesus is NOT saying we are to eat flesh and drink blood. If this were so we would be a bunch of cannibals. The first century church was accused of this! There is the belief of transubstantiation (the literal belief of the conversion of the substance of the Eucharistic elements, bread and wine, into the body and blood of Christ at a specific time during holy communion, to where only the appearances of bread and wine still remaining; commonly held in the catholic church). But here’s the thing - communion had not been instituted yet and if this were what Christ was doing - then it would have been taught that communion would be a requirement for salvation. Jesus tells us later that we cannot do this alone. It takes the Holy Spirit as well. vs 63, "It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life." This comes in when you more than just "know about" Jesus.
Just as eating and drinking are necessary for physical life - belief in the sacrificial death of Christ is necessary for our spiritual life. The eating and drinking of Christ metaphorically symbolize the need for accepting the work Jesus did on the cross.
This was long and definitely NOT a fluff chapter (not that there even is such a thing in the Bible) but I encourage you to read it and sit on it today. Think about how you have been drawn to Jesus and if you are truly partaking in this great adventure of being a slave for Christ instead of someone who just knows about Him.