World Wide Study Bible


a Bible passage

Click a verse to see commentary

41 Then the Jews began to complain about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42They were saying, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?” 43Jesus answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. 44No one can come to me unless drawn by the Father who sent me; and I will raise that person up on the last day. 45It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me. 46Not that anyone has seen the Father except the one who is from God; he has seen the Father. 47Very truly, I tell you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”

Select a resource above

41-46. Jews murmured—muttered, not in our Lord's hearing, but He knew it (Joh 6:43; Joh 2:25).

he said, I am the bread, &c.—Missing the sense and glory of this, and having no relish for such sublimities, they harp upon the "Bread from heaven." "What can this mean? Do we not know all about Him—where, when, and of whom He was born? And yet He says He came down from heaven!"

43, 44. Murmur not … No man—that is, Be not either startled or stumbled at these sayings; for it needs divine teaching to understand them, divine drawing to submit to them.

44. can come to me—in the sense of Joh 6:35.

except the Father which hath sent me—that is, the Father as the Sender of Me and to carry out the design of My mission.

draw him—by an internal and efficacious operation; though by all the means of rational conviction, and in a way altogether consonant to their moral nature (So 1:4; Jer 31:3; Ho 11:3, 4).

raise him up, &c.—(See on Joh 6:54).

45. written in the prophets—in Isa 54:13; Jer 31:33, 34; other similar passages may also have been in view. Our Lord thus falls back upon Scripture authority for this seemingly hard saying.

all taught of God—not by external revelation merely, but by internal illumination, corresponding to the "drawing" of Joh 6:44.

Every man therefore, &c.—that is, who hath been thus efficaciously taught of Him.

cometh unto mewith absolute certainty, yet in the sense above given of "drawing"; that is, "As none can come to Me but as divinely drawn, so none thus drawn shall fail to come."

46. Not that any man hath seen, &c.—Lest they should confound that "hearing and learning of the Father," to which believers are admitted by divine teaching, with His own immediate access to Him, He here throws in a parenthetical explanation; stating, as explicitly as words could do it, how totally different the two cases were, and that only He who is "from God" hath this naked, immediate access to the Father. (See Joh 1:18).

47-51. He that believeth, &c.—(See on Joh 3:36; Joh 5:24).

48. I am the bread of life—"As he that believeth in Me hath everlasting life, so I am Myself the everlasting Sustenance of that life." (Repeated from Joh 6:35).

49. Your fathers—of whom ye spake (Joh 6:31); not "ours," by which He would hint that He had a higher descent, of which they dreamt not [Bengel].

did eat manna … and are dead—recurring to their own point about the manna, as one of the noblest of the ordained preparatory illustrations of His own office: "Your fathers, ye say, ate manna in the wilderness; and ye say well, for so they did, but they are dead—even they whose carcasses fell in the wilderness did eat of that bread; the Bread whereof I speak cometh down from heaven, which the manna never did, that men, eating of it, may live for ever."

51. I am, &c.—Understand, it is of Myself I now speak as the Bread from heaven; of Meif a man eat he shall live for ever; and "THE Bread which i will give is my Flesh, which i will give for the life of the world." Here, for the first time in this high discourse, our Lord explicitly introduces His sacrificial death—for only rationalists can doubt this not only as that which constitutes Him the Bread of life to men, but as THAT very element IN Him which possesses the life-giving virtue.—"From this time we hear no more (in this discourse) of "Bread"; this figure is dropped, and the reality takes its place" [Stier]. The words "I will give" may be compared with the words of institution at the Supper, "This is My body which is given for you" (Lu 22:19), or in Paul's report of it, "broken for you" (1Co 11:24).