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John20 – life-and-death bread

So the Jews were arguing concerning him in that he said, “I myself am the bread that descended from heaven.” and they were stating, “Is this one not Jesus the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we ourselves discern? How does he now state, ‘I have descended from heaven’?” 
 
The previous conversation in this dialogue (as recorded by John, Jesus’ first century, eye witness biographer) was with a mixed crowd. Now “the Jews” dispute it all. Their point is that, despite the feeding of the 5,000 in which they had participated, this man cannot be “the bread descended from heaven” because they know his ancestry.  

Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not argue with one another! No one is able to come to me if the Father who appointed me does not draw him I also will resurrect him upon the last day.”

Stop the arguing. Jesus says that his rejection must take place. In fact, it’s his Father who “draws people to come to Jesus”. Without that people will reject him. Individuals “drawn” to him Jesus will cause to stand on judgment day.

“It is written in the prophets, ‘And all people will be taught of God.’ Everyone hearing from the Father and being instructed comes to me.” (Not that someone has discerned the Father except the one being from God—this one has discerned the Father.) 

 
Now Jesus quotes from the Isaiah, a book preserved in Israel’s national archives. He is in effect saying that the teaching of his Father above, listened to and acted upon, is calling every person to come to him.

‘ALL YOUR CHILDREN SHALL BE TAUGHT BY THE LORD, and great shall be the peace of your children. In righteousness you shall be established.’ (Isaiah, Jerusalem prophet, c. 710 BC)
“Amen, amen I state to you, the one believing has eternal life. I myself am that bread of that life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and they died. This is the bread descending from heaven in order that someone may eat out of it and may not die.”

The BC 1350 “manna in the wilderness” was not really the “bread of life”. It really pointed to Jesus himself. And the “life” the manna gave only maintained life for a time. The real “bread of life” means no death, ever.
 
“I myself am that living bread that descended from heaven. If someone may eat out of this bread, he will live into eternity and in fact the bread that I myself will give on behalf of the life of the world is my own flesh.” 

Eaters of “the living bread”, come down with heaven’s life, may live into eternity. Jesus will give his "own flesh" for them. Even those who will have killed him will be able to live because he will have died in their place.

So the Jews were arguing to one another, stating, “How is this man able to give us his flesh to eat?” So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly I state to you, unless you may eat the flesh of the Son of Man and may drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves! The one consuming my flesh and drinking my blood has eternal life I also will resurrect him upon the last day. Because my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.”

Jesus continues the metaphor with a startling truth. “Unless you may eat the flesh of the Son of Man and may drink his blood, you do not have life in yourselves.” No person has heaven’s life without eating the “bread of life”.

“The one consuming my flesh and drinking my blood stays in me I also in him. Just as the living Father sent me out I also live through the Father and the one consuming me—that one will live through me.”

It seems that there will be some (perhaps many) who will only purport to partake of Jesus. They will not “stay in him” nor he in them. The truth is that only those who “stay in him” will truly be “consuming his flesh and drinking his blood”. In fact, those - only - will “live through him”. That is very clear.

 
“This is the bread that descended from heaven, not just as the fathers ate and died. The one who consumes this bread will live into eternity.” 

‘Guide me, O thou great Redeemer… Bread of heaven… Feed me till I want no more.’ (John Hughes, composer, 1873-1932)
The truth about living “into eternity” is now abundantly clear to these AD 30 descendants “of the fathers”, that is, descendants of those who, around BC 1350, ate the manna. Today it is clear to all. Without this bread people merely eat to die.

 
Sinner Syvret

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