This verse is part of a larger passage in which Jesus is speaking to a group of people who have been following him after he fed them miraculously with just a few loaves of bread and fish. In this passage, Jesus is using the metaphor of bread to teach about spiritual nourishment and the importance of faith in him.
By saying "I am the bread of life," Jesus is asserting that he is the source of spiritual sustenance that people need to live a fulfilling life. He promises that those who come to him and believe in him will never go hungry or thirsty, indicating that he will provide for their spiritual needs and satisfy their deepest longings.
In addition to being a metaphor for spiritual nourishment, the phrase "bread of life" has deep roots in Jewish tradition. In the Old Testament, manna was a type of bread that God provided for the Israelites during their journey through the wilderness. Similarly, in the New Testament, Jesus is portrayed as the bread that provides sustenance and strength to those who believe in him.
This verse is also significant because it is one of several "I am" statements made by Jesus in the Gospel of John. In each of these statements, Jesus uses a metaphor to describe his divine nature and the relationship between himself and his followers. For example, he also says "I am the way, the truth, and the life" (John 14:6) and "I am the vine, you are the branches" (John 15:5).
- In the original Greek, Jesus says "ego eimi ho artos tes zoes," which translates literally to "I am the bread of life." The phrase "ego eimi" is significant because it is the same phrase used by God when he reveals his name to Moses in the Old Testament (Exodus 3:14). By using this phrase to describe himself, Jesus is asserting his divine nature and identifying himself with God.
- The idea of coming to Jesus and believing in him to receive spiritual nourishment is a central theme in the Gospel of John. In fact, the word "believe" appears over 90 times in the book. John emphasizes that salvation comes through faith in Jesus, rather than through obeying the law or performing good works.
- In the verses that follow John 6:35, Jesus goes on to explain that he is the living bread that came down from heaven, and that those who eat his flesh and drink his blood will have eternal life. This statement is often interpreted as a reference to the Eucharist, the sacrament in which Christians partake of bread and wine as symbols of Jesus' body and blood.
- The phrase "bread of life" has been a source of inspiration and comfort for many Christians throughout history. For example, in the Catholic tradition, the "Liturgy of the Eucharist" is also called the "Mass of the Bread of Life." Many churches and religious organizations have used this phrase in their names or as a slogan to evoke the idea of spiritual sustenance and nourishment.
Overall, John 6:35 is a rich and complex verse that speaks to the core of Christian belief and identity. Its themes of spiritual nourishment, faith, and salvation have resonated with believers for centuries, and continue to inspire and challenge us today.
John 6:35. Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”