I am the Bread of Life
Jesus made a series of “I AM” statements in the gospel of John. He said; “I am the light of the world,” “I am the good shepherd,” “I am the resurrection and the life,” “I am the true vine” and “I am the bread of life.” There are other “I am” sentences in the gospel of John but those listed here are considered the classic “I am” references to Jesus Christ. Taken together we get a snapshot of Jesus’ ministry and mission.
In referring to himself as “the bread of life” (John 6: 35), Jesus is saying: in him is the substance and meaning of life. In this context Jesus said, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” (v. 27). In other words, don’t waste your life on that which doesn’t really matter. Instead spend yourself on that which lasts, and which ultimately matters.
Jesus went on to say, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one whom he has sent.” (v. 29). That is the entire demand of the gospel right there: to unreservedly join ourselves with and immerse ourselves in Jesus Christ. To believe in Jesus is not a merely theological acquiescence so much as it is to throw in our lot with Jesus Christ. It necessitates that we relinquish our own wisdom about what counts and let Jesus lead us into his perspective and action in the world.
While it may at first appear that we are losing something, we soon discover that we are finding our life instead. The world and life only make sense when it is viewed in the truth. As Jesus put it elsewhere in John, “If you hold my teaching, you really are my disciples. Then you will know the truth and the truth will set you free.” (John 8: 31-32).