Discover more from Read-Aloud Theology
The Message of John (Lesson 13)
The Bread of Life | John 6:35
“I am the bread of life.”
John 6 contains the first of at least seven “I am” statements of Jesus.
John 6:35: "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'."
John 8:12: "Again Jesus spoke to them, saying, 'I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will not walk in darkness, but will have the light of life."
John 10:9: "I am the door. If anyone enters by me, he will be saved and will go in and out and find pasture."
John 10:11: "I am the good shepherd. The good shepherd lays down his life for the sheep."
John 11:25: "I am the resurrection and the life. Whoever believes in me, though he die, yet shall he live."
John 14:6: "I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me."
John 15:1: "I am the true vine, and my Father is the gardener."
These statements have their roots in Exodus 3:14, where Moses is by the burning bush and asks God to reveal his personal name.
God responds, saying, "I am who I am."
Kind of an unusual way to express your name, until we realize the Old Testament originally was written in the Hebrew language. In Hebrew, the name “I am who I am” contains four letters (יְהֹוָה/YHWH) that we pronounce either Yahweh or Jehovah. So, the interpretation of God’s name means “I am.”
The ESV Study Bible suggests that the name Yahweh means four things:
God is self-existent.
God is the creator and sustainer of all that exists.
God is unchanging in his being and character and thus is not in the process of becoming something different from what he is (e.g., “the same yesterday and today and forever,” Heb. 13:8).
God is eternal in his existence.
Okay, so does this relate to Jesus? Are you ready to have your mind blown?
In the gospel of John, when Jesus says, “I am,” he uses a Greek expression (ego eimi) that is the equivalent of saying, Yahweh.
Do you see what this means? Whenever Jesus uses the expression “I am” (ego eimi), he is saying, “I am the God of the Old Testament in the flesh. I am the eternal creator and sustainer of the world.”
The first of the “I am” statements is in John 6:35, where Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.”
In this chapter, Jesus fed the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, and many people followed him because of this miracle. But Jesus tells them that they are following him merely because they have eaten the bread and have full stomachs.
This sets up the Old Testament background for Jesus as the bread of (eternal) life.
The people ask Jesus,
30“What sign then will You perform, so that we may see it and believe You? What will You do? 31Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they said, “give us this bread at all times.”
35Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never hunger, and whoever believes in Me will never thirst.”
You see, in the Old Testament, manna was a special food that God provided as a gift to sustain the Israelites in the barren wilderness.
In stating, “I am the bread of life,” Jesus says he is the true and greater manna from heaven—sent not to satisfy merely a temporary physical need but an eternal spiritual need. We will “never” hunger and “never” thirst.
Through Jesus' death and resurrection, he provides not only forgiveness of our sins but restores us to a right relationship with God as our Father, where we are able to live with peace, joy, and hope.
This blessing is for those who believe upon Jesus, trusting that he is their sin-bearer and righteousness provider. As we believe, our souls are satisfied with grace and peace as we are filled not with bread but with the Holy Spirit.
What does it mean that Jesus' statement "I am" is the equivalent of saying Yahweh?
How does Jesus' claim to be the bread of life relate to the Old Testament background of manna?
What is the significance of Jesus' statement that whoever comes to him will never hunger and whoever believes in him will never thirst?
How does Jesus' death and resurrection provide forgiveness of sins and restore us to a right relationship with God?
How does believing in Jesus as the bread of life satisfy our present and eternal spiritual needs?
Dear Father in heaven,
Thank you for the gift of Jesus, who is the bread of life that sustains us spiritually. We recognize that our deep spiritual hunger and thirst can only be satisfied through a right relationship with you, and we are grateful that you have provided us with Jesus as the true bread from heaven.
We pray that we would never be satisfied with the temporary things of this world, but that we would continually hunger and thirst for Jesus' presence and grace.
We ask all of this in the name of our Lord and Savior, Jesus, Amen.
The next collections in the hopper include Theology 101 and a complete Bible Overview.
🔓 This will unlock ALL the lessons and bonus resources. And you’ll receive new lessons every week.
🛑 You may easily cancel at any time.
🌟 When you subscribe, you’ll receive a welcome video that explains how to use the site and a link to two free, bonus resources (see below). Or just go to the Help Desk.
My deep desire is for these lessons to help your family come alive to the wonder, beauty, and transforming power of God’s grace in the crucified, risen, and reigning Jesus. 🙏
Yours, by grace alone,