John 6:35 - The First I AM - Jesus the Bread of Life! Are You 'Eating' It?
John 6:35 (KJV) 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.
John 6:35 (CWB) Jesus said, "I am that manna. I am God's bread
from heaven and the One who gives life to the soul. He who accepts
me will never hunger for spiritual food, and he who believes in me
will never thirst spiritually.
John 6:35: I AM'S
The first of seven great "I am" revelations (John 8:12 and 9:5;
10:7 and 9; 10:11 and 14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1 and 5). [Ryrie SB]
The first of seven self-descriptions of Jesus introduced by "I
am" (see 8:12; 9:5; 10:7,9; 10:11,14; 11:25; 14:6; 15:1,5). [NIV
I am the bread of life (6:35)
I am the light of the world (8:12)
I am the gate (10:7,9)
I am the good shepherd (10:11, 14)
I am the resurrection and the life (11:25)
I am the way, the truth, and the life (14:6)
I am the true vine (15:1, 5)
The "I AM" Statements of John's Gospel
Twenty-three times in all we find our Lord's meaningful "I AM"
(, Gk.) in the Greek text of this Gospel (4:26; 6:20, 35, 41, 48,
51; 8:12, 18, 24, 28, 58; 10:7, 9, 11, 14; 11:25; 13:19; 14:6; 15:1,
5; 18:5, 6, 8). In several of these He joins His "I AM" with seven
tremendous metaphors which are expressive of his saving relationship toward
"I AM the Bread of Life" (6:35, 41, 48, 51).
"I AM the Light of the World" (8:12).
"I AM the Door of the sheep" (10:7, 9).
"I AM the Good Shepherd" (10:11, 14).
"I AM the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25).
"I AM the Way, the Truth, and the Life" (14:6).
"I AM the true Vine" (15:1, 5).
"I am" (ego eimi) is the Greek equivalent of YHWH, Yahweh, the
revelatory and personal name of God that vitalizes the Old Testament.
What are the "I am" statements in John, and how do they display
the deity that Jesus claimed?
 "I am the bread of life" (6:35). Jesus is the One who
sustains physical and spiritual life.
 "Before Abraham was born, I am!" (8:58) Jesus is the
preexistent One, the witness to and source of sacred history.
 "I am the Gate for the sheep" (10:7). Jesus provides
access to God and salvation.
 "I am the Good Shepherd" (10:11). Jesus lays down His
life for us, His sheep.
 "I am the Resurrection and the Life" (11:25). Jesus is
the source and giver of life eternal.
 "I am the Way and the Truth and the Life" (14:6). Jesus
alone provides access to God the Father and all of the Father's good
gifts to humankind.
 "I am" the true vine (15:1). Jesus is the source of
spiritual vitality. By remaining close to Him we are enabled to bring
forth fruit and so glorify God. [Victor Bible Background Commentary]
Bread was the primary food in Bible times. Bread was baked from
a variety of grains, and often the flour was mixed with beans or
lentils. [Victor Bible Background Commentary]
Manna was given to Israel; so Christ to the spiritual Israel.
There was manna enough for them all; so in Christ a fulness of grace
for all believers; (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
It is interesting to compare the manna to Jesus Christ:
(1) It came from heaven at night; Christ came from heaven when
men were in darkness.
(2) It fell on the dew; Christ came, born of the Spirit of God.
(3) It was not defiled by the earth; Christ was sinless,
separate from sinners.
(4) It was small, round, and white, suggesting His humility,
eternality, and purity.
(5) It was sweet to the taste; Christ is sweet to those who
(6) It had to be taken and eaten; Christ must be received and
appropriated by faith (1:12-13).
(7) It came as a free gift; Christ is the free gift of God to
(8) There was sufficient for all; Christ is sufficient for all.
(9) If you did not pick it up, you walked on it; if you do not
receive Christ, you reject Him and walk on Him (see Heb. 10:26-31).
(10) It was wilderness food; Christ is our food in this pilgrim
journey to heaven. [Wiersbe Expository Outlines]
Bread was the basic food of the ancients. It is symbolic of all
that sustains life here on earth. As "bread from heaven" Jesus is
affirming that He is essential to provide and sustain spiritual life.
The concept of "eating" Christ's flesh is symbolic too (vv.
53-54). Material bread must be eaten and digested--it must become part of
In the same way all that Christ is must become a part of us. We
must appropriate Him by faith, take Him in completely that He might
become a part of us and sustain us. [Victor Bible Reader's Companion]
People eat bread to satisfy physical hunger and to sustain
physical life. We can satisfy spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life
only by a right relationship with Jesus Christ. No wonder he called
himself the bread of life. But bread must be eaten to sustain life, and
Christ must be invited into our daily walk to sustain spiritual life.
[Life Application SB]
Symbolically Jesus is the heavenly manna, the spiritual or
supernatural food given by the Father to those who ask seek, and knock (v 45;
Matt. 7:7-8). [Word In Life SB]
Manna was to be gathered in the morning; and those that would
find Christ must seek him early. (Matthew Henry's Commentary)
God provided the food in a way that would also teach the people
something about their relationship with Him. Every day God gave enough
food for that day. No one could gather more than a day's supply.
There had to be a continual, constant dependence on God; [Victor
The life of Christ that gives life to the world is in His word.
It was by His word that Jesus healed disease and cast out demons;
by His word He stilled the sea, and raised the dead; and the people
bore witness that His word was with power.
Like their Master, they were to live "by every word that
proceedeth out of the mouth of God." Matt. 4:4.
As our physical life is sustained by food, so our spiritual life
is sustained by the word of God. And every soul is to receive life
from God's word for himself. As we must eat for ourselves in order to
receive nourishment, so we must receive the word for ourselves. We are
not to obtain it merely through the medium of another's mind. We
should carefully study the Bible, asking God for the aid of the Holy
Spirit, that we may understand His word. We should take one verse, and
concentrate the mind on the task of ascertaining the thought which God has
put in that verse for us. We should dwell upon the thought until it
becomes our own, and we know "what saith the Lord."
The word of God, received into the soul, molds the thoughts, and
enters into the development of character.
By looking constantly to Jesus with the eye of faith, we shall
be strengthened. God will make the most precious revelations to His
hungering, thirsting people. They will find that Christ is a personal
Saviour. As they feed upon His word, they find that it is spirit and
life. The word destroys the natural, earthly nature, and imparts a new
life in Christ Jesus. The Holy Spirit comes to the soul as a
Comforter. By the transforming agency of His grace, the image of God is
reproduced in the disciple; he becomes a new creature. Love takes the place
of hatred, and the heart receives the divine similitude. This is
what it means to live "by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth
of God." This is eating the Bread that comes down from heaven.
The words of God are the wellsprings of life. As you seek unto
those living springs you will, through the Holy Spirit, be brought
into communion with Christ. Familiar truths will present themselves
to your mind in a new aspect, texts of Scripture will burst upon
you with a new meaning as a flash of light, you will see the
relation of other truths to the work of redemption, and you will know
that Christ is leading you, a divine Teacher is at your side.