The book of John is a wonderful testimony of Jesus being God manifest in the flesh, the one and only Saviour of mankind, and includes seven distinct “I am” statements from Jesus in which he confirms his divinity, with each statement pointing to a specific attribute of the great “I AM” who revealed himself to Moses in the burning bush (Exodus 3:14).
John 6:35 is the first of these seven “I AM” statements.
Related: The Divinity of Jesus Is Foolishness and a Stumblingblock to Them That Perish
The night after Jesus fed the five thousand with five barley loaves and two fishes, he walked across the sea of Galilee to Capernaum. The following morning, the multitude who had eaten of the loaves and fishes took boats to Capernaum in search of him. Immediately, Jesus rebukes the multitude for caring only about having eaten the bread and tells them to labour, instead, for the meat (food, bread) that gives them eternal life.
Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (John 6:27)
Jesus continues, telling the multitude that he is the bread of life, the living bread that came down from heaven. And that the bread he gives us is his flesh (John 6:51) and that whoever eats his flesh (John 6:57), this bread (John 6:58), shall have eternal life.
The key to understanding everything Jesus says about being the bread of life is in verse 63, in which he says:
It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
Thus, the way we eat the bread of life, Jesus’ flesh, is to abide in God’s word, because Jesus’ words are spirit and life, and he, himself, is the eternal Word (John 1:1) who was made flesh (John 1:14), the Word of life (1 John 1:1).
And when Jesus was tempted of Satan in the wilderness after his 40 days of fasting, he rebuked him three times with scripture, the first of which was pointing back to Deuteronomy 8:3:
And Jesus answered him, saying, It is written, That man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word of God. (Luke 4:4)
After Jesus had finished preaching about being the bread of life, many of his disciples stopped following him, but when he turned to the twelve to ask if they would also leave, Peter answered and said, “Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
Let us all abide in God’s Word and chew, daily, on the meat of the Word.
For when for the time ye ought to be teachers, ye have need that one teach you again which be the first principles of the oracles of God; and are become such as have need of milk, and not of strong meat. For every one that useth milk is unskilful in the word of righteousness: for he is a babe. But strong meat belongeth to them that are of full age, even those who by reason of use have their senses exercised to discern both good and evil. (Hebrews 5:14)
John 6 Audio
32 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33 For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34 Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
36 But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37 All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me.
39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day.
40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
47 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.
48 I am that bread of life.
49 Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.
50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.
51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
52 The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat?
53 Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you.
54 Whoso eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.
55 For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed.
56 He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him.
57 As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me.
58 This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever.
59 These things said he in the synagogue, as he taught in Capernaum.
60 Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying; who can hear it?
61 When Jesus knew in himself that his disciples murmured at it, he said unto them, Doth this offend you?
62 What and if ye shall see the Son of man ascend up where he was before?
63 It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life.
64 But there are some of you that believe not. For Jesus knew from the beginning who they were that believed not, and who should betray him.
65 And he said, Therefore said I unto you, that no man can come unto me, except it were given unto him of my Father.
66 From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.
67 Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?
68 Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.
69 And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.