The day after Jesus fed the 5,000 in John 6, there were many from that crowd who tracked him down in another town the next day. When they found him, the Lord noticed something right away. They had forgotten what he had taught earlier in his sermon on the mount when he said
30Wherefore, if God so clothe the grass of the field, which to day is, and to morrow is cast into the oven, shall he not much more clothe you, O ye of little faith? 31Therefore take no thought, saying, What shall we eat? or, What shall we drink? or, Wherewithal shall we be clothed? 32(For after all these things do the Gentiles seek:) for your heavenly Father knoweth that ye have need of all these things. 33But seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you. Matthew 6
They were like the gentiles and were focused on where their next meal was coming from. Christ pointed out to them in John 6:26-27 that instead of tracking him down so they could get a free meal from him that could only satisfy them temporarily, they should have been focused on the spiritual food of God’s truth that is eternal and gives eternal life.
Even after Jesus pointed out that they should believe in him in John 6:29, they asked for a sign like Moses gave when the Israelites ate manna. Their focus was still on the temporary things of the physical world. Jesus attempted again to get their focus on the spiritual by pointing out that the true bread of God is “he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world,” [John 6:33].
In the following verse they asked Jesus to give them that bread and the Lord then gives them his famous discourse revealing that he is the bread of life that gives everlasting life to all those who believe in him to satisfy their spiritual hunger and spiritual thirst. Then the Lord points out the similarities between the physical man and the spiritual man. Just as the physical man cannot continue to live without absorbing food or drink, the spiritual man has no life in him unless he eats the flesh of the Lord Jesus and drinks his blood. Unless and until we spiritually absorb and fully accept in our hearts the fact that the Lord Jesus came to sacrifice his body and to shed his blood for our sins, we have neither eaten his flesh nor have drunk his blood and are spiritually dead.
Jesus goes on to say, “He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him,” [John 6:56]. Jesus becomes the life-giving force of our spirit man when we accept him as the Lord who was fully God and fully man. He spiritually lives in us to give us a new heart and a new spirit, having thrown out all our transgressions against his laws. As believers we become the temple of the living God and he supplies us with the fulness and spiritual riches that come with our being connected to him. We dwell in him as members of the body of Christ, allowing him to influence our thoughts and to order our steps according to his will. We are also given the privilege of being seated in heavenly places with Christ which is why we can “come boldly unto the throne of grace, that we may obtain mercy, and find grace to help in time of need,” [Hebrews 4:16].
But the Jews could not accept Jesus’ words as being spirit and life because they leaned to their own understanding since they knew that Jesus came from Nazareth and knew who his family was [John 6:41-42]. They could not fathom that he came from heaven because they were still focused on their earthly knowledge.
So many of us Christians were once like the Jews in our preoccupation with earthly things which blinded us to his truth. I thank God that he gave me more than one opportunity to partake of his divine meal that leads to eternal life. Now I’ve eaten his flesh and I’ve drunk his blood. I’ve tasted and seen that the Lord is good.
–posted by Harry A. Gaylord–