March 26, 2010

John 6.30-40

"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."

Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry; and whoever believes in my will never be thirsty. But I have said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All 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 not lose even one 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."


At 3:21 p.m., Blogger forrest said...

If anyone wants to tell me, in the face of three other gospels full of deeply enlightening spiritual-&-ethical content, that the message of Jesus was "I'm Special!" -- or "My followers get free tickets!" -- That's the surface implication, but it's not by the same guy who talked about his Father loving and nourishing the Just & the Unjust. This one is the invention of somebody peddling Eternity Insurance.

But if he is speaking as the Spirit in him, which comes from Heaven and gives life to the world, the same spirit that lives in the people shown arguing with him here--If he is saying that everyone who turns to that Spirit will find that their life already is eternal (and could not have been otherwise!) then this seems a nice, roundabout way of putting it.

At 6:12 p.m., Blogger Liberata said...

Well, this gospel obviously comes out of a very different community than the communities that gave rise to the synoptics.

The Jesus of the Synoptics is...secretive. He orders those he has cured not to tell anyone who cured them, and when he works great signs, he only takes the "inner circle," Peter, James, and John, with him...

I really think that not everything attributed to Jesus in this gospel was actually said by him (and I certainly cannot imagine that he really said those things about the Jews ). But I'm not willing to jettison the entire gospel.

Needs a lot of discernment, I think...but it's worth it.

At 10:34 a.m., Blogger Larry said...

IMO this is the writer of John talking to some judaizers.

At 6:41 a.m., Blogger Susan J. said...

hmmmm.... it's always interesting to me how any given text can be seen "as opposed to" something or someone, and then the choice of opposition largely determines what one sees....

what struck me in the passage was the true nourishment that comes from God and which Jesus in the story is offering people, himself, in a powerful and unique way. Bread from heaven, via physical manna in Moses' time, via face-to-face encounter with JC in his time, and inwardly today (according to Friends). True spiritual nourishment that "gives life to the world" as opposed to ordinary earthly nourishment that doesn't last. Eternal life, being "raised up on the Last Day," presumably but not explicitly stated in the part you quote "as opposed to" death.

It's interesting sometimes to look at Jesus-according-to-John "as opposed to" Jesus-according-to-the-synoptics. But whenever I read the Bread of Life Discourse I get so swept up in the poetry and the experience of being spiritually fed that I lose sight of such matters.

Thanks for an inspiring Bible passage, which I'm reading long after you posted it!

At 12:41 a.m., Anonymous Jim Schultz said...

The Gospel of John is very fertile spiritual ground used by the Holy Spirit over thousands of years to change lives. It is a living testament that can be opened up to the reader by the Spirit to meet his or her present needs. My present understanding of the scripture, although it might change tomorrow, is that Jesus as the Son of God is love (Agape love) and you have to believe in love to sit with the sheep at the Father's side. When I had my heart attack and had to be zapped I did experience what I can only believe was the love of God and it was indescribable.


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