John 6 is an amazingly powerful chapter that gives deeper revelation into the heart and purpose of our savior Jesus and shows us what a right relationship with Him looks like. Verses 25-65 show that Jesus is the bread of life and explain exactly what that means. These verses make an absolute connection between believing in Jesus and eating the bread of life. Let's look at that.
First off, Jesus explains the one thing required of us under the new covenant is to believe in Him.
John 6:29 Jesus replied, "This is the deed God requires---to believe in the one whom he sent."
Jesus says the one who believes has eternal life. Then He immediately proclaims that He is the bread of life.
John 6:47-48 I tell you the solemn truth, the one who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life.
Verse 35 connects Jesus being the bread of life to our faith in him providing spiritual nourishment that lasts forever---in other words eternal and abundant life. If we NEVER go hungry or thirsty when we come to Jesus and believe in Him, then he is not just providing us with mediocre life (in which we would not be satisfied), but he is providing us with abundant life!
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never go hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty."
Verse 40 explains we have eternal life when we believe in Jesus.
John 6:40 For this is the will of my Father---for everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him to have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.
Verse 50-51 explains we live forever when we eat the bread of life; the flesh of Jesus Christ.
John 6:50-51 This is the bread that has come down from heaven, so that a person may eat from it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats from this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.
Here are some more verses affirming Jesus is the bread of life and only by eating the bread of life can we have true, abundant, eternal life.
John 6:53-55 Jesus said to them, I tell you the solemn truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in yourselves. The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink.
John 6:57-58 "Just as the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so the one who consumes me will live because of me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread your ancestors ate, but then later died. The one who eats this bread will live forever."
So believing in Jesus and eating the bread of life are the same thing and both lead to eternal life. No wonder communion is so powerful. It is a physical act of faith where we symbolically eat the flesh and drink the blood of Jesus. We remember what He has done for us. That he shed his blood, the blood of the new covenant, for the forgiveness of our sins and he gave his body so that we may have eternal life.
John 6:56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me, and I in him.
Remaining in Jesus is eating his flesh. Eating His flesh is eating the bread of life. Eating the bread of life is believing is Jesus. Therefore, to remain in Him, one thing is necessary: believe in Him.
Now let's look at the beginning of John 15 for a moment to see what the effects of being "in Christ" are.
John 15:1-8 "I am the true vine and my Father is the gardener. He takes away every branch that does not bear fruit in me. He prunes every branch that bears fruit so that it will bear more fruit. You are clean already because of the word that I have spoken to you. Remain in me, and I will remain in you. Just as the branch cannot bear fruit by itself, unless it remains in the vine, so neither can you unless you remain in me. I am the vine; you are the branches. The one who remains in me---and I in him---bears much fruit, because apart from me you can accomplish nothing. If anyone does not remain in me, he is thrown out like a branch, and dries up; and such branches are gathered up and thrown into the fire, and are burned up. If you remain in me and my words remain in you, ask whatever you want, and it will be done for you. My Father is honored by this, that you bear much fruit and show that you are my disciples."
Those who do not believe in Jesus are the one who are cut off and burnt up. Anyone who relies in, trusts in, and depends on their self effort will be cut off and burnt up--regardless of any human measurement of performance. Anyone who relies in, trusts in, and depends on Jesus will bear much fruit and live forever---regardless of any human measurement of performance. It's Jesus' work on the cross that makes us successful, not our self-effort (our flesh).
John 15 shows us that to be fruitful (bear the fruits of the Spirit: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control Gal 5:22), we must believe in Him. If we do not believe, we are not in Him. And if we are not in Him, we can do nothing. Therefore, if we do not believe in, trust in, rely on, and depend on Jesus, we will not bear fruit and will be cut off and will die.
John 6:63 The Spirit is the one who gives life; human nature is of no help! The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
The new covenant really is simple. Believe in Jesus. Trust in Him. Rely on Him. Let the holy spirit work in you to produce fruit. Let God give you a new heart and write his commandments on your heart. Receive His forgiveness, His righteousness and His unmerited favor in the name of Jesus!
(All verses from the NET Bible)
Author: Lyall Jonathan Di Trapani 06 Jun 2013