the Week of Proper 20 / Ordinary 25
Charles Spurgeon's "Morning & Evening"
“I am that bread of life.”
Here he spake plainly, and made his meaning clear to all who wished to understand it. Faith feeds on Jesus and satisfies the soul.
Their unbelief was proof that they were not his; but though they rejected him, others would come to him, so that he would not be left without followers. Moreover, all who came to him believingly he would receive, whoever they might be. This text is as full of consolation as a honeycomb is full of sweetness.
Some are very much taken up with the decrees of God; here is one which they will do well always to bear in mind every believer has everlasting life. No secret decree can contradict this published ordinance of heaven.
They needed not to excite themselves and grow angry, for his preaching did not concern them; they had neither part nor lot in the matter. If they had been his own elect, they would have believed, but their wicked unbelief was sufficient evidence that the bread he came to give was not of the kind which they cared for, and that they were not the people for whom it was provided.
John 6:49 , John 6:47
This plain and unlimited statement from the mouth of Jesus himself ought greatly to encourage and comfort all who believe. Do you trust alone in him? Then you have life, life which can never die, life which will be fully developed in eternal happiness. Do you not feel that you have everlasting life? Nevertheless, if you are trusting in Jesus, the fact is sure, and you are certainly in possession of it. Whatever your feelings may be, Jesus knows what he says, and his witness is true. Believe it because he says so. What better witness can you require?
The real bread, the soul bread, the bread of immortality. Jesus is that to all who trust him.
They only ate bread for the body, and the body died. Jesus gives soul bread, and he who eats of it lives in joy for ever. Have all in this household trusted Jesus? Are we all feeding upon him? If not, may the Lord work faith in us at this very moment.
Not to myself I owe
That I, O Lord, am thine;
Free grace hath all the shades broke through,
And caused the light to shine.
Me thou hast willing made
Thy offers to receive;
Call’d by the voice that wakes the dead,
I come to thee and live.
Because thy sovereign love
Was bent the worst to save;
Jesus who reigns enthroned above,
To me salvation gave.
“Will ye also go away?”
John 6:51-64 , John 6:66-71
Our Lord continued his address upon the bread of life and openly declared
John 6:51 , John 6:52
They understood him literally, just as Papists do now. They were too carnally minded to comprehend that the soul feeds upon the great truth that God took upon himself our flesh.
He did not refer to the Lord’s Supper, for it was not instituted, neither is it absolutely essential to salvation: the dying thief received no sacrament, yet was he with his Lord in Paradise so soon as he expired. The eating and drinking are spiritual, and only regenerated persons can have part in them. How searching, then, is this word of Jesus, for multitudes of professors have no personal experience of such feeding as our Lord intended.
Participation in the person and work of Jesus leads to an abiding union with him, and to near and dear communion with him.
This truth cannot too often be repeated eternal life can only be ours as we embrace by faith the incarnate God, and make him the life of our soul.
Carnal minds first misread the Lord’s words, and then kick against them. None but those enlightened by the Spirit of God will see the beauty of the mystery of faith; others will, by-and-by, cavil and be gone.
He knew that to many the Spirit did not go with the word, and therefore it would only be to them a savour of death unto death: but in this he was by no means disappointed, he foresaw that it would be so.
The eternal purpose of God to save his chosen, works its way by sending forth the enlightening Spirit upon those ordained to life. These being quickened believe the gospel, and are thereby known to be the chosen of God. The rest do not receive the truth, and never will; by this, then, may each of us judge whether he has a part in electing love or no.
Lord, the hunger of my soul
Is for food which thou dost give;
Other appetite control,
Teach me on thyself to live.
Jesus, great incarnate God,
Be thou ever dear to me,
May thy precious flesh and blood
Daily drink and manna be.