Monday, June 1, 2015

John 6:32-33 comments: true bread from heaven

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.

Here, Jesus, the Christ, the Messiah, God in the flesh, contradicts the Jewish understanding of the following passages from the Old Testament and the event itself.

Exodus 16:4  Then said the LORD unto Moses, Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you; and the people shall go out and gather a certain rate every day, that I may prove them, whether they will walk in my law, or no.

Psalm 105:40  The people asked, and he brought quails, and satisfied them with the bread of heaven.

Nehemiah 9:15  And gavest them bread from heaven for their hunger, and broughtest forth water for them out of the rock for their thirst, and promisedst them that they should go in to possess the land which thou hadst sworn to give them.

The bread from heaven the Jews received in the wilderness was but a shadow, a type of what was to come. This event and these passages pointed, like many others, to the presence of Jesus Christ on the earth, offering salvation to the Jews and then, to all mankind. He offered the reality of God. As He said here in referring to the, “true bread from heaven,” the gospel writer, John, later refers to Jesus as the true God;

1John 5:20  And we know that the Son of God is come, and hath given us an understanding, that we may know him that is true, and we are in him that is true, even in his Son Jesus Christ. This is the true God, and eternal life.

True, in Biblical parlance, means authentic and real and genuine along with meaning the opposite of a lie or a falsehood.

Genesis 42:11  We are all one man’s sons; we are true men, thy servants are no spies.

In Jesus’ speech He corrects many misunderstandings about the meaning of Old Testament events and written statements. For instance, in the following verse He clarifies what, “Thou shalt not kill,” in Exodus 20:13 and Deuteronomy 5:17 means;

Matthew 19:18  He saith unto him, Which? Jesus said, Thou shalt do no murder, Thou shalt not commit adultery, Thou shalt not steal, Thou shalt not bear false witness,

…even though He also quotes it as, “kill,” in the same gospel as reported by the same gospel writer;

Matthew 5:21  Ye have heard that it was said by them of old time, Thou shalt not kill; and whosoever shall kill shall be in danger of the judgment:

So, it is not a matter of Matthew’s opinion getting in the way of God’s words as a liberal theologian might contend.

Jesus also, in another place defines what, “some uncleanness,” means, which is the Jew’s justification for finding no favor in a wife’s husband’s eyes, which is the literal context.

Deuteronomy 24:1 ¶  When a man hath taken a wife, and married her, and it come to pass that she find no favour in his eyes, because he hath found some uncleanness in her: then let him write her a bill of divorcement, and give it in her hand, and send her out of his house.

See how the Pharisees, like a Christian fundamentalist today, twisted that;

Matthew 19:3 ¶  The Pharisees also came unto him, tempting him, and saying unto him, Is it lawful for a man to put away his wife for every cause? 4  And he answered and said unto them, Have ye not read, that he which made them at the beginning made them male and female, 5  And said, For this cause shall a man leave father and mother, and shall cleave to his wife: and they twain shall be one flesh? 6  Wherefore they are no more twain, but one flesh. What therefore God hath joined together, let not man put asunder. 7  They say unto him, Why did Moses then command to give a writing of divorcement, and to put her away? 8  He saith unto them, Moses because of the hardness of your hearts suffered you to put away your wives: but from the beginning it was not so. 9  And I say unto you, Whosoever shall put away his wife, except it be for fornication, and shall marry another, committeth adultery: and whoso marrieth her which is put away doth commit adultery. 10  His disciples say unto him, If the case of the man be so with his wife, it is not good to marry. 11  But he said unto them, All men cannot receive this saying, save they to whom it is given. 12  For there are some eunuchs, which were so born from their mother’s womb: and there are some eunuchs, which were made eunuchs of men: and there be eunuchs, which have made themselves eunuchs for the kingdom of heaven’s sake. He that is able to receive it, let him receive it.

Notice how they had taken, “some uncleanness,” and interpreted it by the finding no favor part of the Law, which was backwards. Fornication, that the bride had put herself up as a virgin but had been immoral before she was married legally, was the only cause for divorce in this instance. Without going into vulgar details understand that a woman who falsely professed to be pure could have been stoned as per Deuteronomy 22.  This was the, “some uncleanness,” not a criminal charge but suspicion in its vagueness, therefore requiring a bill of divorcement rather than a charge before the elders. Jesus notes that this freedom was given because men’s hearts were hard implying that God would prefer forgiveness.

 Notice, that this misunderstanding and misapplication of the Law also made others sinners, perhaps without knowledge. But certainly, under the Law given by Moses, Jesus asserts that whoever puts his wife away for any reason other than fornication and marries another is committing adultery and anyone who marries a woman who was put away for any reason other than fornication is committing adultery. Finally, in this context, a eunuch is someone who follows the disciples’ complaint and does not marry and does not produce offspring. It has nothing to do with a person who engages in homosexual behavior. Examine the context and quit misrepresenting God in your speech and teaching. Do you think that God is pleased when either a conservative Christian or a non-believer rips a verse out of context to make it mean something He never meant it to mean to satisfy their own agenda? I can think of a dozen examples of that in typical fundamentalist preaching without even straining. It is abomination.

Jesus is here about to drop a bombshell and the hard of heart will totally misunderstand it, although the context should make it clear.

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