JOHN vi. 33. “For the
bread of God is He which cometh down from heaven, and giveth
life unto the world.”
No miracle of Jesus excited or stirred the multitude like
that of the feeding of the five thousand. It seemed to
them a repetition of the ancient wonder of the manna,
esteemed by the Jews to be the greatest miracle of the
Old Testament. They sought to make Him a king, and
when foiled in this by His sudden departure they still
lingered; and He preached that profound and spiritual
discourse on the Bread of God which led many to leave
Him for ever. The text contains all the “notes” of the
Gospel of Christ.
I. The Bread of God is a Person. It is HE who
cometh down from heaven.
The saints and prophets saw God everywhere. We see
Him nowhere. We see instead force, uniformity, the laws
of nature. But the soul cannot live on force or law; it
demands a person.
II. The Bread of God is supernatural. It cometh
down from heaven. Words which on the lips of Christ
always signify a supernatural origin and nature. Christ
Jesus is the great supernatural fact of the Gospel. We
gain nothing by the attempt to minimize the supernatural
element in the Gospels. Jesus Christ remains a miracle
on any theory.
III. The true Bread unceasingly comes from heaven.
That is, the supernatural work of Christ never ceases. It
is like the manna that fell every day fresh from heaven.
We are very prone to suppose that the supernatural
energy of Christ was confined to His own life and to the
early Church. But it is not so.
IV. The life is a gift, and a gift to the world.
The Jews found it hard to believe that it was a gift to
the world. We find it hard to believe that it is a gift. If
we could evolve it, or earn it, or deserve it in any way; but
no! it must be a gift
G. S. Barrett, B.A.