John 6:47-59 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believe on me has everlasting life. I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which come down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except you eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, you have no life in you. Whoso eat my flesh, and drink my blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eat my flesh, and drink my blood, dwell in me, and I in him. As the living Father has sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eat me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eat of this bread shall live forever. These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
‘Believe on me’ – expresses an act and a continued process. It could not be that one act of faith and no more will save the soul (Luke 8:13; 1Tim. 1:19; 4:1; 5:12; Heb. 3:12-14; 10:23-38). The faith that saves is an ever-present active one; it cannot cease and still produce results. Even Believers live by the faith of the Son of God and must always live by faith (Rom.1:17).
The manna of the wilderness (Deut. 8:3) was not the ‘meat which endureth unto everlasting life’ it was only the typology of the MAN that would have come in the flesh (John 1:1,14) which is the sixteenth New Testament prophecy fulfilled in Christ’s first advent. Any man that eats thereof will not die, refers to eternal life, not physical life which all men have (Heb. 9:27; 1Cor. 15:51-58; 1Thess. 4:16-17).
The fourth and last time in this chapter Christ claims to be the bread of life, this bread is His flesh which He gave for the life of the world (John 6:33, 51). Conditions must be met by the world in order to get this life, for example: ‘if any man eat of this bread’ is one of the first conditions one must meet to have everlasting life. Christ is the life-producing bread, and eating of Christ simply means that man must accept by faith what Christ did for him and live by obedience to Him without sin so the penalty will not have to be paid again. We live when we accept Christ as our substitute and meet the Word’s conditions.
‘Eat my flesh, and drink my blood’ Eating and drinking is used figuratively of partaking of the benefits of the death of Christ. We partake by faith and enjoy the benefits because God gives them on the basis of what Christ did for us (Eph. 2:8-9; Rom. 3:24-25; 5:1-11; 10:9-10; Acts 3:16; 4:12; 15:9; 26:18; Gal. 2:16-20; 3:1-26; 1Pet. 1:5-13). Eating is used figuratively of partaking of spiritual food (1Cor. 10:1-3); of other benefits received (Psa. 69:9; Eze. 2:8; 3:1-3; Rev. 10:9); and even of the evil results of sin (Pro. 9:17; Hos. 10:13; Jas. 5:3). No figure of speech was more common to Jews at this time, so there was no excuse for them to misunderstand His words. By comparing John 6:47-48 with 6:53-54 we see that believing on Christ is the same as eating and drinking Him.
Three times Christ here claims to be sent from heaven (6:38, 41, 42) and five times He claims He was sent by the Father (6:38, 39, 40, 44, 57).
Seven times manna and the true bread are spoken of as coming from heaven (6:31, 32, 33, 50, 51, 58).
Six times here men are promised everlasting life if they meet certain conditions (6:40, 47, 50, 51, 54, 58).