The one who eats this bread will live forever.


The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day; for my flesh is true food and my blood is true drink. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood abide in me, and I in them. Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever eats me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like that which your ancestors ate, and they died. But the one who eats this bread will live forever.” -John 6:52-58 NRSV


Some interpret this passage in a eucharistical fashion. These believe that we actually partake of Jesus' flesh and blood during communion. Even so, it is good to remember the context of this passage is the teaching that Jesus is the bread of life. And Christ was speaking in the present tense and not about a future communal meal.

I love how Jesus connects abiding in Him with nourishing our souls with his very being. Instead of speaking about an occasional eucharistic meal, the Lord reminds us that life is not about physical manna but about spiritual bread. In doing so he points us to an eternal relationship with him that transcends earthly confines and earthly bread.

Help to abide in you today Lord. Help me to sense your presence and gorge myself on eternal bread.


... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

I am the bread of life.


I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” -John 6:48-51
In ancient times Israel sojourned in the wilderness and God provided heavenly manna for them. Each morning the Jews would wake up to a substance that they could pick and bake. It was and is a lasting example to us of the faithfulness of God to his people. It speaks to me of how our relationship with him requires us to seek out spiritual nourishment.

We are not far into the ministry of Christ and he is already teaching us about how he will offer his body "for the life of the world". Notice that he speaks of both those who eat and the world in general. It reminds me that a stomach is not filled by looking at the bread but by eating it. Spiritual hunger is not filled by assenting to God but by engaging with him.

Help us Lord to seek you each day and to find ways to engage with you in our daily living.


... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

He has seen the Father


Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father.
Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. -John 6:45-47 NRSV


Jesus absolutely knew who is was when he walked the earth. His teaching and his ministry seems to emanate a confidence that stems from knowing the Father in a way that is unlike anyone who has ever professed to know Him.
So it is not surprising that such a one would be so confident concerning the means of having has eternal life.

So what do you think Jesus means when he speaks of coming to him? Is he just saying that one just needs to say a prayer? Is believing all about answering an altar call? Or is it something much deeper? Perhaps eternal life is just that. Life that begins today. Belief that emanates the life of God ... a life that resembles the life of Christ Jesus.

Endow us today Lord with a heart that believes and a life that emanates your presence in our hearts.


... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

Whose father and mother we know?


Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me.
[John 6:41-45 NRSV]


Growing up in the church I thought that I knew all about God and religion. Then in my mid-twenties I began to realize how little I knew of the bible and Jesus Christ. I was confronted with the fact that faith was more about a relationship than a religion. Such is the quandary that man young people find themselves in. Familiarity is not the same as knowledge.

Such is the case of those who saw Jesus grow up in Nazareth. They believed that Joseph, not God, was his father. So it was difficult for them to accept the idea that he was from heaven. Yet there were some among them who got past this. Some of these were allowing themselves to be drawn by the Father. Some were allowing their hearts and not their heads to lead them. Some had both heard and learned the truth about who Jesus really was. These things are true even today.

Help us Lord to not allow familiarity to keep us from being drawn to you. Give us a heart to trust you today.


... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

Never be hungry ... never be thirsty


Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.” -John 6:35-40 NRSV

This passage speaks to me of the satisfaction that a believer finds in Christ. Our deepest hunger is filled and our inner thirst quenched when we respond to the calling of the Holy Spirit. I can relate to that. In April of 1976 my life was changed when the Holy Spirit came, filled me and satisfied the longing in my soul. Everything changed.

Yet the truth is that some rejected Christ. And today people reject the calling of the Spirit. In this passage we learn that the invitation is to whoever comes and whoever believes. We understand that it is God's will to raise believers to eternal life. Knowing this is the source of great hope for those who believe in the One who has come down from heaven.

Lord, you are the One who has come down from heaven. We believe in you. Fill us afresh with your Spirit.


... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

The true bread from heaven.


So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” -John 6:29-34 NRSV

The question has been asked for many years. Are we human beings or human doings? Are we known for who we are or for what we do? In this passage people were more interested in what Jesus was doing than with who he was. These wanted manna from heaven and did not realize that the true Manna from Heaven was standing before them.

Even today we all suffer from an unhealthy fixation on earthly bread and so often lose sight of the heavenly variety. In our quest (and our prayers) for signs from God we set ourselves up and miss the true bread from heaven. By focusing on the carnal we lose sight of the delicious bread of love, joy, peace, kindness, goodness, patience, perseverance, faithfulness and temperance. These qualities are all about who we are in God and not about what he can do for us.

We honor and celebrate you Lord. Teach us to daily receive the Bread that comes from Heaven.


... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.

This is the work of God ...


They said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” -John 6:25-29 NRSV

It seems that there has always been a tension between faith and works. James writes about this declaring "faith by itself, if it has no works, is dead". So it is interesting that Jesus here tells us that the work of God is actually believing in himself. The idea challenges me. I want life to be all about what I do and not what I believe. In truth, it is a bit of both.

The ministry of Jesus teaches us that belief always leads to works. Apart from the amazing healings and miracles done at the hands of Christ, no one would understand that God had come to plant earth. Yet in this passage the Lord reminds us that the work of God is not all about signs and wonders but about believing. It is the food that endures for eternal life.

Lord, help us to to embrace faith and find the food that endures for eternal life. Please transform us as we believe in you.


... this devotion is part of an ongoing series on the Gospel of John.