Fall Bible Reading Plan Week 15: John 6

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In John 6 Jesus continues to demonstrate and declare His divinity and teaches salvation and relationship with God through faith in Him by contrasting the natural with the spiritual; just as He did with Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman in chapters 3 and 4. Here He contrasts natural food with spiritual food.

In verses 1-15 Jesus miraculously feeds the multitude of five thousand men (plus women and children) with only 5 loaves and 2 fish. Later that evening, He comes to the disciples walking on water in the midst of a storm, bringing them safely to the other side of the sea.(verses 16-21)

The next day He begins to teach on spiritual food. In verses 35 and 48, Jesus declares " I am the bread of life, whoever comes to me shall never hunger; whoever believes in me shall never thirst".

He then teaches directly about the Father and Son's primary and perfectly coordinated roles in salvation, pulling back the curtain, explaining that no one can come to Him unless the Father first draws him.(verse 44)

In verses 51-71, Jesus again compares natural and spiritual truth as He reveals the deep connection between coming to and believing in Him with personal intimate relationship with Him.

Following Jesus is not religious duty or a mental exercise, but a deep life-changing, satisfying relationship with God the Father through believing in God the Son; a relationship that will last forever.

Jesus' use of His flesh and His blood in teaching both the depth of our relationship with Him and foreshadowing His crucifiction causes confusion and distress in some of His hearers who stop following Him. In verse 67, He asks His disciples if they will leave as well. Peter declares, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life and we have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.

John 6

Read John 6:1-71

35 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. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”

44 No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him. And I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, ‘And they will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me— 46 not that anyone has seen the Father except he who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 

51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” 52 The Jews then disputed among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For my flesh is true food, and my blood is true drink. 56 Whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks my blood abides in me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so whoever feeds on me, he also will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven, not like the bread[c] the fathers ate, and died. Whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 

The Words of Eternal Life

63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh is no help at all. The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. 

66 After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him. 67 So Jesus said to the twelve, “Do you want to go away as well?” 68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, 69 and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.” 

Discussion Questions

  1. Jesus tests his disciples in v5-6. How does He test our faith today?  Reflect on times He has proven Himself faithful to you in the middle of life's seemingly impossible situations? When has He 'brought you safely to the other side'? (v16-21)
  2. Jesus says in v37 "All that the Father gives me will come to me and whoever comes to me I will never cast out". Are you confident of this in your life? If so, what is your confidence based on? If not, what is hindering your confidence?  
  3. Are you aware of the 'Father's drawing you to Jesus'? (v44) How did this happen in your heart and life?
  4. How has Jesus, as 'the bread of life', sustained you? How can we eat his flesh and drink his blood? (v53-58)