Living Off Of Jesus
In the spring of 29 A.D., Jesus and His disciples were finishing their ministerial preaching for the day, when the apostles told Jesus to send away the crowd who had gathered about them (numbering 5000). Instead, Jesus told them to feed the gathering.
The apostles freaked out, telling Jesus that they only possessed 2 fish and 5 loaves of bread. Christ broke the bread, blessed it, placed it in a basket and as it was passed around, it fed the 5000 with enough left over to fill 12 additional baskets!
There were some converts made on that night! Later, Jesus and His retinue would journey to the city of Capernaum, whereupon He encountered another crowd who had heard of His miracle of feeding the 5000. They were looking to get their bellies filled as well.
Jesus uses this opportunity to try to get the crowd to transcend their flesh:
“Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because the Father has set His seal on Him.” Jn. 6:27 NKJV
What Jesus is saying is that God has placed His own authority upon His Son. Furthermore, Christ is teaching that through His Father’s authority, He is speaking the gospel – which is the key to eternal sustenance.
The crowd doesn’t get it. The Pharisees have told them previously that one must earn their way into heaven. So, they ask Him what kind of work it is that they must do. Jesus responds:
This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]. Jn. 6:29 AMP
The crowd lets that go right over their head and instead asks Jesus to perform a miracle similar to how God sent manna from heaven during the Jew’s exodus from Egypt. However, Christ is not deterred:
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jn. 6:31 – 33. NKJV
Christ couldn’t be clearer, but the crowd can’t get their collective selves off of their flesh. They ask Him to literally give them some of this ‘bread.’ Our Lord of infinite patience, love and mercy continues:
“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 to do 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.” Jn. 6:35 – 40. NKJV
Jesus is calling them, inviting them to heaven. He’s telling them that He is their ticket to eternity – the walking, talking plan and method of God’s redemption for all of mankind. All they have to do is have faith in who He is and what He came for. Still, He’s facing a tough crowd who are unwilling to part with their doubts regarding His claim to be their Savior.
Christ loves us so much; He remains undaunted and persevering in His quest to save mankind:
“Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall be taught by God.’ (Is. 54:13) Therefore everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to Me. Not that anyone has seen the Father, except He who is from God; He has seen the Father.
Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever, and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” Jn. 6:43 – 51. NKJV
This is the complete picture of our God-connection! When we seek God, He leads us to Christ. Jesus in turn, when we accept Him as our Savior, connects us to God through Himself.
Jesus willingly vacated His seat next to His Father in heaven to inhabit flesh on earth, so that we could relate to Him and to the redemption that God offers through Him, which is accomplished through the sacrificial gift of Christ’s flesh and blood.
This crowd of hardened hearts and blinded eyes cannot get past their literal take on Jesus’ allegories. They become angry and horrified at the notion of eating Jesus’ flesh. Thank God Christ doesn’t back down:
“Most assuredly, I say to you, unless you eat of the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up in the last day. For My flesh is food indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me.” Jn. 6:53 – 57. NKJV
Jesus is attempting to break through the Pharisaic conditioning that binds and blinds them, so that they can comprehend the spiritual implications of His death and resurrection. He’s planting seeds of faith – the faith that will be required to hold onto the hope of salvation when those events take place.
Christ is trying to get them to see that His flesh is in reality the ‘spiritual food’ found in His gospel – that they must ‘eat’ (bind to their hearts) in order to walk a godly path towards their salvation. In addition, He wants them to understand that His blood (life) that He is going to shed for them must be ‘drunk’ (believed in) so that them can receive God’s atonement for their sins to pave the way for their reception of that same salvation.
In order to live in eternity, they must start living off of Jesus during their life on earth!
Unfortunately, most of the crowd (including some of His followers) began to abandon Him because of their misunderstanding of this teaching. He entreats them one more time:
“Does this offend you?…It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit and they are life.” Jn. 6:61 & 63. NKJV
God gives us life through the Holy Spirit. Christ maintains that life on earth. If we want our piece of the blessed hereafter, we need to start living off of Him now. We do that, when we make contact…
Goodnight and God bless.