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On the Gospel of John, Part 18: The Parable of the Bread of Life
So far in our commentary on the Gospel of John, I have asserted that the encounter of Yahshua with the Samaritan woman was a parable, and that the feeding of the multitude in the wilderness was a parable. There are other things which we can claim to be parables, saying that they must stand for something or other, but we may only be offering conjecture. I do not like to conjecture, and hope to always admit if any of my interpretations are mere conjecture. So I must answer the question: why do I interpret certain events in the Gospel as parables? Before answering, it must be said that merely because I would claim that an event is a parable does not mean that the event did not actually occur. According to the writers of the Gospels, Yahshua Christ truly did feed multitudes in the wilderness, which we must believe if we are Christians who in turn must accept the Gospel accounts as being truthful. Yahshua Christ also met with a Samaritan woman, and we must trust that John accurately described the conversation which He had with her.
But if a real-life event in the deeds of Yahshua Christ is also a microcosm of the fulfillment of prophecy; if the event represents an aspect of prophecy being fulfilled, and if at the same time it also foreshadows the overall fulfillment of prophecy as it appears in the Word of Yahweh in the Old Testament, then the event itself is also an allegory representing the assurance that the word of Yahweh will be fulfilled, and therefore it is a sort of parable. So I would assert that the conversation with the Samaritan woman at the time in which it occurred was representative of the future reconciliation of the so-called “lost sheep” of the tribes of ancient Israel to Christ, and the feeding of the multitude in the wilderness was representative of the spiritual feeding of those same “lost sheep” as the apostles of Christ brought His Gospel to the nations of Europe and the Near East, which is where the so-called “lost tribes” were found at that time.
The apostle James did not write his epistle to the “twelve tribes scattered abroad” with any profession or admission that it was really intended for some other people. Paul of Tarsus did not plainly state that the gospel was “the hope of the promise made of God unto our fathers… which our twelve tribes… hope to come” with any profession or admission that some other people could possibly attain such a promise. Rather, both James and Paul intended their message for the same “lost sheep” that we read of in the Psalms, Jeremiah, Ezekiel and Hosea. Like the Samaritan woman, they are the children of Jacob for whom the message of the Gospel was intended, and according to the Revelation of Christ, it is they who would be fed in the wilderness for “a thousand two hundred and threescore days .” From the time that the Revelation was written, that is very close to the amount of time which it took to convert the entirety of Europe to Christianity.
Now this evening, as we proceed with our commentary on John chapter 6, we shall see, and hope to properly explain, yet another parable, which is the parable of the Bread of Life. After Christ fed the multitudes in the wilderness, many of them realizing that He had crossed the sea then sought Him in Capernaum, and when they found and questioned Him, we read where: “26 Yahshua replied to them and said: ‘Truly, truly I say to you, you seek Me not because you have seen signs, but because you have eaten of the loaves and have been satiated! 27 You must work not for that food which perishes but for that food which abides for eternal life, which the Son of Man shall give to you. Indeed Yahweh the Father has confirmed Him!’ 28 Then they said to Him ‘What should we do that we may accomplish the works of Yahweh?’ 29 Yahshua replied and said to them: ‘This is the work of Yahweh: that you would believe in Him whom He sent!’” So Yahshua Himself explained what the feeding of the multitude had represented, and we see that the true food is the Word of Yahweh and a belief in Christ. He will elaborate on that concept here as the accounts in this chapter unfold, and in relation to this we should be able to examine the Word of Yahweh in the Old Testament to see exactly what Christ had meant in His discourse here. So now we shall proceed with John chapter 6 at verse 30:
30 Then they said to Him: “Then what sign do You do, in order that we would see and we may believe in You? What could You accomplish? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert, just as it is written: ‘bread from heaven He had given [א and D have “he gave”] them to eat.’”
On the surface this is ironic, because from this it seems that the people who were fed in the wilderness were oblivious to the miracle as to how they were fed the previous evening, that Yahshua Christ had also just given them “bread from heaven… to eat”. They only took it for granted that they were passed baskets of food and had eaten, so they missed the most significant of signs. This is also representative of another ancient problem: that the children of Israel always took their blessings for granted and forgot from where they had come. Thus we read of their idolatry in commerce, in Hosea chapter 2: “2 Plead with your mother, plead: for she is not my wife, neither am I her husband: let her therefore put away her whoredoms out of her sight, and her adulteries from between her breasts… 5 For their mother hath played the harlot: she that conceived them hath done shamefully: for she said, I will go after my lovers, that give me my bread and my water, my wool and my flax, mine oil and my drink…. 8 For she did not know that I gave her corn, and wine, and oil, and multiplied her silver and gold, which they prepared for Baal.” Not recognizing that their bread had come from Yahweh, the ancient children of Israel had forsaken Him and sought to expend their blessings in alliances and trade with their enemies, thereby also following after the gods of their enemies. Here the people of Galilee had not realized the miracle by which Christ had fed them in the wilderness, and now they seek a sign.
32 Then Yahshua said to them: “Truly, truly I say to you, Moses did not give [B, D and W have “had not given”; the text follows P75, א, A, T and the MT] to you bread from heaven, but My Father gives to you the true bread from heaven!
The manna in the wilderness did not come from a man, it did not come from Moses, but rather it came from God. By saying this, Christ informs them that the bread which He had given them a day earlier had also come from God, and not from any man. So they already had their sign and they missed it, not realizing the significance of what had happened because they only cared for their own carnal satisfaction. They were really no different than their ancient Israelite ancestors. Now Christ explains what the bread which He had fed them in the wilderness actually represented:
33 For the bread [א and D insert “which is”] of Yahweh is He descending from heaven and giving life to the Society!” 34 Then they said to Him: “Prince [or Lord], always give to us this bread!”
And again, they sought continued carnal satisfaction, not truly comprehending the words upon which He had then elaborated:
35 [א and D insert “Then”, A and the MT “But”; the text follows P75, B, T and W] Yahshua said to them: “I am the bread of life! He coming to Me shall not [D inserts “ever”] hunger, and he believing in Me shall not ever thirst!
As a digression, in the Wisdom of Sirach, chapter 24, the vine is celebrated and we read in part “19 Come unto me, all ye that be desirous of me, and fill yourselves with my fruits. 20 For my memorial is sweeter than honey, and mine inheritance than the honeycomb. 21 They that eat me shall yet be hungry, and they that drink me shall yet be thirsty.” But of the bread and drink which He offers, Christ said the opposite. Therefore the bread and the drink are also something other than a weekly Church ritual, as many supposed Christians interpret this.
Yahshua Christ was born in Bethlehem, which means “house of bread”, so the very circumstances of His birth reveal His purpose from the beginning. Understanding this, and observing the rituals of the temple, the table of shewbread standing before Yahweh which was maintained according to the law was an allegorical representation of the then-future coming of the Christ.
He coming to Me shall not hunger: Yahweh had promised on many occasions to feed His people. Thusly Christ had told His disciples, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 6: “31 Therefore you should not have care, saying ‘What should we eat?’ or ‘What should we drink?’ or ‘What should we wear?’ 32 For all these things the heathens seek after. Indeed your heavenly Father knows that you have need of all of these things. 33 But you seek first the kingdom and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you.” Seeking the Kingdom of God, the children of Israel seek Christ alone as their King.
He believing in Me shall not ever thirst: The words are reminiscent of what He had said to the Samaritan woman in John chapter 4: “14 But he who should drink from the water which I shall give to him shall not thirst for eternity, but the water which I shall give to him will become in him a well of water springing up into eternal life.” The “water of life” is a fixture in the City of God in Revelation chapters 21 and 22, through which gates only the twelve tribes of the c hildren of Israel shall enter. So we read in Revelation chapter 22: “1 And he showed to me a river of water of life, bright as crystal, coming out from the throne of Yahweh and of the Lamb. 2 In the middle of her street and with the river on the one side and the other is the tree of life producing twelve fruits, yielding each of its fruits by month, and the leaves of the tree are for the service of the Nations.” The twelve fruits are representative of the twelve tribes of Israel, and the nations which they were promised to become.
In relation to this same thing we read in Isaiah chapter 41: “14 Fear not, thou worm Jacob, and ye men of Israel; I will help thee, saith the LORD, and thy redeemer, the Holy One of Israel. 15 Behold, I will make thee a new sharp threshing instrument having teeth: thou shalt thresh the mountains, and beat them small, and shalt make the hills as chaff. 16 Thou shalt fan them, and the wind shall carry them away, and the whirlwind shall scatter them: and thou shalt rejoice in the LORD, and shalt glory in the Holy One of Israel. 17 When the poor and needy seek water, and there is none, and their tongue faileth for thirst, I the LORD will hear them, I the God of Israel will not forsake them. 18 I will open rivers in high places, and fountains in the midst of the valleys: I will make the wilderness a pool of water, and the dry land springs of water. ” Thusly is the water of life, which is not literal water, but the Word of Yahweh and the Gospel of Christ which flowed out after them in the places where they had sojourned, until all Europe collectively became known as Christendom.
There is another similar prophecy in Jeremiah chapter 31, preceding the promise of the New Covenant, and it reads: “7 For thus saith the LORD; Sing with gladness for Jacob, and shout among the chief of the nations: publish ye, praise ye, and say, O LORD, save thy people, the remnant of Israel. 8 Behold, I will bring them from the north country, and gather them from the coasts of the earth, and with them the blind and the lame, the woman with child and her that travaileth with child together: a great company shall return thither. 9 They shall come with weeping, and with supplications will I lead them: I will cause them to walk by the rivers of waters in a straight way, wherein they shall not stumble: for I am a father to Israel, and Ephraim is my firstborn. 10 Hear the word of the LORD, O ye nations, and declare it in the isles afar off, and say, He that scattered Israel will gather him, and keep him, as a shepherd doth his flock. 11 For the LORD hath redeemed Jacob, and ransomed him from the hand of him that was stronger than he.” In Luke chapter 1, a part of the very purpose of the advent of a Messiah was “ 74… that we being delivered out of the hand of our enemies might serve him without fear…”
Here in Galilee, the people sought carnal satisfaction and an endless supply of bread, so Christ explained to them that He Himself was the bread come from heaven. Now He warns them that they would remain incredulous, or that if they were not incredulous, it was on account that they were given to Him by Yahweh:
“36 But I have said to you that even you have seen Me [א and A want “Me”; the text follows P66, P75, and, according to the NA27, all other Greek mss.] and you do not believe. 37 Each whom the Father gives to Me shall come to Me, and he coming to Me I shall not cast outside [א and D want “outside”, where ἐκβάλλω would be read “cast out”], 38 because I have descended from heaven not in order that I would [א, D and W have “shall”] do that of My will, but the will of He [D has “the Father”] who has sent Me.
According to the Intermediate Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon, the Greek word πᾶς (Strong’s # 3956), is “all, when used of many; when of one only, all, the whole”, and here and in verse 39 it appears in the neuter singular, accompanied by singular verbs and pronouns, and in such cases, as the lexicon also elucidates, the word is “III. = ἕκαστος, every”, the word ἕκαστος means “every, every one, each, each one”. We prefer each over all because it seems to more appropriately lead to the question, “each of whom?” Not everyone who claims to be a believer in Christ is sent to Christ by the Father. Evidently, many whom the Father had not given to Christ would also endeavor to come to Him, but they shall ultimately be cast outside, as He Himself attests in Matthew chapter 7: “22 Many will say to me in that day, Lord, Lord, have we not prophesied in thy name? and in thy name have cast out devils? and in thy name done many wonderful works? 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.” So if there are some who would profess Him but who are cast aside because He did not know them, then we must ask “each of whom?” Then if Christ Himself attested that “I have descended from heaven not in order that I would do that of My will, but the will of He who has sent Me”, it is also apparent that we must look to the Word of God in the Old Testament prophets to find the will of the Father who had sent Him, and there we shall find the answer to that question, “each of whom?”
In relation to this, there are consistent expressions of the “will of the Father” throughout the law and the prophets, but here we shall choose to read from Isaiah chapter 44: “1 Yet now hear, O Jacob my servant; and Israel, whom I have chosen: 2 Thus saith the LORD that made thee, and formed thee from the womb, which will help thee; Fear not, O Jacob, my servant; and thou, Jesurun, whom I have chosen. 3 For I will pour water upon him that is thirsty, and floods upon the dry ground: I will pour my spirit upon thy seed, and my blessing upon thine offspring: 4 And they shall spring up as among the grass, as willows by the water courses. 5 One [one of them, the offspring of Jacob] shall say, I am the LORD'S; and another [another of them] shall call himself by the name of Jacob; and another [yet another of them] shall subscribe with his hand unto the LORD, and surname himself by the name of Israel. 6 Thus saith the LORD the King of Israel, and his redeemer the LORD of hosts; I am the first, and I am the last; and beside me there is no God. 7 And who, as I, shall call, and shall declare it, and set it in order for me, since I appointed the ancient people? and the things that are coming, and shall come, let them shew unto them [unto those same people].”
Everywhere in the Word of Yahweh that we find promises of a New Covenant, of a Redeemer, of a Saviour or of salvation, the intended recipients of those promises are the same children of Israel, exclusive of all other peoples. So Christ is not saying that “all” may come to Him, or that “all” are given to Him if they come. Rather, He is speaking of “each” of a specific group, who are promised these things in the will of the Father which sent Him. Any others that come to Him shall ultimately be cast aside regardless of their works, as He does not know them and therefore they are only workers of iniquity. So we read in Amos chapter 3: “O children of Israel… the whole family which I brought up from the land of Egypt… You only have I known of all the families of the earth”. Those imagining to be Christians but who were not given to Christ by Yahweh, by the God of the Old Testament, are indeed workers of iniquity.
As we had seen in chapter 3 of this Gospel, John the Baptist had declared that Yahshua Christ was a bridegroom. Discussing that portion of the chapter, it was explained that John must have had a prophetic context for making such a declaration. As it is recorded in Matthew chapter 9, Christ Himself later admitted to the disciples of John that He was a bridegroom in that same sense, and He called His Own disciples the “children of the bridechamber”. Yahweh was the Father of the children of Israel, as His Word says in Deuteronomy chapter 14, “Ye are the children of Yahweh your God”. Other Adamic people may have been physical offspring of Adam, and therefore of Yahweh, but only the children of Israel were recognized as such and admitted to the position of sons and daughters. Yet collectively, Israel as a nation was said to be the bride of Yahweh, as we read in Jeremiah 3:14: “ Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you…” Although Yahweh put them off in divorce, He had also promised in Hosea to be reconciled with them, and to betroth them forever, where we read in chapter 2: “19 And I will betroth thee unto me for ever; yea, I will betroth thee unto me in righteousness, and in judgment, and in lovingkindness, and in mercies. 20 I will even betroth thee unto me in faithfulness: and thou shalt know the LORD.”
Traditionally, even in the Old Tesatament, a bride is given away by a father, which is first evidenced in the accounts of Jacob with Laban, the father of Leah and Rachel. If Yahweh promised to betroth Israel forever, then only in that manner can Christ claim to have been given anyone by the Father, as He is the bridegroom, and as He is also Yahweh incarnate. There is no other people in the Word of God in the Old Testament who could have been given to Christ, or who were ever described as having been given to Him in such a manner or for such a purpose as Christ described here. So Christ Himself admits this, where He said in Matthew chapter 15: “I am not sent but unto the lost sheep of the house of Israel.”
In a Messianic prophecy which foreshadows the Gospel and words of Christ and the apostles, we read from Isaiah chapter 8: “13 Sanctify the LORD of hosts himself; and let him be your fear, and let him be your dread. 14 And he shall be for a sanctuary; but for a stone of stumbling and for a rock of offence to both the houses of Israel, for a gin and for a snare to the inhabitants of Jerusalem. 15 And many among them shall stumble, and fall, and be broken, and be snared, and be taken. 16 Bind up the testimony, seal the law among my disciples. 17 And I will wait upon the LORD, that hideth his face from the house of Jacob, and I will look for him. 18 Behold, I and the children whom the LORD hath given me are for signs and for wonders in Israel from the LORD of hosts, which dwelleth in mount Zion.” Both Peter and Paul had quoted different parts of this passage in their epistles. The children whom “the LORD hath given me” are the faithful in Israel. Now Christ explains the will of Yahweh:
39 This is the will of He who has sent Me: That each of them who are given to Me I shall not destroy, but I shall resurrect them in the last day.
The Codices Sinaiticus (א) and Ephraemi Syri (C) want the first clause of verse 39 where it says “This is the will of He who has sent Me”. The editors of the Nestle-Aland Novum Testamentum Grace explain the omission as a scribal error due to the similarity of the clause which proceeds it. The Majority Text has “This is the will of the Father who has sent Me”, which supplied the reading in the King James Version. Our text follows the papyri P66 and P75, and the codices Alexandrinus (A), Vaticanus (B), Bezae (D 05), Borgianus (T 029) and Washingtonensis (W). The papyrus P75 has the second clause in verse 39 to read “that each of them who have been given to Me I shall not destroy” where the Codex Bezae (D) has “that each who are given to Me I shall not destroy any”.
The Greek word ἀπόλλυμι is often “lost”, as in the phrase “lost sheep”. The Greek poet Euripides used the word in the same context which is descriptive of the ancient children of Israel, to refer to someone who was driven ruined from his fatherland. Here in this context, it is simply and literally destroy. The singular neuter pronoun αὐτός is twice rendered as them here, where the King James Version has which and it. The 9th edition of the Liddell & Scott Greek-English Lexicon explains that generally, one use of αὐτός was to represent the “whole to parts”, and gives examples where even in the singular the word could refer to a collection of things. Here we interpret it to represent the body, which is them, from which the parts, which are each, are derived. Finally, the word ἀνίστημι, translated as resurrect, is literally to make to stand or to raise up. According to Liddell & Scott, the word was used in this same way by Classical writers such as Homer and Aeschylus, to raise from the dead. The concept of resurrection from the dead is found frequently in the Classical literature.
I shall resurrect them in the last day: Christ had already declared in Jerusalem, as it is described in John chapter 5, “21 For as the Father raiseth up the dead, and quickeneth them; even so the Son quickeneth whom he will… 24 Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that heareth my word, and believeth on him that sent me, hath everlasting life, and shall not come into condemnation; but is passed from death unto life…. 26 For as the Father hath life in himself; so hath he given to the Son to have life in himself; 27 And hath given him authority to execute judgment also, because he is the Son of man.” Now here He continues in that same manner:
40 For this is the will [P66 wants “For this is the will”] of My Father: that each who seeing the Son and believing in Him would have eternal life, and I shall resurrect him in the last day.
This statement elucidates the fact that for the descendants of Jacob, for the “lost sheep” for whom the message of the Gospel is meant, repentance certainly can come after death. Otherwise, where He said “each who seeing the Son and believing in Him”, only those who saw Christ in the first century in Palestine could have eternal life, as none of the “lost sheep” who later received the Gospel had seen Him before they died, and none of those who died before His first advent had ever seen Him.
This does not seem to have an impact on believers, but on those of the “lost sheep” who have not yet believed. It is difficult to force someone to believe something unless they have seen, or unless Yahweh God has opened their eyes. This is especially true when the accounts themselves have been misinterpreted and misrepresented since the dawn of the Christian era. So when doubting Thomas finally realized the significance of the Resurrection of Christ and reacted appropriately, we read in John chapter 20 that “29 Jesus saith unto him, Thomas, because thou hast seen me, thou hast believed: blessed are they that have not seen, and yet have believed.”
Here in Capernaum, at least many of the people still did not understand Him, or refused to believe what He said:
41 Then the Judaeans muttered concerning Him because He said “I am the bread which descends from heaven”, 42 and they said “Is this not Yahshua the son of Ioseph, whose father and mother [א and W want “and mother”] we know? How now does He say that “I have descended from heaven’?”
The 3rd century papyrus P66 reads verse 42 differently: “and they said ‘Because this is Yahshua the son of Ioseph, whose father and mother we know, how now does He say that I have descended from heaven?’” The Codex Alexandrinus (A) and the Majority Text have the last clause to read in part “Then how does He say that…” The Codex Sinaiticus (א) “Then how does He say…” The Codex Bezae has “How now does He say He Himself descended from heaven?” The text follows the papyrus P75 and the codices Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C), Borgianus (T) and Washingtonensis (W).
The people disbelieved Him because they despised Him by imagining that they knew Him too well as a man to accept that He was telling the truth. So John had already informed us, in chapter 4 of his Gospel, “ 44 For Jesus himself testified, that a prophet hath no honour in his own country.” Christ was described as having referred to Capernaum in this same context in Luke chapter 4, “24 And he said, Verily I say unto you, No prophet is accepted in his own country.” Now in response to their disbelief:
43 [א, A, D, W and the MT insert “Then”; the text follows P66, P75, B, C and T] Yahshua replied and said to them: “Do not mutter among one another. 44 No one is able to come to Me unless the [P66 has “My”] Father who has sent Me should compel him, and I shall resurrect him in the last day.
From a Messianic prophecy in Isaiah chapter 11: “10 And in that day there shall be a root of Jesse, which shall stand for an ensign of the people; to it shall the nations seek: and his rest shall be glorious. 11 And it shall come to pass in that day, that the Lord shall set his hand again the second time to recover the remnant of his people, which shall be left, from Assyria, and from Egypt, and from Pathros, and from Cush, and from Elam, and from Shinar, and from Hamath, and from the islands of the sea. 12 And he shall set up an ensign for the nations, and shall assemble the outcasts of Israel, and gather together the dispersed of Judah from the four corners of the earth.” The promises to the fathers as well as the prophecies concerning Israel inform us that they were to become many nations even in their captivity. The prophet Jeremiah addressed the Israelites of the Assyrian captivity nearly a hundred years after it was concluded, and in Jeremiah chapter 3 we read: “14 Turn, O backsliding children, saith the LORD; for I am married unto you: and I will take you one of a city, and two of a family, and I will bring you to Zion: 15 And I will give you pastors according to mine heart, which shall feed you with knowledge and understanding.” Now Christ says something similar:
45 It is written in the prophets, ‘And they all shall be taught by Yahweh.” [A and the MT insert “Therefore”; the text follows P66, P75, א, B, C, D, T and W] All who hearing from Yahweh and learning come to Me.
This is found in Isaiah chapter 54, and it is also in reference to the children of Israel, so we read from verse 5: “5 For thy Maker is thine husband; the LORD of hosts is his name; and thy Redeemer the Holy One of Israel; The God of the whole earth shall he be called. 6 For the LORD hath called thee as a woman forsaken and grieved in spirit, and a wife of youth, when thou wast refused, saith thy God. 7 For a small moment have I forsaken thee; but with great mercies will I gather thee. 8 In a little wrath I hid my face from thee for a moment; but with everlasting kindness will I have mercy on thee, saith the LORD thy Redeemer. 9 For this is as the waters of Noah unto me: for as I have sworn that the waters of Noah should no more go over the earth; so have I sworn that I would not be wroth with thee, nor rebuke thee. 10 For the mountains shall depart, and the hills be removed; but my kindness shall not depart from thee, neither shall the covenant of my peace be removed, saith the LORD that hath mercy on thee. 11 O thou afflicted, tossed with tempest, and not comforted, behold, I will lay thy stones with fair colours, and lay thy foundations with sapphires. 12 And I will make thy windows of agates, and thy gates of carbuncles, and all thy borders of pleasant stones. 13 And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD; and great shall be the peace of thy children.”
Here in verse 45, the Greek word πάντες is “all” where it first appears, which is a plural of the Greek word πᾶς (Strong’s # 3956), and πᾶς is the second occurence of “all”. So it does not refer to each of a group, but to an entirety. However Christ is citing Isaiah chapter 54 where it qualifies that word “all” by saying “And all thy children shall be taught of the LORD,” in reference to the children of Israel alone. Since Christ had said, as it is recorded in Matthew chapter 5, “17 Think not that I am come to destroy the law, or the prophets: I am not come to destroy, but to fulfill”, we cannot imagine that He would neglect the Word of Yahweh in Isaiah, which is His Own Word as He is that Word made flesh. So once again we see the context of the words of Christ, that “all” meant “all of the children of Israel”, and that they all, “hearing from Yahweh and learning”, would come to Him. This is another affirmation that Christianity is the only true Abrahamic religion, and the others are spurious. Hearing from Yahweh and learning resulting in the bringing of one to Christ, we may realize that the Old Testament is Christian in every way, as there is no other way that a man may hear from Yahweh and learn, without coming to Christ. As Paul had written in Romans chapter 15: “4 For whatsoever things were written aforetime were written for our learning, that we through patience and comfort of the scriptures might have hope.”
Now Christ continues in relation to those hearing and learning from Yahweh:
46 Not that anyone has seen the Father, except he who being from Yahweh [א has “the Father”], he has seen the Father [א and D have “God”, or “Yahweh”].
This verse may be interpreted in two ways. On the surface, He seems to be saying that only He Himself, who has come from Yahweh, has seen the Father. Christ actually being Yahweh God incarnate, He has seen the Father because He is the Father, since He was from the beginning, as John tells us in the opening verses of this Gospel. Yet while only Christ is from above in that sense, all of the children of Israel are born from above, even if they did not themselves come down from above, so they are also from Yahweh. Accepting Christ, they understand that being the Messiah, He is Yahweh, and therefore seeing Him they are seeing the Father. For that, when Thomas realized that Yahshua had been resurrected, and understanding the significance of that fact, he exclaimed to Him “my Lord and my God!” But even before that, Christ had already told Philip, before His resurrection, that since he had seen Him he had already seen the Father. This is in John chapter 14: “8 Philip saith unto him, Lord, shew us the Father, and it sufficeth us. 9 Jesus saith unto him, Have I been so long time with you, and yet hast thou not known me, Philip? he that hath seen me hath seen the Father; and how sayest thou then, Shew us the Father?” So ostensibly, those who are from of Yahweh and who had seen and accepted Christ, had also seen the Father by comprehending Him for what He is, Yahweh incarnate. So the second way to interpret the passage is that those who are from Yahweh, who saw and who acknowledged Christ in first century Palestine, have seen the Father. Now He repeats Himself rather emphatically:
47 Truly, truly I say to you, he believing in Me has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life! 49 Your fathers ate the manna in the desert [D has “ate the bread in the desert, the manna,”; the other manuscripts are divided into two groups which agree with the text, but vary in word order] and they died. 50 This is the bread which is descending from heaven, that one may eat from it and would [B has “shall”] not die.
In verse 47, the 3rd century papyri P66 and P75 and the Codices Sinaiticus (א), Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C), Borgianus (T) and Washingtonensis (W) all want the words “in Me”; the text follows the Codices Alexandrinus (A), Bezae (D) and the Majority Text. The original handwritten notes accompanying my final translation draft of John, completed in September of 2007, clearly indicate that my intention was to leave the words out, following the majority of the older manuscripts. Perhaps they were unintentionally inserted during the editing process, so for now they shall remain.
Now at this point we must wonder where it is in the prophets of the Old Testament that we may have an explanation for this. Where is the “bread of life” promised, or even alluded to, in the Old Testament? Is it only that the manna which fell in the desert was a type for Christ? There was, after all, a golden pot of manna kept in the ark of the covenant along with the tablets of the law, as Paul explained in Hebrews chapter 9. It may seem sufficient to stop there, but for a fuller understanding of our Scriptures, I would assert that there is a greater and over-arching prophecy of this “bread of life”, and to find it, we must refer back to the beginning, and Genesis chapter 3. There we read of the punishment of Adam for the transgression in Eden: “15… cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; 18 Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return…” Then a little further on: “22 And the LORD God said, Behold, the man is become as one of us, to know good and evil: and now, lest he put forth his hand, and take also of the tree of life, and eat, and live for ever: 23 Therefore the LORD God sent him forth from the garden of Eden, to till the ground from whence he was taken.”
So if the man eats from the Tree of Life, he may have eternal life, but in the meantime he will die. Then Christ says here that “47 Truly, truly I say to you, he believing in Me has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life!” In another place, recorded in John chapter 15, the meaning of the phrase “tree of life” becomes more evident, where Christ is recorded as having said: “1 I am the true vine, and my Father is the husbandman…. 4 Abide in me, and I in you. As the branch cannot bear fruit of itself, except it abide in the vine; no more can ye, except ye abide in me. 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”
Going back to Genesis chapter 3, after the punishment of the man was pronounced, we read: “24 So he drove out the man; and he placed at the east of the garden of Eden Cherubims, and a flaming sword which turned every way, to keep the way of the tree of life.” The next time the cherubim are seen, they are atop the ark of the covenant, on either side of the mercy seat. Contrary to Church teachings, the cherubim did not prevent or block the path to the Tree of Life, but rather, the cherubim were symbolic of the preservation of the path to the Tree of Life, so that man could ultimately find it through Christ. It is upon the ark that Yahweh appeared in judgment amidst the cherubim, and the tablets of the law were inside, along with Aaron’s rod and the golden pot of manna. Therefore it should be manifest, that the tablets of the law represented the “way of the tree of life”, and those other things were reminders of the early history of Israel and their promises to keep the law. Solomon had written in Proverbs chapter 3 concerning that Wisdom which comes from Yahweh and said “17 Her ways are ways of pleasantness, and all her paths are peace. 18 She is a tree of life to them that lay hold upon her: and happy is every one that retaineth her.” While the children of Israel could not keep the law, the law preserved Israel sufficiently to the point of the appearance of the Messiah, who is the Tree of Life, and in that respect, the manna was also a type for Him. With Him is the Bread of Life, He is the firstfruits of the Tree of Life, and the children of Israel must eat from it in order to live forever, as it was promised to the first man Adam at the fall, that if he “and take also of the tree of life, and eat,” that he would be restored. The obedient branches are those which remain on the vine.
Now Christ once again reiterates Himself, and even more emphatically:
51 I am the living bread which has descended from heaven. If one would eat from this [א has “My”] bread, he shall live for eternity. But also the bread [א, D and W have “And the bread”] which I shall give is My flesh [the MT inserts “which I shall give”] in behalf of the life of the Society!”
So the first implication is that the true bread is the Word of God, as Christ also cited the Scripture elsewhere which says that “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God.” This is the bread which would feed the children of Israel in the wilderness, brought through the Gospel of Christ. But now Christ says that also: “the bread which I shall give is My flesh in behalf of the life of the Society.”
In the 78th Psalm, which was a Psalm of Asaph, who was a prophet of the captivity, we read: “19 Yea, they spake against God; they said, Can God furnish a table in the wilderness? 20 Behold, he smote the rock, that the waters gushed out, and the streams overflowed; can he give bread also? can he provide flesh for his people? 21 Therefore the LORD heard this, and was wroth: so a fire was kindled against Jacob, and anger also came up against Israel; 22 Because they believed not in God, and trusted not in his salvation”. Nevertheless, in ancient times Yahweh did provide bread for His people, and now in Christ Yahweh provided his own flesh as bread for the preservation of His people, and that is the good message of the Gospel accounts, that through His death the people had reconciliation to God in Christ.
So Paul wrote in Colossians chapter 1: “21 And you at one time being alienated and odious in thought by wicked deeds, 22 yet now He has reconciled with the body of His flesh through that death, to present you holy and blameless and void of offense before Him…” How the death of Christ had done this was explained by Paul in Romans chapter 7: “2 For a woman married to a living husband is bound by law; but if the husband should die, she is discharged from the law of the husband: 3 so then as the husband is living, she would be labeled an adulteress if she were found with another man; but if the husband should die, she is free from the law, she is not an adulteress being found with another man. 4 Consequently, my brethren, you also are put to death in the law through the body of Christ; for you to be found with another, who from the dead was raised in order that we should bear fruit for Yahweh.”
The children of Israel collectively, having committed adultery against Yahweh, were worthy of death. But instead, in Jeremiah chapter 31, Yahweh had promised them a new covenant, and that so long as there were a sun, moon and stars, they would always be a nation before Him. All of this is contrary to the law which said that they were liable to die for their sins, but Yahweh decided to die in their stead, and as Paul explained in Romans chapter 7, that would release them from the penalty of the law. So we read in Daniel chapter 9 that the Messiah would “be cut off, but not for himself.” This is how Paul explained in 1 Corinthians chapter 15 that “that Christ died for our sins according to the scriptures”, and in Romans chapter 5 that “8… God commendeth his love toward us, in that, while we were yet sinners, Christ died for us.”
If one’s ancestors were Israelites who were under the law, then Christ died for one’s sins, as Paul said in Galatians chapter 4, “4 But when the fulness of the time was come, God sent forth his Son, made of a woman, made under the law, 5 To redeem them that were under the law, that we might receive the adoption of sons.” If one is not descended from those same Israelites, then as we may read in Luke chapter 13, “27… he shall say, I tell you, I know you not whence ye are; depart from me, all ye workers of iniquity.”
Still not understanding what He had meant by “living bread from heaven”, we read:
52 Then the Judaeans disputed with one another saying “How is He able to give to us His [א, C, D, W and the MT want “His”; the King James Version adds the word in italics; the text follows P66, B and T] flesh to eat?”
The Judaeans took Christ literally. Likewise, the Roman Catholic Church has long imagined that its members must physically eat of the flesh of Christ, and therefore they also contrived the idea that through incantations and spells, a priest can magically transform a cheap and meaningless piece of wafer into the flesh of the body of Christ. The errant basis of Catholicism is that it prefers form over substance, and magic over the plain Word of God. But the true substance of the Bread of Life is the Word of God, and as John explained in the opening verses of this epistle, Christ is the Word made flesh.
The feeding of the multitude in the wilderness is explained in Deuteronomy chapter 8, in reference to the feeding of Israel with manna in the desert where it says “ 2 And thou shalt remember all the way which the LORD thy God led thee these forty years in the wilderness, to humble thee, and to prove thee, to know what was in thine heart, whether thou wouldest keep his commandments, or no. 3 And he humbled thee, and suffered thee to hunger, and fed thee with manna, which thou knewest not, neither did thy fathers know; that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the LORD doth man live.” As the feeding of the children of Israel with manna in the desert should have been sufficient to convince them that they should keep the Word of God, so also when Christ had fed the multitude in the desert that should have convinced the people of His time that they should hearken to His Word, and believe that God had sent Him.
In 1 Corinthians chapter 10, Paul of Tarsus asks “16 The cup of blessing which we bless, is it not the communion of the blood of Christ? The bread which we break, is it not the communion of the body of Christ?” The bread is not the body. The cup is not the blood. Rather, the body and blood are properly the people partaking of the bread and the wine in the cup, and having communion with one another in the name of Christ. Having communion together, and being of the same body, which is the children of Israel, then for that reason Paul then says “17 For we being many are one bread, and one body: for we are all partakers of that one bread.” Paul’s meaning is further elucidated in Hebrews chapter 2: “14 Forasmuch then as the children are partakers of flesh and blood, he also himself likewise took part of the same; that through death he might destroy him that had the power of death, that is, the devil”. The Roman Catholic Church has taken a plain and simple truth and turned it into an incomprehensible mystery in order to rule over the people with magic, and by that they have concealed the true meaning of the Gospel of Christ.
Now in response to their misunderstanding and wondering “How is He able to give to us His flesh to eat?” we read:
53 Therefore Yahshua said to them: “Truly, truly I say to you, if you do not eat [D has “receive”] the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have not life in yourselves! 54 He eating My [D has “His”] flesh and drinking My [again, D has “His”] blood has eternal life, and I shall resurrect him in the last day!
Now we have something else to examine: why would Christ tell His people that they must drink His blood? What could He have meant by that, and how could they drink it? This has also been obscured by the Church, and turned into a magic ritual devoid of any truly Scriptural meaning.
In the blessings which the prophet Balaam was compelled to pronounce upon the children of Israel, we read in Numbers chapter 23 that: “22 God brought them out of Egypt; he hath as it were the strength of an unicorn. 23 Surely there is no enchantment against Jacob, neither is there any divination against Israel: according to this time it shall be said of Jacob and of Israel, What hath God wrought! 24 Behold, the people shall rise up as a great lion, and lift up himself as a young lion: he shall not lie down until he eat of the prey, and drink the blood of the slain.” But it was forbidden for the Israelites to eat the flesh of men, or to drink blood, so the words cannot be taken literally. Rather, the words are an allegory for relishing in the destruction of one’s enemies. Much later, in Psalm 58, we read of the vengeance of God: “10 The righteous shall rejoice when he seeth the vengeance: he shall wash his feet in the blood of the wicked.” Washing one’s feet in the blood of the wicked is also an allegory for delight in their destruction.
In Deuteronomy chapter 32 we read a passage much like what we had heard from Christ in John chapter 5, that to Him it is given to judge the people, and to Him is the power of life and death, that He would make to live whom He wishes, and grant eternal life to whom He wishes. So we read in a song of Moses where Yahweh shall avenge His people even in spite of their sins: “36 For the LORD shall judge his people, and repent himself for his servants, when he seeth that their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left. 37 And he shall say, Where are their gods, their rock in whom they trusted, 38 Which did eat the fat of their sacrifices, and drank the wine of their drink offerings? let them rise up and help you, and be your protection.” Because the people had turned to idolatry, following after the gods of their enemies, “their power is gone, and there is none shut up, or left”, and they needed the salvation of their God. This song of Moses continues with words attributed to Yahweh: “39 See now that I, even I, am he, and there is no god with me: I kill, and I make alive; I wound, and I heal: neither is there any that can deliver out of my hand. 40 For I lift up my hand to heaven, and say, I live for ever. 41 If I whet my glittering sword, and mine hand take hold on judgment; I will render vengeance to mine enemies, and will reward them that hate me. 42 I will make mine arrows drunk with blood, and my sword shall devour flesh; and that with the blood of the slain and of the captives, from the beginning of revenges upon the enemy. 43 Rejoice, O ye nations,
with his people: for he will avenge the blood of his servants, and will render vengeance to his adversaries, and will be merciful unto his land, and to his people.”
The passage is prophetic. The children of Israel were commanded to destroy their enemies. As Balaam had spoken, the children of Israel were demanded to have no mercy on their enemies, but to devour their flesh and, allegorically, to drink their blood, meaning that they should have delighted in their destruction. They were warned of the consequences of failure in Numbers chapter 33: “55 But if ye will not drive out the inhabitants of the land from before you; then it shall come to pass, that those which ye let remain of them shall be pricks in your eyes, and thorns in your sides, and shall vex you in the land wherein ye dwell.” So when they failed to destroy their enemies, and instead they committed idolatry with them as we have just read in Deuteronomy, later, in Joshua chapter 23, they were told to “13 Know for a certainty that the LORD your God will no more drive out any of these nations from before you; but they shall be snares and traps unto you, and scourges in your sides, and thorns in your eyes, until ye perish from off this good land which the LORD your God hath given you.” Ultimately that is what happened, and that is what has set the course of history to this very day.
The thorns and pricks, or scourges, are among men to this very day, which is also explained by Christ in the Parable of the Wheat and the Tares, in Matthew chapter 13. This reveals the meaning of what was to come upon Adam as a consequence for his own sin, which was similar to that which was later committed by the Israelites, where we read in Genesis chapter 3: “cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground”. The true meaning of this is also allegorical. The thorns and thistles represent people, the ancestors of the same thorns and pricks of Numbers and Joshua, and because of his enemies Adam, and ostensibly all of his descendants, would toil to eat bread until death. The children of Adam would live only by taking hold of the tree of life. Christ, being the Bread of Life, came to give the children of Adam that opportunity which they were promised for restoration, to eat from the Tree of Life and live. Christ being the True Vine and His people being the branches, the Tree of Life is the Adamic race in subjection and obedience to God in Christ, and He alone can supply the bread of life which comes without toil.
Toiling to eat bread, ever since the Kenites became scribes in Jerusalem, ever since the ancient Kingdom was infiltrated by the enemy, the children of Israel have struggled to understand the Word of Yahweh their God, as it had soon been corrupted by the scribes, but perhaps that is conjecture.
Now in reference to His flesh and blood, He continues:
55 For My flesh is the true food, and My blood is the true drink.
Here the 3rd century papyrus P66 and the Majority Text have this verse to read “For My flesh truly is food, and My blood truly is drink.” The Codex Sinaiticus (א) has “For My flesh is the true food, and My blood truly is drink.” The Codex Bezae (D) has only “For My flesh is the true food.” The text follows the 3rd century papyrus P75 and the Codices Vaticanus (B), Ephraemi Syri (C), Borgianus (T) and Washingtonensis (W).
Carnal food and drink may sustain an individual temporarily, and then the supply needs to be replenished. But carnal food and drink do not sustain a nation, a race or a society. On a larger scale, only a common set of laws, principles, ethics, morals grounded in firm religious principles can sustain a race of men and organize them properly into nations within a common society. The religions and empires of men have all failed. Only the truth and the government of God can persist eternally, without which man falls into materialism, individualism, decadence and immorality. In that manner Christ once again continues:
56 He eating My flesh and drinking My blood abides in Me and I in him.
The Codex Bezae (D) interpolates a lengthy clause at the end of this verse which inserts “just as My Father is in Me and I in the Father” before the end of the sentence, and then also adds another full sentence which reads “Truly, truly, I say to you, if you do not receive the body of the Son of Man as the bread of life, you do not have life with Him.” We have repeated this here because it is an interpolation in this Codex which is not found in the manuscripts of the Majority Text or in modern Bibles. When we present John chapter 8 here, another more significant interpolation first found in the Codex Bezae shall be discussed, which did make it into those manuscripts, and which for that reason is found in the King James Version of our Bible. Continuing with John chapter 6, Christ now professes that:
57 Just as the living Father has sent Me and I live through the [P75 has “My”] Father, he who is eating [D has “receiving”] Me, he also shall live [D has “also lives”] through Me. 58 This is the bread which has descended [P66 and א have “which is descending”] from heaven, not as the [D and the MT have “your”] fathers ate [the MT inserts “the manna”] and they died. He eating this bread shall live for eternity!”
To eat the flesh and to drink the blood of one’s enemies is to relish in their death. To eat the flesh and drink the blood of Christ is to understand and appreciate the sacrifice which He made in order that you can have life – if indeed you are of those whom Yahweh God had given Him, one of the ancient children of Israel and their offspring – and to return to obedience to Yahweh upon the learning of the Gospel of Christ. Paul of Tarsus had described this as being “baptized into His death” in Romans chapter 6. Then Paul had also said in 1 Corinthians chapter 11 that “26 Indeed as often as you may eat this wheat-bread, and you may drink this cup, you declare the death of the Prince, until He should come.” The communion of the body of Christ, which is the sharing of things in common by those of the children of Israel who love their brethren, is done out of love and appreciation for Him. The children of Israel, if they seek to keep His commandments, must love one another as He also commanded. But then as a warning to those who were not given to Christ by Yahweh, Paul said: “27 Consequently, whoever would eat the wheat-bread or drink the cup of the Prince unworthily, will be liable of the body and blood of the Prince.” Those who commune with the children of Israel, but who do not belong among them because they are not His people, will ultimately be punished by Him as if having partaken with those who had murdered Him. The apostle Jude referred to them as “spots in your feasts of charity, when they feast with you, feeding themselves without fear”, and Peter called them “Spots they are and blemishes, sporting themselves with their own deceivings while they feast with you”. Likewise, speaking of spurious men, of wolves in sheep’s clothing, Christ said in Matthew chapter 7 that “16 Ye shall know them by their fruits. Do men gather grapes of thorns, or figs of thistles?” Then immediately thereafter He spoke concerning those who claimed to do things in His Name but who did not belong among His congregation, and He said “ 23 And then will I profess unto them, I never knew you: depart from me, ye that work iniquity.”
In the beginning, Yahweh God had told Adam not to eat of the Tree of the Knowledge of Good and Evil, which was represented by “that old serpent”. As it is described in Revelation chapter 12, that tree must be a sort of family tree, representing the “angels that sinned”, and the resulting transgression was a sexual transgression, which resulted in thorns and thistles. The same transgression occurred again on a wider scale in Genesis chapter 6. Much later in history, the children of Israel were told that because they did not exterminate their enemies, but even accepted them instead, that they would be pricks and thorns to them. Among those enemies were the Kenites, who were the descendants of Cain, and the Rephaim, who were some of the descendants of the giants of Genesis chapter 6. Christ had said, in Matthew chapter 13, that “38 The field is the world; the good seed are the children of the kingdom; but the tares are the children of the wicked one; 39 The enemy that sowed them is the devil; the harvest is the end of the world; and the reapers are the angels.”
So here is the Parable of the Bread of Life: Because the children of Israel did not eat the flesh and drink the blood of their enemies, because they would not destroy the evil seed from their world, they can only be saved by their God, as we read in Deuteronomy chapter 32 in the Song of Moses. As Adam was told in Genesis, to have eternal life they must eat from the Tree of Life, and here that is revealed: it is the bread of life, which is found in Christ, and they must drink His blood. They must drink His blood because they failed to drink the blood of their enemies, so they must acknowledge that they are in need of His salvation, and turn to obedience in Him. Because they did not wash their feet in the blood of the wicked, they must wash their robes in the blood of the Lamb. He will ultimately destroy their enemies, as He had said, in John chapter 15, “ 5 I am the vine, ye are the branches: He that abideth in me, and I in him, the same bringeth forth much fruit: for without me ye can do nothing.”