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32. Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.
33. For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.
34. Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.
35. And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. Moses gave you not that bread from heaven, Am. R., more clearly, “It was not Moses that gave,” etc. The manna was sent in answer to the people's complaints of hunger, and the message that it was coming was sent by Moses and Aaron (Ex. 16 : 4-6), but the manna did not come through any action of theirs. But God, the Father, sent it. But my Father giveth you. The same God who gave you the manna, but holding a much closer relation to Jesus than to Moses.
Note“ the change of tense from 'gave' to 'giveth.' God is continually giving the true bread ; it is not a thing granted at one time and then no more, like the
Cambridge Bible. (2) The true bread. “ That which fulfils absolutely, ideally, the highest conception of sustaining food.” Westcott. The bread which men most need, that is most important to their well-being, that sustains the soul to everlasting life. The manna was but a type of this true bread ; it was for the body, while the true bread is for the soul ; it could be kept only one or two days without corruption, while the true bread is everlasting ; those who ate the manna died, while those who eat of the bread of life live forever.
(3) From heaven. The manna came from heaven, as God himself said (Ex. 16 : (4). But rather from the visible heaven, the atmosphere ; but the true bread came from the real heaven, where God the Father dwells.
33. For the bread of God is he (better in Am. R., “ that ") which cometh down from heaven. “ Christ does not identify himself with the bread till the next answer.” He simply gives the criterion by which the true bread can be known.
(4) True bread giveth life unto the world. A fuller, truer life than the manna could give ; even the life of the soul, everlasting life. The manna was for the body that perished (v. 49), but Jesus raised the dead at the last day, and he that fed on the true bread never ceased to exist, but lived forever (vs. 39, 40, 44, 50, 51).
The manna was for one nation, while the true bread is for all the world. The manna was for a brief age ; the true bread is for the world in all ages.
The People. 34. Lord, 'evermore give us this bread. How far they realized what they were asking we do not know. Alford thinks that “the Jews understood this bread, as the Samaritan woman understood the water, to be some miraculous kind of sustenance which would bestow life everlasting.” It is probable that in different hearers there were differing degrees of comprehending Christ's words, some looking for miraculous food for the body ; some for the abundant blessings of a temporal Messiah ; some having a vague sense of spiritual need; while in others there was a deep spiritual hunger that felt the value of spiritual food, without understanding how Christ could give it.
Jesus. 35. I, emphatic, am the bread of life. “This is an announcement to which he has been gradually leading up, and which he repeats again and again in slightly varying form (vs. 48, 51, 58).”. New Century Bible. “ The characteristic of the bread of God is that it giveth life to the world ; a fuller life-giving power than that of the manna is implied ; and it is of universal application, and not merely to their fathers.”
Exp. Gk. Test. He that cometh to me, was not a physical approach which they had adopted in pursuing him to Capernaum, but such a coming as might equally well be called ' believing,' a spiritual approach, implying the conviction that he was what he claimed to be." Exp. Gk. Test. Shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst,“ shall never desire spiritual grace and not have it given to him.” Sadler. Shall never have the hunger of pain, the hunger that is not satisfied ; while they shall have the hunger that Jesus pronounced blessed, the hunger after righteousness, which is an appetite for more, and which shall be continually satisfied. The best and highest and happiest earthly condition is that which is full of desires and aspirations and longings, called hunger in the Beatitudes, but
36. But I said unto you, That ye also have seen me, and believe not.
37. All that the Father giveth me shall come to me; and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out.
" As our
every one of which has its satisfactions. But he that goes to Jesus shall have no painful, unsatisfied longings. The soul is full of longings and hungerings, but Jesus satisfies them all.
36. Jesus realizes that many would refuse to believe. They had seen him, what he had done, and yet did not believe. But (v. 37), certain ones, all that the Father giveth me, will come and him that cometh to me I will in no wise cast out. “In spite of their unbelief Jesus feels assured that God's purpose in sending him into the world will be accomplished.”. New Century Bible.
40. I will raise him up at the last day.
V. HOW IS JESUS THE BREAD OF LIFE. (1) Eating Jesus' flesh is of course symbolical ; but it is real. The flesh is the bodily, visible form in which the Son of God was incarnated. It represents all he did in the body, all his labors and sufferings, his Gethsemane, his death on the cross, making atonement for our sins, manifesting his infinite love for mankind, the greatest love in the universe. Cleansing from sin, and restoration to God, were provided by the offering of his life in the flesh ; and we eat his flesh when we use in our own behalf the death of Christ, and take the blessings he has made possible to us; when we accept the forgiveness of sins, enter into the love of God, and adopt as our own the spirit of the cross ; when we accept God's love, and adopt Christ's sacrifice as our guiding principle of life, and actually make Christ the Source and Guide of our spiritual life.” Professor Dods in Expositor's Bible.
(2) The Symbol of the Bréad teaches that Christ is the food of the soul. food makes our bodies what they are, and becomes in us bones and flesh and sinew and blood ; as our intellectual food makes our minds what they are, coarse or refined, barbaric or cultured, disciplined or wild and riotous, so our spiritual companionship makes our spirits what they are.'
Souls grow by contact with other souls. The larger and fuller the Spirit with whom we come into touch, and the more the points of contact, the more free and strong is our growth. Life kindles life, love awakens love, courage arouses courage, self-devotion inspires self-devotion ;, thought quickens thought. So that there is nothing in the universe like abiding in Christ, seeing him, working with him, loving him, becoming acquainted with him, to promote the growth of our souls in every good. It is the impartation of life and strength to the soul, and to every faculty. “ I live,” says Paul, “yet no longer I, but Christ liveth in me.”
See Gal. 2 : 20 ; (3) The means of feeding the soul with the Bread of Life is revealed to us in 2 Cor. 3 : 18 (Eng. R.). We all, with unveiled face reflecting as a mirror the glory of the Lord, are changed into the same image from glory to glory even as by the Lord, the Spirit. “What is the glory of the Lord ? Glory suggests radiance. It symbolizes the most radiant and beautiful thing in man, as in the Man Christ Jesus ; and that is character. Character. The glory of Christ is character. Now read this verse once more with this meaning, · We all, with unveiled face, reflecting as a mirror the character of the Lord, are changed into the same image, from character to character. How can we get the character ? Stand in Christ's presence and mirror his character and you will be
into the same image from character to character. What then is the practical lesson ? It is obvious. Make Christ your constant companion. Be more under his influence than under any other influence.” - Prof. Henry Drummond in The Perfected Life,
(4) How a Vision of Christ Changed a Life and a Church. The late Dr. A. J. Gordon, of the Clarendon Street Baptist Church, Boston, had a dream in his early ministry that was as real to him as the vision of Peter when he saw the sheet let
Col. 2 : 19.
down from heaven. “ It was Saturday night, when wearied from the work of preparing Sunday's sermon. I was in the pulpit before a full congregation, just ready to begin my sermon, when a stranger entered and passed slowly up the left aisle. Nearly half-way up the aisle a gentleman offered him a place in his pew, which was quietly accepted. Excepting the face and features of the stranger, everything in the scene is distinctly remembered.
After service, approaching with great eagerness, the gentleman with whom he had sat, I asked : 'Can you tell me wh that stranger was who sat in your pew this morning ?'
“ In the most matter of course way he replied : 'Why, did you not know that man ? It was Jesus of Nazareth.'
“ With a sense of the keenest disappointment I said : “My dear sir, why did you let him go without introducing me to him? I was so desirous to speak with him.'
“ And with the same nonchalant air the gentleman replied : Oh, do not be troubled. He has been here to-day, and no doubt he will come again.'
“ And now came an indescribable rush of emotion. What was I saying? In what spirit did I preach ? What did he think of our sanctuary? How was he impressed with the music and the order of worship ? A lifetime, almost an eternity of interest crowded into a single moment.'
That Saturday night's dream changed not only Dr. Gordon's life, but the spirit and life of the church of which he was pastor. I knew him personally and also leading members of his church who are living at the time of this writing. The realization that Christ was present with him became the Bread of Life to him.
Now what would be the effect if the glorious Jesus, whom we have seen in our lesson, should come, with his glories veiled, into our home, into our class, into our church! And yet he is always there, if only we would realize his presence.
(5) We come into this personal communion with Jesus, and within the power of his personality, by reading and studying the records of his life, by loving him, by working with him for his cause, by dwelling on his character, and counselling with him in prayer.
(6) One of the best ways of coming into close friendship with Jesus is by working with him, and for his cause. Some of the dearest friendships I have ever known have come to me through working together for a common cause. Each feels with the other
“His being working in my own,
JESUS SAVES FROM SIN. -- John 8:12, 28-37, 56-59.
PRINT vs. 12, 31-37, 56-58.
MEMORIZE vs. 31, 32.
If therefore the Son shall make you free, ye shall be free
GOLDEN TEXT. indeed. JOHN 8:36.
THE TEACHER AND HIS CLASS. definite. They need a clearer objec
tive." Professor Norman E. Richardson of the Theological Seminary of the M. E. Church
In a temperance lesson there is always in Boston tells us Sunday School Teach- an easy opportunity to take aim. But ers : "A hunter has to do three things. familiar with the facts, and concentrate
the teacher must first load his gun, be He must load the gun and pull the trigger all he has to say upon one definite aim, and aim. Some teachers aim to do a great and then pull the trigger. many things and never get them done. It is because they do not shoot. But a far
LEARN BY HEART. greater number of teachers fall short of success because their spiritual aim is in- Vs. 31, 32, 34 ; Proverbs 23 : 31, 32.
THE LESSON IN ITS SETTING.
PLAN OF THE LESSON.
in Relation to Intemperance. six months after our last Lesson.
I. JESUS THE LIGHT OF THE WORLD,
V. I 2.
CHILDREN OF GOD, VS. 32, 33.
A Vision of the Dangers and Evils COURT
of Strong Drink.
I. INTEMPERANCE IS A MURDERER.
II. INTEMPERANCE IS A LIAR.
Special pamphlets and leaflets can be obtained of the Scientific Temperance Federation, Boston, Mass.
Alcohol : Practical Facts for Practical
Some Modern Facts about Alcoholic
Liquor Education through Posters.
A Brief Summary of the Efects of AlcoContinuing in Jesus' Word.
hol on the Body, by James J. Putnam,
THE LESSON IN LITERATURE.
Tennyson's Poems, “ The Vision of
Sin.” Drama of “ William Tell,” conTHE TEACHER'S LIBRARY.
tains a good illustration of spiritual A capital study of the “ Teaching in liberty. The slavery of sin is illustrated the Temple ” will be found in Gilbert's by Lord Marmion, in Scott's Poems ; Life of Christ (288–293). R. C. Trench's Eugene Aram, in Hood's Poems; the Westminster Sermons, “ The Slavery of veiled prophet of Khorassan, in Moore's Sin.” F. W. Robertson's Sermons, Series Lalla Rookh ; Richard III. and Macbeth, I, “ Freedom by the Truth." Van in Shakespeare. Stevenson's story of Dr. Dyke's Gospel for an Age of Doubt, Jekyl and Mr. Hyde ; the story of John" Liberty."
Jack, by Lynde Palmer.
12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world : he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life.
Safe-guards against the Dangers of Intemperance especially for the Young.
I. LIGHT OF THE WORLD, v. 12. Then spake Jesus again unto them, saying, I am the light of the world. The scene was in the Temple, in the court of the Women. The festival which was being celebrated for eight days was the annual thanksgiving Feast of the Jews. In this Court were not only the trumpet openings into which offerings of money were cast, but the four gigantic candelabra, 75 feet high, each with four golden bowls for oil, in the centre of the court. At night these were lighted, and the light emanating from them was visible to the whole city. Around these lights pious men danced before the people with lighted flambeaux in their hands, singing hymns and songs of praise, whilst the Levites, who were stationed on the fifteen steps which led into the women's court, and which corresponded to the fifteen psalms of degrees, i.e. steps (Psa. 120–134), accompanied the songs with instrumental music.
“ Let us suppose ourselves in the number of worshippers who, on the last, the great day of the feast, are leaving, their 'booths’ at daybreak to take part in the service. The pilgrims are all in festive array. They follow a priest who bears a golden pitcher to the fountain of Siloam, in the valley south of the temple. Here the priest fills from this fountain the golden pitcher, and brings it back into the court of the temple amid the shouts of the multitude and the sound of cymbals and trumpets.
“ The rejoicing was so great that the rabbis used to say that he who had never been present at this ceremony, and at the other similar ceremonies by which this feast was distinguished, did not know what rejoicing meant. The return was so timed that they should arrive just as they were laying the pieces of the sacrifice on the great altar of burnt offering, towards the close of the ordinary morning sacrifice service.'
Just at this point, when the interest had been raised to its highest pitch, as the last words of Psa. 118 were chanted, and its echoes were dying away into hushed silence, a voice resounded through the temple, “so shrill and clear that all in heaven and earth might hear,”
IF ANY MAN THIRST, LET HIM COME UNTO ME, AND DRINK.
Again toward evening of the same day, the gigantic candelabra were lighted, shedding their light over the whole scene. These lamps were probably in commemo
ration of the pillar of fire which guided the Israelites through the wilderness to Canaan (Ex. 13 : 21), and we must revert to the story in Exodus in order to get at the full meaning of Christ's words. “A visible pillar of cloud or vapor arose, a conspicuous object that could be seen not only by the marshalled host, but by the scattered companies of women and children, as they fed their flocks, and followed afar off the marvellous signal of the divine presence. A great host, marching through a country without roads or other marks of civilization, must be provided with some conspicuous object to serve as a signal to the main body, and to all straggling parties connected with it. Hence the round grate, full of kindled fuel, elevated on a pole, which was carried before caravans and armies in the East.”
In a pause in the evening ceremonies, when the multitudes were hushed for a few moments the voice of Jesus once more rang out clear and strong : I am the light of the world : he that followeth me shall not walk in darkness, but shall have the light of life. As if he had said: Follow me as your fathers followed the Shekinah light, go where I show you the way, and as surely as they were led to their promised land, I will now lead you and your nation to the fulfilment of your hopes, and the realization of the promises of God and of the visions of his prophets.
Amid all the confusions, and perils, and wars, ignorance of the future, conflicting opinions, corruptions, and crimes, there is only one true and safe way to the promised time, and that is by following the light of Jesus. So far as we are following his principles we are going right. It is by his light, by following his teachings, by doing his
will, by putting his principles into governments, his love Torch and Torch-bearer.
of righteousness and the good of man into rulers, by liv
ing in his way, doing business according to his laws, spreading the gospel according to his commands, seeking first the kingdom of God according to his command, that the world will move on toward the Millennium.
In its Application to Temperance, Jesus is the Light of the World. He enables us to see clearly the dividing line between the two ways of life. Following Him clarifies the vision of the results of each course. We visit prisons, and see that the larger