Lectionary: 2 Samuel 18:5-9, 15, 31-33; Psalm 130; Ephesians 4:25-5:2; John 6:35, 41-51


The John 6 story begins earlier with a crowd who follow Jesus wherever he goes, ending up on a hillside while he teaches. Jesus realizes that they have been with him for a period of time and he is concerned that they are getting hungry. What transpires is the famous miracle of the Loaves and Fishes as it is called, where Jesus takes one person’s simple lunch and produces enough from it to feed the entire crowd in attendance plus leftovers!

Jesus then draws on something from a part of the lunch that has always been a basic staple of human life and compares himself to it.


Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.

Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

But Jesus replied, “Stop complaining about what I said. For no one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them up. As it is written in the Scriptures, ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. (Not that anyone has ever seen the Father; only I, who was sent from God, have seen him.)

“I tell you the truth, anyone who believes has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. Anyone who eats the bread from heaven, however, will never die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh.”  – John 6:35, 41-51 (NLT)


In the story, people around Jesus (likely the Jewish religious leaders) complain that he called himself ‘bread from heaven’. Their complaint is that he is just a guy who comes from nearby so he can’t be from heaven. Interestingly, the crowds on the hillside whose minds are open, see him differently.

Jesus suggests that no one – even religious people – can come to him, be with him, know him, until the Father draws them to him.

This sounds intimidating. God has to call me before I can come to him? How does that work?

But remember that life is a journey and God waits for the time when we are interested, empty, hungry, and as we open ourselves he takes the perfect opportunity to draw us and meet us.


Take some quiet time to consider the term ‘bread of life’. What does it mean? What potential does it hold? What new lessons?

If you had to give a three minute talk on what it means to you, what would you say? (Go ahead, do it!)

How are you like the people who said, ‘Really? He’s just a guy.’?

What practices can you begin to open yourself to God drawing close to you?


Lord Jesus, you are the bread of life.

You feed and support my body and soul.

Without you, I am weak and hopeless.

Teach me to come to you often.

Lord Jesus, you are the bread of life.

Come to me and feed me.

With you, I am fed and full.

Teach me to welcome you.

I pray in the name of Jesus,