Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
The Gospel of John records seven statements that Jesus made about himself that reveal to his followers who he is and what he came to do. These statements have the power to change our life and our faith.
The John 6:35 meaning is powerful and one that will teach each us of how we can find true sustenance that will not leave us wanting more.
The Context Of John 6:35
Prior to John 6:35 Jesus does one of his largest miracles; he feeds 5,000 people with just a few loaves of bread and a fish.
Now, even today if we saw that we would all be amazed. But this was even more impressive in the 1st Century where food was scarce. Today food is easily accessible to most. But in Jesus’ day food was hard to come by. As a result, when you found a food source you latched on. As a result of this miracle, the crowd ditches their plans and follows Jesus.
But there’s a problem… what we see in John 6:26 is that they aren’t following Jesus for the right reasons. They just want another magic trick that results in a free meal.
Jesus tries to correct them; he tries to show them that they are after the wrong thing. The food is good, but there’s something more important. (John 6:27)
This is what leads us to Jesus saying, “I am the bread of life.” That is what the crowd is chasing after, bread. It’s no mistake that he compares himself to what they want… but with a twist. Let’s jump into the meaning of John 6:35 to what Jesus says.
The John 6:35 Meaning
To help us better understand what Jesus meant, I want to break this verse down into two sections.
I Am The Bread Of Life Meaning
Remember the context, the crowd is after a free meal: bread. But Jesus had something more for them. He knows that physical food would only fill them temporarily; what he has for them is eternal.
To the Jews in the crowd Jesus’ term ‘Bread Of Life’ would have brought two images to mind.
First, in the Old Testament God sent daily manna (bread) from heaven to sustain the Israelites as they wandered in the wilderness. They were sustained by this bread for years. Jesus is saying here that he is better than manna.
Second, Jews regarded the Law (their scriptures) as bread from heaven. Jesus here is not saying that he has the bread, but rather that he IS the bread of life. He is claiming to be able to completely satisfy as bread and water satisfy physically.
Whoever Comes To Me Will Never Go Hungry Meaning
Jesus here is adding emphasis. In the original Greek the “nevers” are emphatic. All who come to Jesus will NEVER go hungry. He will completely satisfy their needs.
Dr Tom Constable breaks it down this way, “Coming to Jesus and believing are synonymous concepts just as bread and water together represent total human need. Jesus did not mean that continual dependence on Him was unimportant. He meant that believing in Him would satisfy the basic human need and desire for life. Again Jesus linked life with Himself. He is what sustains and nourishes spiritual life. It is by feeding on Him that we obtain life initially and continue to flourish spiritually.”
Everything else in life leaves us wanting more. It can satisfy for a moment, but it’s fleeting. Jesus is promising us something better. Something that will last, that satisfies. And that’s what we all want; we are just searching in the wrong places.
4 Lessons From The John 6:35 Meaning
Now that we’ve looked at the John 6:35 meaning, I want to end by looking at 3 practical ways we can live this verse out. How can we never go hungry by feeding off the bread of life?
1. Believe In Jesus
Really the heart of applying this passage is believing in Jesus. But this isn’t just a belief that lives in our heads; it’s played out in how we live. Believing in Jesus requires action.
It means that we prioritize our life around him. He becomes the center of our life.
That might seem extreme, and it is. But remember all those other things that we used to think would fulfill us, they didn’t. In fact they left us more and more empty. Jesus is offering a better way to life, through him.
2. Connect With God Regularly
If you want a relationship with a friend, significant other, or anyone else you have to spend time with them. Relationships grow when we spend time connecting. The same is true with our relationship with God; we grow when we connect.
Each follower of Jesus should regularly carve out time to connect with him. This can look different for each person. Maybe for you it’s sitting alone in a quiet room. Maybe for you it’s going for a walk and talking with God as you go. Or maybe you need to pick up a devotional that will guide you through this time. Whatever it is for you, just do it.
If you are looking for an incredible resource to help you connect with God I highly recommend: Core 52: A Fifteen-Minute Daily Guide to Build Your Bible IQ in a Year
3. Listen To What God Says Is Best
We live in a world that is constantly telling us all the things that we need to be happy. And if we aren’t careful we will start listening to the world and not to God.
Unfortunately this is increasingly becoming the story for Christians. While they follow Jesus with their words, their actions show they are following culture. But this will never satisfy, it will only leave us emptier and emptier.
Listening to what God says is best is difficult and counter-cultural. But it’s the only way to step into the life that God has and find deep-seated joy that will not fade.
4. Keep Your Eyes On What Is Most Important
An athlete will guard their diet and prioritize their training routine. Why? Because they know the sacrifice and time spent is worth the reward of competing and winning. They keep their eyes on what is most important which allows them to go through the long and painful days of training.
Similarly for Christians, we need to keep our eyes on what is most important, Jesus. There will be long and challenging days. But the reward of going through those challenges far outweighs the cost.
Thanks for reading this blog post on the John 6:35 meaning. I hope that it help you better understand how Jesus is the bread of life. If it did, you would share it with a friend so they too can benefit?
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