Even though Jesus is the bread of life, how do we continue doubting God? In being a follower of Jesus Christ, what is our belief? In whom do we put our trust and faith? How do we treat others who do not believe?
41 Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” 42 They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, ‘I have come down out of heaven’?” 43 Jesus answered and said to them, “Do not grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. 45 It is written in the prophets, ‘AND THEY SHALL ALL BE TAUGHT OF GOD.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. 46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. 47 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.”
I love it when God shows off to me. If you tuned in to my last post, I talked about exactly this, Jesus being the living manna provided by God from heaven. I can imagine the confusion and doubting that is reflected in verse 42. Do we not still do this today? Even those of us who claim to be Christians and Christ followers struggle with this doubt throughout their relationship with Him. “Really? Am I really saved? Has He really done this for me?” Jesus’ answer: yes.
Let’s take special note to verse 44. The Father must draw him who comes to Christ and believes in Him. What does this mean? It’s not about us! This in its purest and most truthful form is a hard pill to swallow. We want to be in control of something, especially something as big as our own salvation or the salvation of others. Jesus tells us right here though, it is up to God to call others to believe. Furthermore, we are reminded of our job as believers in verse 45.
This comes from the teachings in Isaiah 54:11-17 and Jeremiah 31:31-34, parts of the Old Testament where God promised to turn Israel’s sadness into joy and that there would be an intercession where men no longer had to rely on other men for guidance and direction. Jesus here is outlying that this very intercession is coming to fruition in the presence of Himself on earth and that it will happen as a result of His own sacrifice.
He is relating to the people on a level that they can understand. Since food and water give life, as we see it in human eyes, He is explaining that food and water itself, while it sustains life does not prevent you from death, the food and water He offers is beyond this world. It is an eternal gift that keeps on giving. What then do we do with this? How do we account for those who are not called by God? How do we accept that? What if you yourself do not feel called by God?
The fact of the matter is that we are ALL called by God to have a relationship with Him, yet some of us refuse to answer that call and therefore suffer the consequences. Yet as believers and followers of Christ, we must remember that it is not up to us to convince someone to believe or even to call them to believe. Rather it is our trust in God and our love towards others which may help them realize that believing in God isn’t so bad afterall.
Who are you trying to get to believe? How are you ignoring God’s call in your life?