Food, glorious food

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In Jesus, the bread of life, we’re saved, forgiven, freed, restored, reconciled, protected and defended so we can know intimacy, peace, purpose and power in God. Let that sink in for a moment!

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Bible passage John 6:41–59

 41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

   43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”

 52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

 53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. 55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.

New International Version (NIV) Copyright © 1973, 1978, 1984 by International Bible Society

Audio Bible passage

The audio version of the passage is taken from the Contemporary English Version (CEV).

Explore the Bible

Right knowledge
Knowing about God and knowing God are as different from one another as a picture of a loaf of bread is from an actual loaf of bread! These Jews think they know God, taking pride in their observance of rituals rather than enjoying the relationship to which the ritual pointed.

In contrast, why is it so important that the internal work that initiates faith is not ours (vs 44,45; Ephesians 2:8,9)? And what is the right response to God’s overtures (James 4:7,8)?

Defined by knowing Christ
In Jesus, knowing God is about an abiding relationship (v 56). We take in to ourselves the life which he died to give (vs 55,57). Our lives become intertwined with his, hardwiring his purposes in us, making us part of the body of Christ led by Jesus, our Head (Ephesians 4:15,16).

Last year, Archbishop Justin Welby, on discovering his birth father was someone other than he’d believed him to be for his entire life, responded confidently: ‘I find who I am in Jesus Christ, not in genetics, and my identity in him never changes.’ No matter our human origins we define ourselves as those the Father not only fully knows but fully loves and on whom he pours all the blessings reserved for his Son.


Confident in your status as a child of the King, where can you also be an ambassador for Christ in your world?

Phil Andrews

Deeper Bible study

‘God’s wisdom is something mysterious that goes deep into the interior of his purposes. You don’t find it lying around on the surface.’ (1 Corinthians 2:7, The Message)

Earlier I commented that John’s Gospel slows down the action to take us to deep places. This is one of the deepest passages! It’s not surprising that his hearers find it difficult. How can Joseph’s son be ‘the bread that came down from heaven’ (v 41)? How can Jesus claim that God is so closely working with him in exclusive ways? How can he so confidently claim that his bread (unlike manna) is for this life and after death? No wonder tension ratchets up.

From our perspective on the other side of the cross, we can more easily understand why Jesus says ‘this bread is my flesh’ (v 51). When we practise the Lord’s Supper we speak about receiving his body and blood, but the radical words still shock. Jesus himself, all of him, wins life through his death on the cross. Flesh and blood are sacrificed. Belief in him centres upon this total life-giving self-giving, because that’s how sin and death are overcome.

There is controversy about how much John’s language directly links with the Lord’s Supper, since he does not mention it elsewhere. Clearly, this passage is directed differently. Jesus speaks about how salvation depends on believing him to be the Son of God who gives himself – flesh and blood – to redeem the world. All through this chapter he has contrasted physical bread with the spiritual reality of himself as Living Bread. Although it does not identify the Lord’s Supper as the life-changing event, this language resonates deeply with our practice. It helps us reflect on the gravity of sharing in the Lord’s Supper. Taking bread and wine, we look back with wonder at the cost of our redemption, look around with wonder at the community he is bonding us with by his blood and look ahead with conviction that he will come again.

Michael Quicke

Bible in a year

Read the Bible in a year.

2 Samuel 21,22

1 Corinthians 9

Jesus, the bread of life

Reflect for a while on the significance of communion as pointing to the essence of what Jesus has done for us, as you read or listen to this poem by Jane Upchurch.

Jesus, the bread of life

Because I believe,
you are my bread.
You are my food,
my diet of heaven.

You are the manna in my mornings,
the fleeting flakes
that feed me with your life,
with the honey-sweet taste of your love
that will never lose me.

You see me as gift to you
as you are gift to me
and God is the giver.

You are my life,
you are my way in this world
and my path beyond;
eternity is the meadow
in which we can run.

I need never hunger or thirst
for you are my portion,
your flesh is my bread
and I am filled
with you. 


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  • Song: God only wise
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  • Rachael Hampton | Sunday, 14 May 2017

    Jesus, You are the manna in our mornings, the fleeting flakes that feed us with Your life, with the honey sweet taste of You love that will never lose us. Mmmmm. Savour it. Savour our time with You and each other, day by day. Whatever the day may bring, the Living Bread is there to sustain us - let us remember to eat, to feed continuously on Him. This will strengthen us to trample down our enemies - the spiritual powers we wrestle against, as Paul says in Eph 6:12. Be strong my friends, in the power of His might, the Life that lives in us.

  • Frank Collins | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Thank you for your prayers for Susannah. She did the run and was ok at the end of it. Have to say I am so encouraged by the support of the WL family , though we may not actually meet,

  • Helen Stevenson | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Just logged in to comment on daily readings for first time. Looking forward to being part of word live world live family.

  • Sarah Creen | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Hi Helen, lovely to have you join us here. Sarah.

  • Angela Munday | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Deeper:- "Belief in Jesus centres upon this total life-giving self-giving, because that's how sin and death are overcome."................God, in the person of Jesus and the presence of His Spirit comes and dwells in the life of His believers; it is from this relationship we we have complete assurance. Hallelujah! OAKLEY - "Thank you" and a warm welcome to you, HELEN.

  • Adam Julians | Monday, 15 May 2017

    "They will all be taught by God." (v 45). Jesus rebukes people for the grumbling and confidently asserts himself as God. They knew him and his mother and father. And were comfortable with what the knew. What courage it took Jesus to take a stand and speak as he did. May I not be afraid of people grumbling but be courageous, Lord, as you have been, with sharing of you in all the ways you call in obedience to you and for your glory.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Old Testament saints were restrained from sin by a fear of the wrath and punishment of God. This curbed sin, but it also hindered them from receiving the goodness and love of God (1 John 4:18). Under the New Testament, which Jesus was speaking of in this passage the punishment for our sins was laid on Him. We don’t serve God out of fear of punishment, as when we were “children” under the Law, but we serve Him out of love because He has sent the Spirit of His Son into our hearts making us His sons and daughters. We serve Him because our nature has been changed through the new birth. We can never thank God enough that we are now all taught of God through the indwelling presence of Christ.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Monday, 15 May 2017

    I like the AMP version of v53 Unless you appropriate His life and the saving merit of His blood, you have no life in you. Good to see your name again OAKLEY and welcome HELEN.

  • Derek Forster | Monday, 15 May 2017

    All hail the pow’r of Jesus name! Let angels prostate fall; Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all. Bring forth the royal diadem, And crown Him Lord of all. Let ev’ry kindred, ev’ry tribe, On this terrestrial ball, To Him all majesty ascribe, And crown Him Lord of all. To Him all majesty ascribe, And crown Him Lord of all. O that with yonder sacred throng we at His feet may fall! We’ll join the everlasting song, And crown Him Lord of all. We’ll join the everlasting song, And crown Him Lord of all.

  • Barbara Sabin | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Thou spread'st a table in my sight; thy unction grace bestoweth; and O what transport of delight from thy pure chalice floweth! Good morning friends. I am home again from a beautiful holiday in Norway we visited Andalsnes and on the Railway Station there is a railway carriage used for Church Services inside was an altar with a railtrack and above it a stained glass window with bread and wine. The Words of John 1 9-10 The true light that gives light to everyone was coming into the world. He was in the world, and though the world was made through him, the world did not recognize him were in Norwegian and English . Thou art the bread of life, O Lord, to me, Thy holy Word the truth that saveth me; Give me to eat and live with Thee above; Teach me to love Thy truth, for Thou art love

  • Ruth Lewis | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Thank you LINDA P., LYNDA S. & OAKLEY, for my Birthday greeting. Also thanking you LINDA S. for sharing Psalm 71v 17, 18 with me. I love it!!!

  • Roger Hall | Monday, 15 May 2017

    The problem with the fraternity who tell us that somehow, the bread and wine turn into the actual body and blood of Jesus are possibly marketing an untruth! The problem arises because if it is true, then idolatry occurs, because the recipient believes it is The Lord Himself. Nowadays, liberal churches will hand you the elements saying words like:"the blood we Christ

  • Roger Hall | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Fat finger has done it again! I'll continue next:

  • Ruth Lewis | Monday, 15 May 2017

    FRANK, giving thanks to God for answering prayer!!! He is our ever faithful God!!! HELEN, welcome to the WL family.

  • Roger Hall | Monday, 15 May 2017

    So we are offered the Chalice with the words " the blood of Christ keep you in eternal life" similar with the bread. I'm fact, the words seen deliberate to think that the Lord's supper is purely there for us to get fed weekly and at the same time receive forgiveness of sin, and eternity. I often thought that I must be mistaken and need to accept roman Catholic belief, but every time I do, I convince myself once more that it is misleading and I must try to put a stop to it. By prayer! If you see what I mean!

  • Adam Julians | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Roger, yes the doctrine of transubstantiation, the idea that wine literally turns to the blood of Christ, and bread literally to the flesh of Christ when consumed is worthy of being considered as to whether it is true or not just as we have spoken of recently with other literal interpretations of scripture and Jesus spoke of with those who diligently searched the scriptures but neglected him. Prayer for truth to prevail - yes indeed. The prayer of a righteous man is powerful!

  • Oakley Bookworm | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Hi ROGER, I haven't read today's study because I am still on my Bible read-through, but I found your comments very interesting. I hold to a mid-ground thinking on the Eucharist. I believe that the bread and wine are more than just memorials or emblems, although they are that, also, of course. To me, the taking of communion is more than just a remembrance. I believe that the elements are mystic. This is a well-established, historical position within the Church. This doesn't mean I believe that the bread and wine physically become Christ once the chancel bell tolls (transubstantiation), but I do believe that, when taken into the bodies of faith filled believers, through the power of the Holy Spirit, they become Christ within us. I believe that they may be a carrier of the supernatural power of the Holy Spirit just as Holy Oil (Chrism) is. Through this mystical event, grace is bestowed upon us, healing and forgiveness may be blessed to us, and we are nourished physically, spiritually and emotionally beyond the calorific value of the food we have consumed. Even though I have taken communion well over 3000 times (at a rough calculation) each time is a fresh encounter. I find the whole thing very emotional. Quite unlike any other event I experience, and If for some reason I don't take communion for more than a week, I soon begin to feel the deficit.

  • Peter Oliver | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Roger Adam the bread and wine is a symbol of remembering CHRITS sacrifice on the cross for our sins although symbolic it must. not be great dad lightly 1 Corinthians 11.sorry spelling Mistake.

  • Peter Oliver | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Apologies for predictive text and spelling mistakes.

  • Pam Carpenter | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Hi OAKLEY thank you for your comments today, I gained much from them and they have given me a fresh insight into Communion.

  • Gilvin Crisifeca | Monday, 15 May 2017

    For Jesus eating is believing; drinking is believing. He promises eternal life to those who believe in him. Believe what? Believe that his death—the breaking of his body and spilling of his blood—pays in full the penalty for our sin and that his perfect righteousness is freely given to us in exchange for our unrighteousness. Believing this is how we “eat” Jesus’ flesh and “drink” his blood. This is why he instituted the Lord’s Supper: he did not want us to forget the very core of what we believe. When the crowd took offense at his gruesome talk, Jesus exposed their unbelief: “The words that I have spoken to you are spirit and life. But there are some of you who do not believe” (vv. 63-64). Dear Peter didn’t walk away, but instead said to Jesus, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God”

  • Adam Julians | Monday, 15 May 2017

    Peter yes Jesus did say to eat of the bread and drink of the wine in remembrance of him. Was there another point you wanted to make? The rest of your comment is not clear.

  • Barbara Sabin | Monday, 15 May 2017

    WE need to remember that Jesus was a Jew, the supper was the Passover supper celebrated each year by the Jewish people to remember the Passover when the Angel of Death passed over those who killed the Passover lamb and painted their door lintel and doorpost with the blood of the lamb. Jesus told those present that when they celebrated the Passover in the future to remember Him when they broke bread and drank from the cup of redemption - there are 4 cups of wine at The Passover Supper and a fifth cup for Elijah. They were to remember Jesus was the fulfilment of the prophecies the Passover Lamb without blemish, his body broken his blood shed for us to be saved. When we accept this truth the transaction is complete we come under the blood. Our lives then have to be broken bread our love His outpoured wine. Jesus said we were to worship Him in Spirit and in Truth. We do not need bread and wine to commune with Christ we spiritually commune with Him. Every meal is a sharing spiritually. Jesus lives in us by His Spirit not by receiving a wafer and wine.

  • Kerrie Sherriff | Tuesday, 16 May 2017

    Hi Jane. I'm sitting in a waiting area in an airport in Tasmania praying for you.

  • David Forbes | Tuesday, 16 May 2017

    the preparation to this passage was mind blowing .. all that God has dome for us . if we focus on that then we should never turn our backs on Him. the thrust of this passage is on the lords supper. not looked at the translation but here Jesus is giving a lot of emphises on drinking his blood and eating his body...and the words are quite emphatic. he asserts also that by doing so we will inherit eternal life. I have to attend mass as part of my job accompanying a person unable to walk to mass themselves. mass seems different to my non conformist pattern of thinking of communion as a symbol. this passage in the translation used seems to give some credence to the actual literal sense of believing it is his body and blood. yet I know other scriptures lead us to see it as a symbol. therein is also an example of the literal and the symbolic. but reading the bible in its entirety having fisrt encountered the love and cl of God through the Holy Spirits prompting... I think we believe in God's words .. that the bible in its entirety is God breathed.. the bits we find hard to stomach and the nice bits. as we see and understand our God's mind and purpose through the unpalatable bits it helps us understand the God of love we experience in Christ. the bible is also not just to be picked through ... bits we ourselves seem symbolic others literal . even though revelations contains a lot of symbols I think it's conveying a picture of future actual events and ingeniously God doesmt want to spell it out like A B C. ots mystetous but this doesn't make it less God breathed and inspired. I believe the bible in its entirety it just that.

  • Barbara Sabin | Tuesday, 16 May 2017

    You are quite a free thinking Roman Catholic DAVID most of the Catholics I know and I know many don't read the Bible as they think it is the Priest who read's it. I was a practising Roman Catholic for 29 years and also the Organist and when I spoke to the priest about my concerns he was less than helpful and told me to work it out for myself. which I did I read what Martin Luther realised about the Scriptures and the faith and I left the RC church and became a Salvationist I have learned more in the last 25 years than I ever did whilst a Roman Catholic I studied God's Word and learned the Truth I am daily filled with the Holy Spirit . I am not guilt ridden I am free to Worship in Spirit and in Truth. John does not say in his Gospel that Jesus said to eat His body and blood, Johns tells of Jesus new commandment to love one another and to wash each other's feet i'e to serve one another. DAVID CHIPCHASE Here is a lovely Chorus for you at this difficult time He holds my hand Jesus holds my hand Safely to heaven He leads the way He is my keeper from day to day He holds my hand Jesus holds my hand The road may be long But my Saviour is strong And He holds my hand

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