Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
I imagine—hope?—that my family and I are not alone in the fact that we were more than filled by a sumptuous meal a few Thursdays ago. The spread that we enjoyed was so bountiful that I am convinced we will continue to enjoy it for several more days (point of fact—we have already enjoyed it a few times since then!). What a wonderful blessing it was to be able to share the good gifts of God, and to remember how much God has done for us. In John 6, Jesus uses the theme of food and drink to drive home the point not only of who he is, but also of how it is necessary for those who wish to be saved to “partake” in his flesh and blood. Jesus defines for all time what is real spiritual food and drink. He declares unequivocally that in order for humankind to reach God, it must embrace Jesus as the Christ—the anointed Messiah of God. In order for people to be saved, they must recognize who Jesus is and come to God through him. This was not a popular message, as evidenced by the reaction of “many of his disciples” in John 6:66. Yet the issue is not one of popularity. The issue is one of faith. Jesus put his audience in a position to decide if what they had seen and heard of him—and what they had personally experienced— validated him as the Son of God. In other words, Jesus called on people to identify him as the Christ. Those who do are saved. Those who do not, well, they tend to go away and look elsewhere, to their own detriment.