Sermon 3192. The Soul's Food and Drink
A SERMON PUBLISHED ON THURSDAY, APRIL 7, 1910.
DELIVERED BY C. H. SPURGEON,
AT THE METROPOLITAN TABERNACLE, NEWINGTON, ON LORD'S-DAY EVENING, OCTOBER 5, 1873.
"For My flesh is food, indeed, and My blood is drink, indeed." John 6:55.
IT was our Lord Jesus Christ who uttered these words and some of those who heard Him misunderstood His meaning, for they asked,"How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?" This is not altogether surprising, for there are still millions of persons uponthe earth who will persist in understanding literally what our Lord intended to be understood spiritually. To us who knowthe meaning of Christ's words, it seems monstrous that anyone could have supposed that Jesus meant men to eat His real, literalflesh and to drink His actual blood! I must confess that, to me, it seems an instance both of the utter depravity of humannature and of the absolute insanity to which sin has driven mankind-that there are still so many persons existing in whatwe call this enlightened age who actually believe that we can eat the flesh of Christ and drink His blood! This is a cannibalnotion which only needs to be mentioned to be denounced. Instead of having anything sacred about it, such teaching is utterlydetestable-it is inconceivably idiotic and blasphemous! Idiocy and blasphemy seem to be blended together in it in about equalproportions. It is strange that such blessed words from such blessed lips should have been so shamefully misunderstood andmisrepresented.
Beloved Friends, as many of you as have been taught of God, know the spiritual meaning of these words. You know that the Doctrineof the Incarnation of Christ is food to your soul and you know that the great Truth of the substitutionary Sacrifice of Christwhich is expressed by His blood, is the most nourishing cordial to your heart. You know that, in this sense, Christ's wordsare full of deep spiritual teaching-"My flesh is food, indeed, and My blood is drink, indeed." That word, "indeed," seemsto contrast this spiritual nourishment with all ordinary food and drink. The best of literal food only feeds the body fora time, for that body ultimately decays. It is not in the power of food to repair the waste that is continually going on,that the physical system shall forever abide firm and strong. This food is food, but it is not "food, indeed." There are alsovarious kinds of drink that refresh and invigorate the body-and by means of these we are enabled to continue from day to day-butwhere is the water, where is the crystal fountain that can give immortality? Where is the juice expressed from any fruit thatgrows beneath the sky that can rid the body of all disease and pain and cause it to live on without end You all know, then,among all the many kinds of literal food and drink, there is not any food that is worthy to be called food, indeed, nor anydrink that is worthy to be called drink, indeed.
That word, "indeed," also implies the contrast between this spiritual nourishment and all mere mental food and drink. Oursoul needs food-and the proper food for it is truth, wisdom, knowledge. Solomon said, "That the soul is without knowledge,it is not good." No disciple of Christ who has the spirit of his Master, is opposed to the spread of wisdom. The "childrenof light" wish to have every kind of light disseminated as widely as possible. "Everyone that does evil hates the light,"but he that does good loves the light and says, "The more light there is, the better." But there is no mental food save thatof which I am about to speak which is food, indeed, and drink, indeed! Paul truly says, "Knowledge puffs up," and so it doesif it is not kept under proper control. When a man has fed on the most profound knowledge, the spirit produced by such foodhas often been a proud and arrogant one which has led him to rebel against the Infinite Wisdom of God, and set up his ownopinion in opposition to the Truths of God revealed in the Scriptures. What earthly knowledge is there that can afford suitablefood to our entire manhood? Suppose I could compass the whole range of science-if I could thread the spheres as on a string,if I could bore the rocks and read the whole of their ancient history, if there were no secret of science left unrevealedto me-yet, if I had an aching heart, all my knowledge would
not satisfy my soul or give me rest. In fact, the very acquisition of knowledge has often led to an increase of care. Solomonsaid, "Much study is a weariness of the flesh," and many have found it to be so. It certainly is not food, indeed, or drink,indeed. Poets have drunk at the Castilian Fountain and their verses have astonished whole nations, yet they have gone to theirgraves unsatisfied and despairing. Mathematicians, with wondrous minds, have mapped out the heavens, studied the stars, laiddown the laws that govern the planets and traced the pathways of comets for thousands of years, yet their verdict has beenthe same as Solomon's, "Vanity of vanities; all is vanity."
But I have to speak to you concerning knowledge which is satisfying, concerning truth which does content the spirit and, indoing so, I must draw a clear, hard and fast line. No one knows the flavor or effect of food and drink who has not tastedthem. It is no use for me to speak to anyone about food which he has never seen, or handled, or tasted. If he is to appreciatemy testimony concerning it, he must have partaken of it. Or if my testimony is concerning a certain drink, he must at leasthave sipped of it. Otherwise, let me speak as earnestly as I may, he will be unable to comprehend what I am saying. Now, myLord Jesus is food, indeed, but the soulmust feed upon Him if it is to know how He nourishes it! He is drink, indeed, butunless this drink enters into the soul, it will be a stranger to the spiritual power which Jesus always imparts when He isreceived into the heart by faith! If you have really received Christ Jesus the Lord. If He is "in you the hope of glory,"then He is the food of your soul and you can, from your own experience, confirm His declaration, "My flesh is food, indeed,and my blood is drink, indeed."
I. While I am speaking, let us, each one, try to feed spiritually upon the two great Doctrines to which the words, "flesh,"and "blood," may be taken to refer, namely, the Incarnation of the Son of God and His death as His people's Substitute. Andfirst, let me say that THESE DOCTRINES ARE MOST COMFORTING FOOD TO THE SOUL.
Where will you find any other Doctrines so comforting as these? I, a sinner, have broken God's righteous Law and so offendedHim that I am driven from His Presence and am shut off from all true joy and peace. But, in order to redeem man, Jesus Christ,the Son of God, Himself, became Man. "The Word was made flesh." Why it makes the joy-bells ring in my heart as I tell youagain the old familiar story! The angels, when they were sent to tell men that unto them was born a Savior, proclaimed withjoyous sounds the glad message that God had come down to earth. What joyful news it is for you, O men and women, that Godhas taken humanity into union with the Deity, that the Infinite became an Infant, that He who made the heavens and the earthwas wrapped in swaddling clothes just as you and your own babes have been! Surely, now that God has thus become one with us,there must be peace on earth and good will toward men! He cannot be unwilling to bless those who have that human nature whichHe has, Himself, assumed! Even as I talk of this great Truth of God, I feel in my heart a joy that comforts me-and so Christ'sflesh is food, indeed, to my soul! And when I think that, in that flesh, Jesus lived here on earth for over 30 years and knewall the weakness, temptation and suffering to which that flesh is liable-when I think how He proved Himself to be bone ofour bone, and flesh of our flesh-then I understand how He sympathizes with the weak, tempted and suffering sons of men! Andthis makes the sad heart glad and so, again, Christ's flesh is food, indeed! Then, Beloved, when you think that He at whosebelt hang the keys of Hell and of Death, once toiled and suffered and, at last died, just as you have to toil and suffer anddie-and when you remember that from the heights of Glory, Jesus looks down both as the Son of God and the Son of Mary, doesnot this feed you with true soul-comforting food?
Remember, also, that whatever Jesus did as Man, He did as the great Representative Man, who has all the while been actingon behalf of His people. Adam was a representative man, but I get no food for my soul from him. He took my bread away, hetook my life away, for "in Adam all died." But when Christ came here as the Representative of His people, what did He do?He kept the Law of God perfectly and His obedience was reckoned as the obedience of all who were in Him! As Adam's sin wasimputed to all who were in him as their federal head, so Christ's obedience was imputed to all who were in Him as their federalHead. The condemnation of our Surety and Substitute was our condemnation, too. And when He was taken away and put to death,we were crucified in Him. And when He was laid in the grave, we were buried with Him and, blessed be God, when He rose fromthe dead, we rose with Him and we were justified by His Resurrection! He could never have come out of the prison of the graveif He had not paid all His people's debts. And when He was set free, they were set free! His Resurrection was the guaranteeof their resurrection. Is there not most comforting food for your soul in this great Truth? Is not Christ's flesh food, indeed,when you look at it as the representative body of your Substitute and Surety?
Best of all, Christ, has gone back to Glory as the Representative of His people. He did not take His soul, alone, when Heascended to His Father, leaving His body in the tomb, but that very flesh which was pierced by the nails, that very fleshthrough which the soldier's spear went to His heart, He carried right up to the Throne of God and, in so doing, He carriedus who are in Him up there and made us sit together in the heavenly places in Him! What joy it gives us to remember that-
"There sits in our flesh, Upon a Throne of light One of a human mother born In perfect Godhead bright!"
II. Changing the direction of our thought, yet still keeping to the same main track, let us turn to the second clause of
the text. "My blood is drink, indeed." That is to say, CHRIST'S REDEEMING SACRIFICE IS MOST SOUL-
SATISFYING. It is not merely soul-comforting, but soul-satisfying!
We have stated the case hundreds of times in this place, but must state it yet again. Man had sinned and God was willing toforgive. But the inflexible law of the universe is that sin must entail punishment-and it is so good and righteous a law thatto alter it would be ruinous! Therefore punishment for sin there must be-but Jesus endured the punishment due to all His people!In order that He might be able to do so, He took upon Him our flesh, and that flesh was made to bleed even unto death in theaccomplishment of that purpose. We believe in the real, literal substitution of Christ in the place of all whom He had covenantedto save, and as many as believe in Him may know assuredly that their sins were transferred from them and laid upon Him! Then,when their sins were laid upon Christ-
"Jehovah bade His sword awake"- against the Sin-Bearer and He smote Christ instead of His people-and His flowing blood bringspeace and pardon to them as He dies, the Just for the unjust, that He might bring them to God! I cannot help saying that thisDoctrine fills my soul with an indescribable contentment! I am satisfied to the fullest when this Truth enters my heart andso, Christ's blood is drink, indeed, to me!
For see, Beloved, God's justice is satisfied. How could it be otherwise when God, Himself, makes the Atonement? When JesusChrist, the Son of God, made Himself liable for His people's guilt, what a complete vindication of the justice of God wasthere! More than that, the great Covenant of Grace was ratified by the blood of Christ's atoning Sacrifice. No testament isvalid as long as the testator lives, but Jesus has died and, therefore, every legacy of His love is made sure to all thoseto whom He has willed it. The Covenant made with Adam fell through because Adam could not keep it. But the Covenant made withthe Second Adam, the Lord from Heaven, stands fast as the everlasting hills, for Christ has kept it in every particular, offeringto God complete obedience, both active and passive, in His life of holiness and in His death of agony! O then, my Soul, Godis satisfied, your sin is pardoned, Covenant blessings are secured to you-so is not Christ's blood drink, indeed, to you?As we think that the Son of God became the Son of Mary in order that He might die for us, that He might take our place, anddie in our place, what can we need more to chase away our fears, to fulfill our hopes and to confirm our faith? If any ofyou need more than that, it is not possible for us to present it to you, or even to imagine it! What the Son of God said wasfinished has been finished and, therein our souls may rest, and rest forever!
III. But, beloved Friends, we not only need spiritual food to comfort and to satisfy our souls, we also need SPIRITUAL FOODTO STRENGTHEN OUR SOULS. And here, again, Christ's flesh is food, indeed, and His blood is drink, indeed!
How strong are they who live upon the Truth of an Incarnate God, and of that Incarnate God dying in the place of His people!What strength it gives to faith! I have seen weak faith and I have seen strong faith, but I have generally found weak faithassociated with dependence upon feelings, but I have never known strong faith existing anywhere except in connection withEmmanuel, God With Us, living and dying in our place! I have seen poor humble men and women who knew little more than thatthey were lost through sin and that Christ had come to save them, yet they have lived and died strong in faith, giving gloryto God-for their faith had been nourished upon this food, indeed, and drink, indeed, of the Incarnation and substitutionarySacrifice of Jesus Christ, the Son of God and the Son of Mary!
And fervent love is produced by the same spiritual food and drink. If Christ is to you merely some historic person who onceappeared upon the earth and is now gone forever, your love for Him will be very faint if it exists at all! But if
He is your own personal Savior, your ever-present Friend, your living Brother, bone of your bone and flesh of your flesh,your Surety and Substitute who bore your sins in His own body on the tree, then your love goes out to Him in a vehement flame!I do not wander that Mary Magdalene was among the holy women who were last at the Cross and first at the tomb, for Christhad done so much for her that she loved Him much. And in proportion as yourealize what His Incarnation and His death havedone for you, your love will feed upon that food, indeed, and drink, indeed, until it shall become stronger even than deathitself!
This spiritual food and drink will also make us strong for service. There was a man-you will all recognize his portrait bythe bare outline-who was at first a great enemy of Christ, but who, after his conversion, lived upon the food of which I havebeen speaking. And you know what an untiring servant of Christ he became. He went from city to city preaching the Word. Hewas stoned and left for dead, but he rose to his feet and went on preaching! His very dreams were full of service for hisMaster, for in a night vision, there stood by him a man of Macedonia who said to him, "Come over into Macedonia and help us."And immediately he obeyed the Spirit's call. The Lord blessed the Word, but His servant was arrested, beaten and thrust intoprison-yet he and his companion made the prison cell ring with their joyful songs of praise unto their God! This man preachedthe Word throughout a great part of the then known world. We read of him at Damascus, Jerusalem, Ephesus, Athens, Corinth,Rome and it is probable that he even came as far as these islands of the West. And wherever he went, he preached Jesus Christand Him crucified-and all the while he was sustained by the food, indeed, and drink, indeed, of the Incarnation and the atoningSacrifice of the Son of God! If I had the time, I might tell you of other great workers for the Lord Jesus Christ whose liveswere crowded with holy service-all of whom derived their strength from this same food, indeed, and drink, indeed, of whichI have been speaking.
But, Beloved, if you need further proof that the flesh of Christ is food, indeed, and His blood is drink, indeed, let me remindyou of the many who have been made strong for suffering through this spiritual nourishment. You are all more or less familiarwith the amazing story of the persecution of the early Christians and of their heroic endurance even unto death. What wasit that sustained them but this food, indeed, and drink, indeed? Then, all along the ages, and in almost all lands, therehave been brave men and women, and even boys and girls, who counted not their lives dear unto them, but gladly gave them uprather than deny their Lord and Savior. Foxe's Book of Martyrs has preserved the record of many notable instances that I neednot now repeat, but you will do well to keep the stories in mind, and to teach them to your children, that they, also, maylearn what suffering can be endured by those who have had such food for their souls as our text describes! No doubt therewere many brave utterances like that historic saying of Latimer, "Be of good comfort, Master Ridley, and play the man! Weshall this day light such a candle, by God's Grace, in England, as I trust shall never be put out." Surely these men had foodto eat of which the poor puny professors of these days seem not to have tasted! They were made strong for suffering throughpartaking of this food, indeed, and drink, indeed, whereof if a man eats and drinks abundantly, he shall be fitted to performsuch exploits as were worked by the heroes of faith of whom Paul wrote in his Epistle to the Hebrews.
O Sirs, if you want to be strong to live, or work, or suffer for Jesus, you must feed upon Jesus! It is only in the strengthof this food and this drink that one can, in these days, live an honest and upright life. It is only in the force derivedfrom this food and this drink that anyone can bear a bold and faithful testimony for Jesus. And, mark you, it is only by feedingupon such food and such drink as this that one will be able to face death with a brave countenance and look forward to theunseen world with eyes undimmed! Yes, I have seen weak women with the hectic flush of consumption on their cheeks, and withthe unnatural brightness which that disease imparts to the eyes-and I have heard them talk of dying as calmly as if they werespeaking of going out for a day's excursion! I have even heard them singing as though their death day had been their weddingday, so glad were they at the prospect of soon being where the day breaks and the shadows flee away forever! Joan of Arc wasnever such a heroine as these women have been, for they have vanquished even death, itself, and waved the banner of the Crossall through the Valley of Death-Shade. It was this food, indeed, and this drink, indeed, that helped them thus to die-no,that prevented them from dying-for to them death was but a translation from a world of mortals to a world of immortal spiritsaround the Throne of God on high!
IV. I want now to say something that cannot often be said in a great promiscuous congregation, lest it should be misunderstood.But it is a fact that certain kinds of food and drink produce EXHILARATION in those who partake of them, so that men becomejoyous and excited after they have been sitting long at a festival. There is often much evil in the
excitement which results from these earthly feasts, but there is one kind of food and drink which gives an exhilaration whichis not only harmless, but is truly blessed! And that is the food, indeed, and drink, indeed, of which I have been speakingto you. Have you experienced that exhilaration, my Brother? Do you know what this holy excitement is, my Sister? Have you,beloved Friends, ever thought of Christ dying on the Cross for you until you felt that you must sing for very joy of heart?Have you ever realized that your sins were washed right away in the Red Sea of your Savior's blood and that there was noteven one of them left to oppress you? Then you must have felt that Dr. Watt was not in the least exaggerating when he wrotethose lines that we have often sung-
"Yes, we will praise You, dearest Lord,
Our souls are all on flame!
Hosanna round the spacious earth,
To Your adored name.
Angels, assist our mighty joys,
Strike all your harps of gold!
But when you raise your highest notes,
His love can ne'er be told."
Yes, I am quite sure that you have felt so glad that you have wanted all the angels to assist your mighty joys! When you haverealized all that Christ's Incarnation and death have meant for you. When you have in a measure comprehended the transcendentGrace that made Him stoop so low as to become near of kin to you, your heart must surely have danced at the sound of His name!I feel persuaded that there must have been times in this Tabernacle when you were so joyful that you could hardly remain inyour seats. When you have almost wished that, like David, you might see the Ark of the Lord come along and that you mightdance before the Lord even as David did! You know that there is no other joy that is even for a moment worthy to be comparedwith the joy which comes to us through Jesus Christ! And the man who has once had a sip from that well wants to lie down besideit and drink it dry! He knows he can never do that, but he wishes that his soul could be so enlarged that he could take inall the love of his Incarnate God-the wondrous heights, and depths, and lengths, and breadths of that love which must foreversurpass our knowledge! O you who want to find the highest joy that can be found on earth, here it is! Jesus' wounds are theFountains where heavenly bliss is distilled! In Emmanuel, God With Us, born at Bethlehem and dying on Calvary-in His Incarnationand His atoning Sacrifice-you will find that food, indeed, and drink, indeed, which shall give the loftiest spiritual exhilarationto all who feed upon them!
V. Now I close my discourse by reminding you that WHOEVER EATS THIS SPIRITUAL FOOD SHALL LIVE
Just before our Lord uttered the words of our text, He had said to the Jews, "Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness,and are dead. This is the bread which comes down from Heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. I am the living breadwhich came down from Heaven: if any man eats of this bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My fleshwhich I will give for the life of the world." If you had lived with the children of Israel in the wilderness-and you had eatenmanna as they did-you would have died as they did. If you come to the Communion Table, and merely eat bread, "not discerningthe Lord's body," you will die. Or if you go to a so-called "priest" and he gives you a "consecrated" wafer, and you eat it,you will die. But whoever spiritually feeds upon Jesus-whoever feeds his soul upon the great central Truth that God in humanflesh was made the Substitute for all who believe in Him-he shall never die! His body may pass through the change that wecall, death, but his spirit shall live forever and, in due time, his body and soul shall be reunited and his complete manhoodshall be "forever with the Lord."
O Sinners, unless you feed upon Christ, there is nothing but eternal death before you! But if you receive Him into your souleven as you receive food into your body, you shall never die and the bliss of Heaven shall be your everlasting portion! Ihave preached to you in very simple language, but there is in my theme a mystery that excels all the wisdom of the sages.Let me try to put it before you once more before I close. It is a fact that the Word, who was God, and who made Heaven andearth, and without whom was not anything made that was made-it is a fact that this Word was made flesh and dwelt among men!In other words, Jesus Christ, the Son of God, did come into this world, was here born of a virgin, here lived and laboredas a Man, and here died for those who believe in Him, "for God so loved the world that He gave His only-begotten Son thatwhoever believes in Him should not perish, but have everlasting life...he that believes on
Him is not condemned: but he that believes not is condemned already, because he has not believed in the name of the only-begottenSon of God." After Jesus had died in the place of all who believe in Him, and after He had risen from the grave as the suresign that His redeeming work had been accomplished, and that His people were forever free, He returned to His Father's righthand in Glory. And there He sits as the Representative of all His chosen until the appointed time for Him to come again tothis earth, "to be glorified in His saints, and to be admired in all them that believe." "Be it known unto you, therefore,brethren, that through this Man is preached unto you the forgiveness of sins: and by Him all that believe are justified fromall things from which you could not be justified by the Law of Moses."
There is the Gospel as Paul preached it! May the Spirit of God enable you to receive it by faith in Jesus Christ, the Sonof God, and the Son of Mary-and so you will find that His flesh will become to you food, indeed, and His blood drink, indeed.God grant it, for Jesus Christ's sake! Amen.
EXPOSITION BY C. H. SPURGEON: JOHN6:22-59.
Verses 22-24. The day following, when the people who stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there,except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus went not with His disciples into the boat, but that the discipleswere gone away alone-however other boats from Tiberias came near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks-whenthe people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither the disciples,
they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. [See Sermon #947, Volume 16-SEEKING FOR JESUS.] Everythinglooked very favorable, did it not? These people put themselves to considerable trouble in order to get where the Savior was-theywere not satisfied to be away from Him-they were "seeking for Jesus."
25, 26. And when they had found Him on the other side of the sea, they said unto Him, Rabbi, when did You come here? Jesusanswered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, You seek Me not because you saw the miracles but because you ate ofthe loaves, and were fille . He did not gratify their curiosity by telling them how or when He came there, for that was noconcern of theirs. Neither is it the business of Christ's preachers to spin ingenious theories about the Gospel, or to tellpretty tales to amuse their hearers. Their business is to deal faithfully with men's hearts and consciences as their Masterdid when He said to these people "You seek Me not because you saw the miracles." They said that at first, no doubt. Christ'smiracles dazzled them so they sought Him in order to see more miracles worked by Him. This was not the highest motive forseeking the Savior, but they had found a still lower one-they were now following Him because they "ate of the loaves and werefilled." Yet the Master did not repel them and thus He teaches us that it is better to follow Him from the lowest motive thannot to follow Him at all. Perhaps some of us have been too severe upon certain people. We have said that they come to ourplace of worship out of mere curiosity. What if they do? It is well that they come at all, so let us not cut even the spider'sweb that links a man in any sense with Christ-that web may grow into a thread, that thread into a cord, that cord into a cableand there may yet be an unbreakable union between that man and Christ! That which begins in an inferior way may lead to somethinghigher and better. Still, it is wise to let people know that they are not deceiving Christ, even though they deceive themselvesas to their motive in seeking Him. So He said to them-
27. Labor not for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures unto everlasting life, which the Son of Man shallgive unto you: for Him has God the Father sealed. They labored hard in order to get the bread that perishes, so Christ badethem devote their energies to a better objective. This is a very extraordinary verse if we regard the letter of it and notthe spirit. Christ told these people not to labor for that which they could only get by labor-"Labor not for the food whichperishes." Yet few men get their daily bread or meat without laboring for it. And then Christ told them to labor for thatwhich nobody ever does get by laboring-"Labor for that food which endures unto everlasting life." This is an instance of howthe mere letter of the Word kills. We must take the spirit of it-and then we understand that what the Savior meant was this-"Donot be spending all your energies to get that which will melt away when you get it, but spend your time and strength in seekingafter that which will last through all time and be yours to all eternity."
28. Then said they unto Him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?They wanted to do the greatest of all worksfor, by, "the works of God," they evidently meant the most important, the most sublime, the greatest of all works. "What shallwe do in order to work such works as these?"
29. Jesus answered and said to them, This is the work of God, that you believe on Him whom He has sent This is an amazingstatement which is just as true, now, as when Christ uttered it in Capernaum! The greatest and best work that any of you cando is to believe on Jesus Christ! Though, in another sense, this is not a workat all-but ceasing from your own works and restingin the finished work of Jesus Christ. But if any man would do that which is most acceptable to the thrice-holy God, let himbelieve on Jesus Christ whom God has sent!
30. They said therefore unto Him, what sign will You show us, then, that we may see and believe You? What work will You do?Thiswas a shameful question to put to Christ when they had so recently been miraculously fed by Him and so had received the bestsign of His Divine Power in the multiplication of the loaves and fishes!
31-34. Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, he gave them bread from Heaven to eat Then Jesus said tothem, Verily, verity, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from Heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread fromHeaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from Heaven and gives life unto the world. Then they said unto Him, Lord,give us this bread always. This would have been a good prayer if they had understood the meaning of the Savior's words but,as it was, it was a blind prayer. They did not know what Jesus meant when He spoke of the bread of God which come down fromHeaven. They were thinking about the bread that perishes-the bread for the body-so they prayed blindly when they said, "Lord,give us this bread always." Do you not think that many a prayer which children are taught in their childhood-and which menand women continue to pray for years-may be as blind a prayer as this one was? They know not what they ask and so the questionvery naturally arises as to whether it is a prayer at all?
35. And Jesus said to them, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger and he who believes on
Me shall never thirst" [See Sermon #1112, Volume 19-SOUL-SATISFYING BREAD.] 'I will take away his need by removing his hunger.I will take away his pain by removing his thirst."
36. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. See, then, how little there was of advantage in the meresight of Christ. Many seem to think that it must have been much easier for people to believe in Christ if they had actuallyseen Him, but it was not so. There were multitudes that saw Him and saw His miracles-and even ate the bread which came fromHis wonder-working hands-yet they believed not. Faith does not come in that way, for it does not come by sight, but sightcomes by faith! Seeing is not believing, but believing is often seeing-it opens the eyes so that they are able to see whatbefore was hidden from them.
37. All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me. God's own elect shall surely come to Christ. They shall all believe inHim and be saved by Him.
37. And him that comes to Me I will in no wise cast out [See Sermons #1762, Volume 30-HIGH DOCTRINE AND BROAD DOCTRINE; #2349,Volume 40-ALL COMERS TO CHRIST WELCOMED; #2954, Volume 51-THE BIG GATES WIDE OPEN and #3000, Volume 52-NO. 3000-OR, COME ANDWELCOME.] "Whoever he is that comes, I will never reject him.
Whoever he may be that accepts Me and believes in Me, he is Mine and I will never cast him away from Me."
38-44. For I came down from Heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him that sent Me. And this is the Father's willwhich has sent Me, that of all who He has given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. Andthis is the will ofHim that sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son, and believes on Him, may have everlasting life: and Iwill raise him up at the last day. The Jews then murmured at Him, because He said, I am the bread which came down from Heaven.And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it, then, that He says, I camedown from Heaven? Jesus therefore answered and said to them, murmur not among yourselves. No man can come to Me, except theFather which has sent Me draws him. [See Sermons #182, Volume 4-human inability; #2386, Volume 40-THE DRAWINGS OF DIVINE LOVE.]"I did not expect
that you would receive Me. I did not imagine that you would believe Me. You have not yet been drawn to Me by the Father, soI knew that you would not come to Me." But he who is drawn by the Father will come to Christ. And Christ tells us what willbe his future lot-
44-46. And I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Everyman, therefore, that has heard, and has learned of the Father, comes unto Me. Not that any man has seen the Father, exceptHe who is from God, He has seen the Father. He corrects the notion into which they might have fallen that they could eversee the Father as He had seen Him. Into that vision none of us can ever enter, for there is a peculiar Divine relationshipbetween Jesus and the Father which we cannot know.
47. Verily, verily, I say unto you-Jesus uttered this great Truth of God with very special emphasis. "Verily, verily, I sayunto you"-
47. He that believes on Me has everlasting life. [See Sermons #1642, Volume 28-"VERILY, VERILY" and #2706, Volume 46-FEEDINGON THE BREAD OF LIFE.] That text is worthy to be printed in letters of
gold, but even then the letters would be far inferior to the message itself! If it is written on all your hearts by the HolySpirit, you will not need any other sermon than this Divine text-"Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believes on Me haseverlasting life."
48-51. I am the Bread of Life. Your Fathers did eat manna in the wilderness and are dead. This is the bread which came downfrom Heaven that a man may eat thereof and not die. I am the living bread which came down from Heaven: if any man eats ofthis bread, he shall live forever: and the bread that I will give is My flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.Here we have the Doctrine of the great atoning Sacrifice by which sin is put away, and that is not merely Christ Incarnate,but Christ yielding up His life, dying in the place of guilty sinners. That is the food, whereof, if any man eats he shalllive forever.
52. The Jews therefore quarreled among themselves, saying, How can this Man give us His flesh to eat?These Jews were stillstumbling at the letter of Christ's words-still in their blind carnality misunderstanding Christ.
53-56. Then Jesus said to them, verily, verily, Isay unto you, Exceptyou eat the flesh ofthe Son ofMan, and drink His blood,you have no life in you. Whoever eats My flesh and drinks My blood, has eternal life; and I will raise him up at the lastday. For My flesh is food, indeed, and My blood is drink, indeed. He that eats My flesh, and drinks My blood
dwells in Me, and I in him. [See Sermon #1288, Volume 12-TRULY EATING THE FLESH OF JESUS.] Do not any of you interpret thisteaching of Christ as the Jews did, after a carnal fashion, and fancy that we literally eat the flesh and drink the bloodof Christ when we come to the Communion Table. The Lord's Supper was not instituted at the time that our Savior spoke thesewords and He was speaking of quite another matter-the spiritual reception of Christ-the real and true feeding by faith withour spirit upon the Lord Jesus Christ.
57-59. As the living Father has sent Me, andIlive by the Father: so he that eats Me, even he shalllive byMe. This is thatbread which came down from Heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eats of this bread shalllive forever.These things said He in the synagogue, as He taught it in Capernaum.