John 6:22-71

Today’s reading is John 6:22-7.
Open your journal or Bible and mark two things:
 
+ Note/record all mentions of the word ‘believe’.
+ Note/record all mentions of the word ‘bread’.
After seeing Jesus feed the 5,000, the crowd was ready to make him their king. They challenged Jesus to be their forever ‘bread-winner’, to provide yet another miracle, another sign. It’s then that Jesus reveals the followers’ true problem, and addresses the meaning of ‘the bread of life’. Although his listeners knew that physical bread sustains life, they failed to grasp that real life is much more than a mere physical existence. In this passage Jesus reveals to his listeners that he is the essence of life, and therefore, he can be described as the bread of life.
 
The crowd then presses Jesus to know what they must do to have the works of God. Jesus uses the word ‘believe’ as the only prerequisite for knowing God. Interestingly, the book of John includes the word believe 257 times! God’s ultimate plan was for Jesus’ life and death to end the Old Testament’s requirements of much ‘doing’; sacrifices, washing, keeping Holy Days, and ceremonies. Now God had provided Jesus and with only one condition: to believe.
 
Have you noticed that this time of year there are signs, hoodies, cards and ads everywhere encouraging us to ‘BELIEVE’? Perhaps they are urging us to believe in the ‘magic of Christmas’ or simply in Santa or even world peace. However, in our text the word ‘believe’ is none of those. The Greek word in our text, indicates two things. The first is to be convinced that Jesus is true, that he is who he says he is, and also of what he can do. And secondly, belief requires that we choose to place our confidence in him, to depend on him daily, and also for our eternal security. Belief allows us to share life with God both now and forever.
 
Just for today-

+ Thank Jesus that he is your bread of life.
 
+ Whenever you notice the word ‘believe’ during this Christmas season, remember the two facets of belief: being convinced that Jesus is true and choosing to depend on him.
Linda Miller | Ministry Development 

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