"For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink...This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate and died; he who eats this bread will live forever." (John 6:55, 58, NAS95)
Jesus continues to develop His statement, “I am the Bread of life,” and truly His flesh, beholding Him (John 6:40), and faith in His sacrifice (blood), provide food for life eternal today. By food and faith, I mean truly considering Jesus in full and digesting His life and lifestyle, not just His sacrifice. Both His life and His sacrifice give us much to chew on and assimilate in our own lives. His sacrifice reconciles us to God, and His life shows us the way to engage with the Father.
When I began my life with Christ, His death and resurrection held the primary focus for me, and these remain absolutely significant since on them turn the truth and validity of our common faith. Yet, over time, gleaning habits, beliefs, and expectations from Jesus started to captivate my imagination. What did Jesus believe? After all, He took on human flesh and lived as one of us. What sort of habits resulted from His beliefs? What did He expect in His relationship with the Father?
As I have fed on the life of Christ and received nourishment that satisfies, I have realized that He lived totally secure in the Father’s love. (I’m still working on that as fear and anxiety often creep in to distract.) He believed this in such a way, that He expected the Father to engage Him conversationally and relationally. That belief formed the habit of prayer, listening and attending to the Father in all situations—knowing, counting on His presence with Him. Jesus saturated Himself in God’s Word, too, so much so that it leaked from His life with surprising insight. Insight He gained as He lived out the truth the Word contained, which speaks to me about the responsiveness to God I need to have in my own life in any given moment. Jesus, as a result, had such a rich experience of His Father that He could fully trust that love while upon the cross to receive Him in resurrection later.
All I can say is that I long to appropriate the confidence Jesus had in His Father. I feed on His life daily and I am challenged by His confident intimacy with God. His lifestyle nourishes mine toward imitation of the fullness of life He enjoyed with the Father, including His habits, beliefs, and expectations. The eternal-kind-of-life as I understand. What about you?
Warmly in Christ, Doug Mitts
For Reflection: "He provides food for those who fear Him; He remembers His covenant forever." (Psalm 111:5, NIV11)
What do you think Jesus believed and how did it shape His life?
How does meditating on Jesus as revealed in Scripture feed your soul? In what ways do you cultivate feeding on Jesus?