John 6:52-63 Christ alone will fulfill our needs and desires in His time
52 Then the Jews began to argue with one another, saying, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” 53 So Jesus said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. 54 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. 55 For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. 56 He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. 57 As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. 58 This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever.”
59 These things He said in the synagogue as He taught in Capernaum.
60 Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” 61 But Jesus, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, “Does this cause you to stumble? 62 What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.”
Jesus, after feeding the 5000 people left them despite their repeated request to make Him king. Jesus was grieved because of their dilapidated spiritual condition. Obsessed with physical bread they were satisfied with mere physical existence. They refused to acknowledge Christ as Lord else He would have provided them with all things and even eternal life. In today’s devotion, Jesus invites us to channel all our needs and desires to Him believing that He will fulfill them in His way and time.
Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.
The people were obsessed with physical bread thinking that was the source of life. Money and bread have been man’s obsession ever since civilisation began. However, what man really needed is in fact eternal life as opposed to mere physical existence. Money may offer entertainment, but not joy. Money may offer a brief getaway at some opulent holiday resort, but not peace and freedom. Money may offer the best medical treatment but not health. Eternal life pertains to the inner life of peace, love, joy, kindness, and goodness,… things that really make life glorious and worth living. It is not hard to notice that the more society develops, the more it is beset with psychological and mental problems. Jesus was concern that like their forefathers who despite of being fed with the provisions of heaven died in the wilderness.
Therefore, Jesus urged the people to feed on the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood. What does eating His flesh and drinking His blood means? It is to be yoked with Jesus, in total dependence on Him as the source of eternal life. The 5000 people who were fed with bread saw Jesus as the provider of physical bread and sought Him out. That was precisely why Jesus rejected their request of being their king. He wanted to feed them with His flesh and His blood as opposed to physical bread; He wanted them to live the heavenly life as opposed to mere physical existence.
The result of feeding on His flesh and His blood (as opposed to physical bread) is eternal life and the certainty of being raised up on the last day. The latter refers to the state of being raised from corruptibility to immortality; the heavenly existence that knows no sorrow, sickness or poverty. By feeding on His flesh and His blood consistently, believers secure for themselves a resurrection body and live forever. The act of eating His flesh and drinking His blood requires a heart that is fully obedient to His will. It is not so much as projecting a religious facet than being fully yielded to His Lordship in all that they do.
It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.
It is no wonder that the disciples of Jesus themselves were unconvinced and could not assimilate His teachings: they heard this said, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” The disciples perceived Jesus as a teacher but not as the ultimate source of eternal life. They were willing to sit at His feet to learn about the way, but they would not accept Jesus’ words without filtering and doubting. In other words, to them, Jesus was not the divine authority whom they could submit to.
Jesus claimed that He is the Son of God and He would be raised in the Spirit and ascended to God’s righthand: What then if you see the Son of Man ascending to where He was before? It is through the Holy Spirit that Jesus would be raised in the resurrection life; the eternal life. Similarly, man will experience eternal life today through the Holy Spirit sent by the resurrected Christ. Physical bread and the devices of man (the flesh) can do nothing in this aspect. However, the channel through which the Spirit imbues eternal life is the Words of Christ: the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. Man can experience eternal life today by reading the Word and to feed as if our very lives depend on it. Just as physical bread sustains the physical life, the bread which came down out of heaven, the words of Christ makes life glorious and worth living.
You can channel all your needs and desires to Jesus.
Eternal life is a glorious existence where all our needs and desires are met by faith. Our need for relationship, for physical provisions, for security, for dignity and health etc, are fulfilled through Christ. Hence, we must never presuppose that some of my needs no matter how peculiar it may seem are excluded in Christ. Some people think that their needs are too trivial to warrant God’s attention and hence, they resort to their own devices. There was an old lady who prayed that she would one day see the sea as she has never in her life seen it. There was a cancer stricken boy who prayed to own a horse but it seemed impossible because he lived in the city. But God fulfilled their prayers in miraculous ways. The below are some of the needs and desires that God will definitely fulfill:
- To do well in school.
- To have good and faithful friends.
- To be provided for so that you can provide for others.
- To be married to someone suitable and build a family.
- To be productive and successful in your career.
- To be powerfully used by God to impact the world.
The apostle Paul said, “For as many as are the promises of God, in Him they are yes; therefore also through Him is our Amen to the glory of God through us.” 2 Corinthians 1:20. God’s promises gives us assurance that our requests may be fulfilled in His perfect time.
By putting our hope in Christ we are in the same token submitting our will to Him. Even as we rejoice, being assured of God’s faithfulness, we commit our way to God and trust Him continually. The psalmist said, “Delight yourself in the Lord; and He will give you the desires of your heart. Commit your way to the Lord, trust also in Him, and He will do it.” Psalm 37:4.
Therefore, while awaiting the actualisation of God’s promises, we see their fulfilment with eyes of faith and delight ourselves Him.
You can draw divine wisdom, peace and power from Jesus for all your endeavors.
Besides believing in Christ as the ultimate source of eternal life, we must commit ourselves to do what He says. Jesus said, “the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life.” The words of Jesus when received and assimilated into our heart brings forth life! Unless and until we yield ourselves to God in full submission, there can be no eternal life. Many churchgoers celebrate God’s willingness to answer prayers but stop short of believing in His words and obeying His instructions. They could not receive them because they were too used to doing things their own way. Therefore, while awaiting the fulfilment of our promises, we must continue to read the Word and assimilate His truth into our heart. The more we receive the Word, the more we are filled with the Spirit’s peace, love, joy, patience, faith, wisdom and power to possess our promises.
How do we eat His flesh and drink His blood? Imagine in your mind’s eye a cross surrounded by a circle. The cross represents the resurrected Christ whom is the source of all life and blessings. Now, direct all your needs and desires onto the cross and put your hopes in Christ. After presenting your petitions and requests to God, declare aloud: Jesus, I believe in You! Thereafter, draw from the cross His peace, joy, wisdom and confidence. Having consumed His flesh and His blood for the day, you are imbued with His virtues to possess your promises.
Dear Lord, I direct all my hopes and desires onto the cross in whom I find fulfillment. I draw from the cross Christ’s resurrection life of peace, joy, love, wisdom and power for all my endeavours. I commit my way to You to obey Your instructions. Cause me to possess the promises and be a blessing to the nations. In Jesus’ name I pray. Amen.