Monday 5 January, 2015

John 6:41-51

41 Then the Jews began to complain about Jesus. That was because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Isn’t this Jesus, the son of Joseph? Don’t we know his father and mother? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” 43 “Stop complaining among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me brings him. Then I will raise him up on the last day. 45 “It is written in the Prophets, ‘God will teach all of them.’ (Isaiah 54:13) Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46 “No one has seen the Father except the One who has come from God. Only he has seen the Father. 47 What I’m about to tell you is true. Everyone who believes has life forever. 48 “I am the bread of life. 49 Long ago your people ate the manna in the desert, and they still died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven. A person can eat it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Everyone who eats some of this bread will live forever. The bread is my body. I will give it for the life of the world.”

The divinity and humanity of Jesus are as much points of contention now as they were in the time that Jesus walked the earth. This tension is not only “out there” amongst the secular world, but I am aware that there is a tension in me that tends at different times to underemphasise either element of the “God-Man” aspects of who Jesus was.

I have recently been studying the Old Testament in quite a bit of detail and I have been getting excited about the places where Christ makes appearances, or when his coming is prophesied. All of these examples were emphasising that Jesus was eternal, all powerful, engaged in creation and able to work outside time.

Then I came to read Isaiah Chapter 53, where Jesus’ crucifixion is foretold, some 700 years prior to his birth. In reading the account of the brutality of his death, I found myself deeply moved by the humanity of the tragedy of his punishment and death, before being astounded at the re-emergent revelation of the meaning of what Christ achieved by his sacrifice. Although this was not the first time that I had read this passage, it was the re-realisation of Jesus’ humanity and the pain and torture that he endured that moved me as Christ’s humanity was brought back into sharp focus.

Lord, help me to always recognise the full power and divinity of Christ as well as the importance of the fact that he was also fully man.

Written by Ps. Justin Ware

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