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Tuesday, February 23, 2021

The Living Bread From Heaven (John 6:41-51)

 This first statement made by Jesus in this section sounds crazy. If any other person said this, we would think they had lost their mind. The opponents of Jesus then say basically, "We know who you are, and we know who your family is. You didn't come from anywhere special."

In fact, Jesus is saying that he became incarnate by the Virgin Mary, and became man. We should remember that Jesus did not become God, but he is God, and became man.

Here in verse 44, Jesus is letting us know about a great mystery: no one can believe in Jesus unless God the Father draws him or her, and makes it possible. Some people throughout history have made the mistake of thinking that we can do things in our own power to earn God's favor. The truth is, though, that we wouldn't have God's favor unless he gave it to us. Grace is God's favor, but also his presence and power in our lives. Grace makes it possible for us to be sons and daughters of God. Jesus ends this verse by saying that he will raise us up--his brothers and sisters--at the resurrection of the just on the last day.

When Jesus quotes the prophecy, "And they shall all be taught by God," he is talking about the enlightening power of God the Holy Spirit. This is one of the promises of the new covenant that the prophet Jeremiah spoke about, hundreds of years earlier.

Jesus continues to teach that God the Father makes it possible for us to believe in Jesus. To believe in Jesus is to have eternal life. Jesus says he is the Bread of Life. Then he draws a contrast between God's gift of the manna in the desert, and the gift of the Bread of Life. Jesus says that if we eat Him, we won't die. In the end, our bodies may die, but our souls will live.

Jesus is talking about the Eucharist, or the Lord's Supper. He has more to say about this, and so do we.

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