John 6:35-51 – Jesus Christ, the Bread of Life
SummaryJesus identifies himself as the bread from heaven that brings life to whomever eats.
AnalysisJesus says, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." He says this to people for whom bread is the most basic of foods. It is not a luxury item, but a necessary part of daily life. The context of this saying is the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus has just fed a crowd with bread and fish, and they now come looking for more bread. The bread that Jesus gave them brought life for their bodies, and now Jesus says that he himself is the bread that brings life in a fuller sense. In John's Gospel, true life is lived in relationship with God. To be truly alive is to be in relationship with the God who gives life. Jesus brings people into relationship with God by giving of himself, and the ultimate gift will be the gift of his own life through crucifixion. This is one of the seven "I am" sayings in John's Gospel. Since the expression "I am" recalls the name of God, who is the "I Am" (Exodus 3:14), these sayings emphasize that Jesus is God's Word in the flesh.