Average reading time is about 5 minutesAn Amazing Fact: In medieval times, bakers who sold bread that was lighter than they claimed could be severely punished. In England, on a first offense, the baker would be paraded through the dirtiest streets from the town hall to his home with the loaf tied around his neck. A second offense would earn him an hour in the pillory. A third offense meant he would be unable to sell bread in that town again. But it was worse still in Turkey and Egypt—where the baker’s ear would be nailed to the doorpost of his shop.
The feeding of the 5,000 inspired the people around Jesus—they hoped He could feed them just like their forefathers had been fed with manna. But Jesus wanted them to know that eternal life is more important than physical life: “Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and are dead. … I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:49–51).
Jesus did not want this symbol of Himself to be misunderstood, so He gave them the interpretation of His actions as well: “Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. … He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in Him” (John 6:47, 48, 56). “Eating” Christ’s flesh really meant to abide in Him—to believe in Him as their Savior from sin.
In spite of the plainness of His message, many of His disciples complained that “this [was] a hard saying; who can understand it?” (John 6:60). Many of Jesus’ followers were not ready to accept this kind of Messiah. They would rather have kept their sins and got rid of the Romans. What kind of Savior do we want today?
KEY BIBLE TEXTS
And this is his commandment, That we should believe on the name of his Son Jesus Christ, and love one another, as he gave us commandment. 1 John 3:23And he that keepeth his commandments dwelleth in him, and he in him. And hereby we know that he abideth in us, by the Spirit which he hath given us. 1 John 3:24