Today’s Scripture: I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51

Christ had just fed the 5,000. The people hungered, and Christ miraculously provided bread for them. They ate as much as they could until they were filled. (John 6:11-12) The disciples then filled 12 baskets with the leftovers. What an incredible miracle!

The next day, when the people saw that Jesus was gone, they went to Capernaum to find Him. When they found Him, Jesus told them they were searching for Him not because of the miracle they had seen, but because He had fed them, and they were looking for more free handouts. He then told them they shouldn’t be searching for physical food that perishes but for spiritual food that gives eternal life.

They asked Him what sign He would give so they would believe, and brought up Moses bringing manna from heaven, indicating they were still looking for free food rather than for salvation. Christ then told them that Moses didn’t give the bread from Heaven, but His Father had given it – He was the true Bread of Heaven.

Christ continued to explain that manna was not the bread of life, because their ancestors had eaten it but were dead. Those that eat of the bread of life will live forever. Christ then said, “Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life. I am that bread of life.” (John 6:47-48) That is it, “He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.” It’s a done deal – nothing else is required.

If a banquet is set before you, you can look at and compliment the food, but if you never eat, it doesn’t do you any good. It isn’t until you take the food for yourself and internalize it that you benefit from it. It isn’t until you receive the gift of salvation that you have eternal life. God has offered Himself freely – “the bread that I will give is my flesh, I will give for the life of the world.” Jesus doesn’t hold back bread. Nobody left the feeding of the 5,000 hungry unless they didn’t accept the bread. Nobody has to pay for their sins in Hell unless they won’t accept the Bread of Life. God has provided it, offered it freely, now it’s up to us to receive it.

Devotional by Dr. James A. Scudder