August 10, 2003

John 6:35, 41-51

[35] Jesus said, "I am the Bread of Life. The person who aligns with me hungers no more and thirsts no more, ever.

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[41] At this, because he said, "I am the Bread that came down from heaven," the Jews started arguing over him: [42] "Isn't this the son of Joseph? Don't we know his father? Don't we know his mother? How can he now say, 'I came down out of heaven' and expect anyone to believe him?"

[43] Jesus said, "Don't bicker among yourselves over me. [44] You're not in charge here. The Father who sent me is in charge. He draws people to me -- that's the only way you'll ever come. Only then do I do my work, putting people together, setting them on their feet, ready for the End. [45] This is what the prophets meant when they wrote, 'And then they will all be personally taught by God.' Anyone who has spent any time at all listening to the Father, really listening and therefore learning, comes to me to be taught personally -- to see it with his own eyes, hear it with his own ears, from me, since I have it firsthand from the Father. [46] No one has seen the Father except the One who has his Being alongside the Father-and you can see me.

[47] "I'm telling you the most solemn and sober truth now: Whoever believes in me has real life, eternal life. [48] I am the Bread of Life. [49] Your ancestors ate the manna bread in the desert and died. [50] But now here is Bread that truly comes down out of heaven. Anyone eating this Bread will not die, ever. [51] I am the Bread -- living Bread! -- who came down out of heaven. Anyone who eats this Bread will live -- and forever! The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self."

[The Message]


1. The most solemn and sober truth is metaphoric. I am Bread, heavenly bread. Believe this and there is a new lease on life. For now you begin to see, experience, and respond from a different space and at a different pace. This can be taught, though I suspect that it takes more than a content/creedal technique to do so.

2. We don't know how folks come to this belief, this response. There are some general theories of spiritual maturation, but none of them work outside their self-imposed limits. The ability to respond to the attraction of GOD is still a mysterious one. In a review of a new book, Moses: A Memoir, we hear: "When God first appears to him in a burning bush, Moses wonders whether Zipporah's wine has turned sour, causing him to hallucinate. He concludes that the flame was indeed there but 'only for one willing to see it.'"

3. All you and I can do is imitate Jesus, "The Bread that I present to the world so that it can eat and live is myself, this flesh-and-blood self." So, dear friend, present yourself as a present vital to sustaining life. Enough waiting for some Messiah, GOD is already within you -- be willing to see this and live and offer your life that others might live (no guarantee of their response, but surety in your offer).