invigorated for eternity | John 6.47-51
Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.” John 6.47-51 | ESV
So once again let me make this doubly clear to you: the one who trusts, lives – full, long and lasting life. I am this Wonder Bread, I am Abba’s Bread, I am the Bread of Life! Yes, your ancestors ate that manna in the desert – and then they all promptly died; rather a short-lived aftertaste, wouldn’t you say? Oh, but now this is the Bread really coming down from heaven, bread for anyone, so that everyone who eats it may be invigorated for eternity with an aftertaste that just won’t quit. I’ll spell it out again: I am the living Bread, come right out of heaven, and anyone who eats it lives – full, long and lasting life. You want to see this bread I’m offering? It’s my very flesh, which I am giving so the entire world may be invigorated with life.” MAV (Mike’s Amplified Version)
“This is the Bread really coming down from heaven, bread for anyone, so that everyone who eats it may be invigorated for eternity with an aftertaste that just won’t quit.”
Invigorated for eternity.
I see the picture of Jonathan in 1 Samuel 14 during a long, exhausting pursuit of defeated Philistines.
Saul had made a rash vow that no one would taste so much as a morsel of food until “he was avenged upon his enemies.” So his army began to drag as the day wore on. Unaware of the vow, Jonathan comes upon some wild honey in the forest, dips his staff into it, eats, and then his eyes glow as he is invigorated with new life, new energy, new zeal.
This is the effect I see Jesus envisioning here.
Religion can only offer manna that melts in the heat; manna we have to scramble to collect day after day, then work into flour, bake into bread, eat, then repeat.
And then we die.
Jesus offers more.
He offers living bread that lights up the eyes, brimming with divine life and light, empowering us for the pursuit of life.
Too many weekday devotions and Sunday sermons are still far too manna-ish. We seem to be grinding up the same pale fare again and again.
Regurgitation ad nauseum.
Regurgitation ad nauseum.
And the Savior with the strange glow of life in his eyes offers more, holding forth the ultimate Wonder Bread – which just happens to be his flesh.
And if he hadn’t lost his audience yet, he surely will now.
But that’s next week as we wrap this up in the synagogue at Capernaum. The question for now is,
Are we settling for endless manna regurgitations,
or are we ready for more?
How often does your spiritual life seems like an endless “manna regurgitation”? How often do you feel invigorated for eternity? What makes the difference?
Abba God, with Jonathan, I am exhausted and weary from the pursuit of life. Show me where the wild honey is so I can dip the tip of my staff into it. Revive me. Again. Through Jesus.