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Study Resources :: Text Commentaries :: F.E. Marsh :: Readings 51-100 (Cleaving - Conviction)

F.E. Marsh :: 80. Christ, the Bread of Life

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JOHN 6:27-35

AMONG the many “I Am’s" of the Gospel of John, is the one that speaks of Christ as the Bread of Life. There are seven things that relate to Christ as the Bread of Life.

  1. Christ is the Sealed Bread, as attesting His genuineness (John 6:27). In the East, bakers who were found selling bread that was not of good quality, were severely punished. In Turkey, not very long since, cheating bakers were nailed up by the ear; and in Persia they have been roasted in their own ovens. The Oriental bakers are in the habit of stamping their name upon their bread, or, as they would say, “sealing it,” as a measure of precaution, lest they should be made to suffer for the sins of their neighbours, and also as attesting its good quality. “The Talmudic word for baker is nakhtom, or nakhtoma, which has been connected with khatham, to seal.” Christ was sealed by His Father, at His baptism, with the Holy Spirit, and His works afterwards by the Holy Spirit’s power told out in unmistakable language that He was the Sealed of God (Acts 10:38).
  2. Christ is the Sent Bread, as to the authority of His coming (John 6:32-33). If there was one thing more than another that Christ affirmed again and again, it was, that He was sent from God to do a specific work. As proof of this, look through the Gospel of John, and mark the word “sent,” which occurs over forty times.
  3. Christ is the “True Bread,” in contrast to everything that is false and fleeting (John 6:32). He is the “True Light” (John 1:9), in contrast to the false lights of earth; He is the “True Vine” (John 15:1), in contrast to Israel, who proved to be a false vine; and He is the “True Bread,” because He is unlike the manna that fell in the wilderness, which only satisfied for a time, whilst He saves and satisfies for ever. Man-invented theories and pursuits are all false and misleading. Pleasure with its fascination, money with its glitter, honour with its applause, worldliness with its charm, lust with its seeming satisfaction, pride with its ambition, and self with its assertiveness, are all disappointing, delusive, and destructive. Christ alone is the “True Bethlehem” (House of Bread) where salvation and satisfaction are found (Ruth 1:19).
  4. Christ is the Living Bread as to His enduringness (John 6:35). Those who live upon Him partake of His life; and those who do not are spiritually dead. “There is a pathetic story which comes to us from the earlier explorers of Australia. There grows there a strange plant called the nardoo, bearing leaves like clover. The Britishers, Burke and Wills, who were making these explorations, in the failure of other food, followed the example of the natives, and began to eat the leaves and roots of the nardoo. It seemed to satisfy them; it seemed to fill them with a pleasant sense of comfort and repletion. But they grew weaker every day, and more emaciated; they were not hungry, for the plant seemed to satisfy. But all the effects of an unfulfilled hunger began to appear in them; their flesh wasted from their bones, their strength failed till they scarcely had the energy of an infant; they could not crawl on in their journey more than a mile or two a day. At last one of them perished of starvation; the other was rescued when in the last extremity. On analysis, it was discovered that the bread made of this plant lacked an element essential to the sustenance of a European. And so, even though they seemed fed, the explorers wasted away, and one of them died, because they were feeding on a sustenance inappropriate.” In like manner, those who feed on anything else than Christ will find that they have been deceived, and will enter into that state described as the “second death.”
  5. Christ must be the Sought Bread (John 6:27). Christ rebukes the people who were following Him for the sake of the food they obtained, and urges them to labour for that food which is imperishable. Those who seek, have the promise that they shall surely find, but those who are listless and careless have no promise.
  6. Christ must be the Received Bread (John 6:29). To receive Christ is to believe in Him (John 1:12), even as the disciples received Him into the boat, and thus showed their confidence in Him, by placing themselves absolutely in His hands (John 6:21).
  7. Christ is the Satisfying Bread (John 6:35). Fuller has well said, “The old Grecians that had fed altogether on acorns before, after bread came in amongst them they made no reckoning of their mast any more, but kept it only for swine. And leathern and iron money began to grow out of request amongst the Lacedemonians after gold and silver came into use. So, when a man hath once found the favour of God in his heart, and the love of God in Christ hath once lighted on it, and got assurance of it, he ceaseth then to be greedy of the world’s trash, which is, in regard of it but dross or pebble stones to gold and diamonds, as mast to the best bread corn; yea, rather of far less worth or value to that, than either of these is to it.”

The Blue Letter Bible ministry and the BLB Institute hold to the historical, conservative Christian faith, which includes a firm belief in the inerrancy of Scripture. Since the text and audio content provided by BLB represent a range of evangelical traditions, all of the ideas and principles conveyed in the resource materials are not necessarily affirmed, in total, by this ministry.


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