Bible Book: John / Johannes
Chapter: 6
Verse: 35
Verse (to): 51

John 6:35, 41-51

To serve Christ gives joy, it makes our lives meaningful and makes us witnesses of hope. Yet, as people who minister the love of Christ, we are familiar with disappointment and opposition. Sometimes we are disillusioned, convinced that all our efforts come to nought. We are confronted with stigma and a lack of understanding. This leads to frustration, and frustration to a powerless-driven anger.
We can typify John 6 as a chapter of misunderstanding and of giving offence. But it is part of the ambiguity of the gospel that John 6 is also a chapter of hope. Jesus says: “I am the bread that came down from heaven” (v 41). For the Jews of his time this unacceptable identification with God was blasphemy. It was an insult. Jesus said that his body, his flesh, is the life-giving bread (v 51) that we must eat. It was plain vulgar to suggest something like that. For them it was another insult to their faith. This misunderstanding of Jesus’ words and ministry leads to responses of rejection, of repudiation and eventually crucifixion.
The multiplication of the bread (v 1-15) left the disciples in awe. In wonder they looked for a deeper relationship with this man (v 26-35). They wanted to believe. They heard a life-giving message in the words of Jesus. For them the words of Jesus was not an insult, but an invitation to acceptance (not isolation), of service (not rejection) of life, and not death.
The words of Jesus, “I am the bread of life” are not merely an invitation to faith. It is an invitation to people who are familiar with the ambiguity of the Kingdom life, to trust Him. It is an invitation to see ourselves, our ministry and our struggle in a new light. Amidst misunderstandings and insults our struggle becomes an opportunity to hear His invitation. Our fellowship with the Christ is forged by God himself because He chose to live in us in such a way.  In Christ, who Himself was misunderstood and rejected, our frustration and disappointments are redeemed
To think about or discuss:  How can you assist or support people or organisations that serve in the field of HIV?
Author: J Pieters (Ds)
Language: English