The Bread of Life

Claudia Elzinga

READ : John 5-6

John records one miracle after another, all meant to testify to the fact that Jesus is so great that we should believe in him. There is the miracle of the healing of the official’s son (4:46-54), the healing of a man who could not walk for 38 years (5:1-9), the feeding of the five thousand with a few loaves and fishes (6:1-14) and walking on water (vv. 19-21).

But instead of believing in Jesus because of the miracles, most people are only interested in getting more miraculously produced food to fill their stomachs. So Jesus proclaims to them that he is the true bread from heaven and that believing in him will give them eternal life. In proclaiming himself the bread of life, he tells them that they must eat his flesh and drink his blood in order to have eternal life. He is using metaphorical language, which reminds us that believing is in fact taking Christ into our hearts.

This kind of talk was too much for them, and they discontinued following him. Only the Twelve remained. When Jesus asks if they will also leave, Peter testified, “We have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God” (6:69). But even among the Twelve, one would betray him.

Believing is not just accepting facts about Jesus; it is a commitment of loyalty which makes fellowship with him real.


Father, give us the grace to cling to Jesus no matter what other people may do. In his name. Amen.