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. 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. 38 For I came down from heaven, not to do mine own will, but the will of him that sent me. 39 And this is the Father’s will which hath sent me, that of all which he hath given me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up again at the last day. 40 And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.
This passage brings out some important ideas about the nature of belief. An atheistic, evolutionary scientist, Andrew Newberg, in a book entitled Why God Won’t Go Away: Brain Science and the Biology of Belief admits that mankind seems to be programmed, although he doesn’t mean that in the literal sense of a programmer, to believe in God.
The Bible teaches that we have the capacity to believe and that faith is given to us in measure once we believe.
Romans 3:3 For what if some did not believe? shall their unbelief make the faith of God without effect?…22 Even the righteousness of God which is by faith of Jesus Christ unto all and upon all them that believe: for there is no difference:
Galatians 3:22 But the scripture hath concluded all under sin, that the promise by faith of Jesus Christ might be given to them that believe.
Belief and faith are closely linked so that one must believe in order to be given faith. Belief is the first step, issued from man’s heart, while faith sent from God is necessary for your right relationship with your Creator and salvation.
Hebrews 11:6 But without faith it is impossible to please him: for he that cometh to God must believe that he is, and that he is a rewarder of them that diligently seek him.
You are saved by God’s response to your belief and confession of that belief to Him.
Romans 10:9 That if thou shalt confess with thy mouth the Lord Jesus, and shalt believe in thine heart that God hath raised him from the dead, thou shalt be saved.
Then faith is given which is the necessary ingredient for sanctification and for pleasing God.
Romans 12:3 For I say, through the grace given unto me, to every man that is among you, not to think of himself more highly than he ought to think; but to think soberly, according as God hath dealt to every man the measure of faith.
So, those who accuse God of unfairness because they say that mankind has no capacity to believe without the interference of the Holy Spirit I say that you do have the capacity to believe and with that belief God will give you faith. Calvin, in his Institutes of the Christian Religion, believed that man was so corrupt and wicked in his free will that he would not believe without the Holy Spirit’s intervention. I am not denying any operation of God on a human heart, simply pointing out how the Bible distinguishes between believing and faith which can be a very fine distinction in some places, as it will become clearer that being drawn to Christ is based on God’s work in your heart. You simply have no excuse. If you will believe God will draw you to Christ. If you do believe He will give you faith.
Jesus declares here that He is the bread of life, the genuine article. Those that come to him will never thirst or hunger and, as God is very inclusive and welcoming, He will deny no one who wants it, the opportunity to come to Christ. He is obviously, to any sane person, making a spiritual application as believers, those who have faith, do experience physical thirst and physical hunger. Can you picture some fundamentalist declaring that if you feel a gnawing in your stomach because the morning sermon went on long that you might not be saved because you have no faith, because, after all, Jesus said if you come to Him you will never hunger? Well, that’s the kind of thing these Pharisees are about to do.
There are several declarations of why Jesus came to earth in the Bible but it is clear here that He came to do the Father’s will which is to save men and women, who once saved will always be saved as seen from the literal rendering of the passage.
God’s desire for humanity is;
1Timothy 2:4 Who will have all men to be saved, and to come unto the knowledge of the truth.
Other declarations of the fullness of Jesus’ mission on earth include that He came to save sinners;
1Timothy 1:15 This is a faithful saying, and worthy of all acceptation, that Christ Jesus came into the world to save sinners; of whom I am chief.
He came to take away our sin and destroy the works of the devil who is the god of this world, it’s institutions, and ambitions (2Corinthians 4:4; Luke 16:15);
1John 3:5 And ye know that he was manifested to take away our sins; and in him is no sin…8 He that committeth sin is of the devil; for the devil sinneth from the beginning. For this purpose the Son of God was manifested, that he might destroy the works of the devil.
When He arrived the first time He did not come to judge but to save;
John 3:17 For God sent not his Son into the world to condemn the world; but that the world through him might be saved.
John 12:47 And if any man hear my words, and believe not, I judge him not: for I came not to judge the world, but to save the world.
After His resurrection and ascension He works through His followers to deliver as much of mankind as possible from death and Hell by faith in Him.
Matthew 28:18 And Jesus came and spake unto them, saying, All power is given unto me in heaven and in earth. 19 Go ye therefore, and teach all nations, baptizing them in the name of the Father, and of the Son, and of the Holy Ghost: 20 Teaching them to observe all things whatsoever I have commanded you: and, lo, I am with you alway, even unto the end of the world. Amen.
He will bodily return to judge the world and take physical control of it.
Revelation 11:15 And the seventh angel sounded; and there were great voices in heaven, saying, The kingdoms of this world are become the kingdoms of our Lord, and of his Christ; and he shall reign for ever and ever.
And to complete physically His work of redemption;
Hebrews 9:28 So Christ was once offered to bear the sins of many; and unto them that look for him shall he appear the second time without sin unto salvation.
Are you looking for Him?
Titus 2:11 ¶ For the grace of God that bringeth salvation hath appeared to all men, 12 Teaching us that, denying ungodliness and worldly lusts, we should live soberly, righteously, and godly, in this present world; 13 Looking for that blessed hope, and the glorious appearing of the great God and our Saviour Jesus Christ; 14 Who gave himself for us, that he might redeem us from all iniquity, and purify unto himself a peculiar people, zealous of good works.
God’s will is that those who believe on Christ have everlasting life and will be physically resurrected.
Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death; but the gift of God is eternal life through Jesus Christ our Lord.
The Old Testament saints knew of this physical resurrection. From the oldest book penned in the Bible, Job;
Job 19:23 ¶ Oh that my words were now written! oh that they were printed in a book! 24 That they were graven with an iron pen and lead in the rock for ever! 25 For I know that my redeemer liveth, and that he shall stand at the latter day upon the earth: 26 And though after my skin worms destroy this body, yet in my flesh shall I see God: 27 Whom I shall see for myself, and mine eyes shall behold, and not another; though my reins be consumed within me.
Through Isaiah, a thousand years later;
Isaiah 26:19 Thy dead men shall live, together with my dead body shall they arise. Awake and sing, ye that dwell in dust: for thy dew is as the dew of herbs, and the earth shall cast out the dead.
Ezekiel 37:5 Thus saith the Lord GOD unto these bones; Behold, I will cause breath to enter into you, and ye shall live: (Read the entire chapter, written specifically to the Jews)
Daniel 12:2 And many of them that sleep in the dust of the earth shall awake, some to everlasting life, and some to shame and everlasting contempt.
The question remains; are you looking for Him?