The earliest Christians followed a Jewish tradition of pausing to pray, preferably together, first thing in the morning, about mid morning, at noon, about mid afternoon, and in the evening. “Just a Note” posts are brief observations made from Scripture readings not related to a lectionary. If I have one to post, it normally appears about 9:00 in the morning, at “the hour of prayer.”
John 6:30-35 is a very intense paragraph. Jesus’ listeners wish to know what sign he will show them. Can he prove his claim? They refer to Moses giving manna, for example. Jesus’ response is that God is the one who gave the manna, not Moses. He then tells them that he is the true bread from heaven. What does this mean? He explains that the one coming down from heaven is the bread of heaven. Here he refers to himself. What is the result? Coming to him will prevent famine. Believing on him will quench thirst.
Jesus’ listeners wish to receive this bread, the one coming down from heaven. The benefits seem unquestionable. Yet Jesus clearly said that he is the true bread. He did not say he symbolized the true bread. He did not say he is like the true bread. He speaks in the most literal and plain terms here.
During some controversies, especially in the 16th century, this passage was fought over. Did it refer to communion? Did it refer to something else? Regardless of your stance on that issue, Jesus makes a very clear claim. He is the one who gives life to the world. It is by coming to him that we have life. May we draw near by his grace.
If this brief meditation was helpful to you, I hope you will check out the other materials on our website at www.WittenbergCoMo.com and consider supporting us.