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DISCOVERY OF THE FACTS
1. Seeking the Food that Perisheth, vv. 22–34
What is the multitude represented as doing in the opening verses of the lesson? Was it really Himself they were seeking? Is there any of that sort of seeking today? What noticeable change is made in the Revised Version in v. 26? What is taught by the use of the word “signs” instead of miracles as to the deeper purpose of the wonders our Lord wrought? What was all the people had seen in these deeds of power? What did He wish them to see in them? If they had seen “in the bread the sign” and not “in the sign only the bread,” what difference would there have been in their seeking Him? What was the character of the food upon which their eyes and desire were set? What is the inevitable consequence of laboring merely for “the meat which perisheth”? What other food is there? From whom must this better food be received? As what must it be received? (Ro. 6:23; Eph. 2:8; v. 27.) In what sense are we to labor for it?
As a sign or type of what were the multiplied loaves intended? What will be the result of eating this “meat which endureth, etc.”? (vv. 51, 58.) What proof had they that the Son of man would give them this bread? How had the Father sealed Him? (John 1:33, 34; 5:36, 37; 10:37, 38; Acts 2:22; Matt. 3:17; Eph. 4:30). If any one rejects Him whom the Father has so clearly “sealed,” what does it show? (John 15:24.)
What question on the part of the multitude did our Lord’s words about laboring “for that meat which endureth, etc.” awaken? How did they evidently think the bread was to be obtained? (Matt. 19:16; Luke 10:25; Acts 2:37; 9:6; 16:30.) Was it to be gained by “works”? What is the one work God requires as the condition of obtaining this bread? (John 3:16–18, 36; Acts 16:31; Eph. 2:8.) What did His hearers demand as a condition of believing upon Him? What made this demand especially unreasonable at this particular time? (vv. 10, 14.) Are the demands of modern skeptics as a condition of their believing any more reasonable? What greatest of all signs did they have before their eyes at that very moment (v. 36)? By a reference to what did they seek to reinforce their demand for a sign? Of what did He show them that the manna was merely the type? What are the two characteristics of the Bread of God (v. 33)?
Did His hearers understand at all what our Lord meant by “the Bread of God”? (John 4:15.) If they had understood would they have said: “Lord, evermore give us this bread”? Does the world wish this Bread of God today?
2. Offering the Bread of Life, vv. 35–51
What did He explain to them the Bread of life was? What did He say that He would perfectly and permanently satisfy? Is there any distinction in thought brought out by the words “hunger” and “thirst”? Is there any difference between coming to Jesus and believing on Jesus? Had they seen this true Bread (v. 36)? Had they appreciated what it was? Why not? Why do not men appreciate and believe in this Bread today? Who did our Lord say certainly would come to Him? Who are they whom the Father gives to Him (v. 45)? What is the best way to prove that one is one of these? What would be the result if any one did come (v. 37)? Suppose that one who had “sinned away his day of grace” should come? What little phrase of three words in v. 37 makes it absolutely certain that whosoever comes will be fully received? Why will our Lord in nowise cast him out (v. 38)? What is the Father’s will? Who is it the will of the Father should have eternal life? What word does the Revised Version substitute for “seeth”? What is the force of that change? Where can we behold the Son today? (1 John 1:1–3, John 20:31; 2 Tim. 3:15.) Who must show Christ in Scripture if we are really to behold and believe? (John 15:26; 16:14.) What will our Lord do for the one who beholds Him and believes in Him?
How did the Jews receive this declaration? What was the objection they made? Are there any today who stumble over the doctrine that a man of human parentage should also be of divine origin? Did our Lord know what was passing in their minds? What did He tell them was the real ground of their difficulty (vv. 44, 45)? What is absolutely necessary before any man can come to Him? What will He do for the one whom the Father draws to Him? Who begins the work of salvation? Who completes it? How is this drawing effected (v. 45)? Does “all” in v. 45 mean that all men shall “be taught of God,” or does it mean that all who come are “taught of God,” or drawn of the Father, and owe their coming to that fact? (See the passage quoted, Is. 54:13, and its context, and note the context here.) Who are they who are really drawn of the Father and “taught of God”? Whose fault then is it if we are not drawn and taught and do not come and do not get eternal life? (John 5:40.) What does he who hears from the Father, etc., get (v. 47)? When?
What contrast does our Lord draw between the effects of eating the manna and eating Himself (vv. 48–50)? What similar contrast does He draw elsewhere? (John 4:13, 14.) What is the bread that He gives? How is His flesh bread that brings everlasting life? (1. 1 Peter 2:24; Matt. 20:28; Eph. 5:2, 25; Heb. 10:12, 20; John 1:29; 3:16; 2 Cor. 5:21; 1 John 2:2; 4:10, 14; Ex. 12:7, 13. 2. Ex. 12:8; John 6:53–57; 1 Cor. 10:16, 17.) What will you do with this bread—eat and live forever, or reject and perish?
CLASSIFICATION OF TEACHINGS
1. The Father
Invisible to man, visible to the Son, 46; sent the Son, 38, 39; gives the true Bread from heaven—His Son, 32; sealed the Son whom He sent, 27; gives to our Lord all who hearken to and learn from Himself, 37, 49; draws to the Son all whom He has given to Him, 44, 37; Himself teaches all those whom He has given, 45.
His will—that Christ should not lose a single member of that which He has given Him; that Christ should raise up every member of the body He has given Him, that every one who beholdeth and believeth on the Son should have eternal life, 39, 40.
2. Our Lord
(1). What He is:
Son of God, 32, 40; Son of man, 27; sent by the Father, perfectly devoted to His will, 38; came down from heaven, 33; reads men’s hearts, 43; Himself the great sign of which the multiplied loaves were only a shadow, 36; Himself the reality of which the manna was only the type, 31–33.
(2). What He gives:
Life unto the world, 33; the meat which endureth unto eternal life, 27; never-failing strength to all who come to Him, never-failing peace to all who believe on Him, 35.
3. The Bread of Life
Should be that which we seek rather than the meat which perisheth; given by the Son of man, 27; Jesus Himself the Bread of life, 35; from heaven, the Bread of God, giveth life unto the world, 32, 33; whoever eats never hungers, 35; never dies, 50, 51; to be received by faith, 27–30, 35.
4. Coming to Jesus
(1). False coming—for earthly gain, 26; true coming—for Himself, 35.
(2). What necessary in order to come—That the Father draw us, that we listen to and learn of Him, 44, 45.
(3). Who come—all whom the Father has given to Jesus, 37.
(4). Results of coming—received, 37; never-failing strength given, hunger and thirst forever satisfied, 35; resurrection, 44.
5. Those Whom the Father Has Given
(1). Who they are:
Those who hear and learn of the Father, those who are taught of God, 45.
(2). What they do:
Come to Jesus, 37; behold the Son, believe on the Son, 40.
(3). What they get:
Welcome, 37; eternal life, 40; eternal security—the Father’s will that none be lost, the Son’s work to raise all up, 39.
6. The Saved
Those who are given by the Father to the Son, 37; drawn by the Father to the Son, 44; taught of God, 45; who have heard and learned of the Father, 45; come to Jesus, 37; believe on the Son, 40, 47; eat the Bread of life, 50, 51.
7. The Mass of Men
Seek Jesus for loaves, but not for spiritual blessing, 24–26; seek the meat which perisheth, but not that which endureth unto eternal life, 27; think the Bread of life is to be gained by good works, 28; require further signs before they believe when signs already abound and our Lord Himself is the great sign, 30, 33, 36; see Him, but believe not, 36; stumble and murmur at His doctrine, 41; stumble at His deity veiled in His humanity, 42; do not hearken to and learn from the Father, and so are not taught or drawn by Him, do not come and believe, and so do not get eternal life and resurrection, 44, 45, 37, 39.
NOTE.—It is hoped that no one will be satisfied with this meagre outline, but will ponder these verses long and deeply for himself. The writer never feels the limitations of his own knowledge more keenly than when he approaches the 6th chapter of John. He sees many wonderful truths here, but feels that there are also great depths that he has not begun to fathom.