Come To The Table

So the Jews grumbled about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”— John 6:41-42

So beginning in John 6:31, this small group of the 5000 has chased Jesus down because he fed them by means of a miracle. But the problem this created for them was that this one was so good it had them hooked. And this is the problem with miracles. One is never enough if you don't see the purpose behind them. Now they are distracted by the peripheral matter of a miracle. They even justify their right to another miracle by pointing to the sweet bread (the ba-manna bread) in the desert. Cause that's how ba-manna bread works. You cannot have just one piece.

So Jesus's response to this issue is two-fold. First, (in John 6:32), he points out that the connection they have made is wrong. Moses did not provide the manna in the desert. God did. Second, he will pick up on the word "bread" and use it as a metonym. And this is key because if you don't understand two words here as metonyms (bread and flesh), then you will derive meaning from this text that is incorrect.

So what is a metonym?

Simply put, it is a word used as a substitution for something else. For example, calling a car a "ride." Or referring to your hometown as your "turf." These are metonyms.

This means Jesus uses the word "bread" as a stand-in for a better bread — himself. In doing so, he picks up on a few qualities of the metonym. First, he came down from heaven (like the manna). Second, he is provided by God (like the manna). Third, he satisfies their spiritual hunger (like the manna).

And some of the Jews present pick up on this connection. But they get stuck on that first quality — "I am the bread that came down from heaven." And the reason they get stuck is that they make the connection. They understand the metonym. It infers that Jesus was not created. He always existed. He is the pre-existing manna who has come down from heaven to provide himself as the bread of life. But their problem is, they know his earthly parents — Mary and Joseph. So they are having a big issue with his metonym.

Jesus is a stunning teacher. And his teaching is only going to get better in the coming verses. But remember, our salvation is not dependent on our knowledge of his teaching. Don't let peripheral matters distract you. His teaching is only a guide to point us to the best "bread." That bread is him. He came down, by God, to give life. And we must "consume" him with our belief. And the table is set with plenty of bread, and the choice is yours. Will you sit and eat or not?

ASK THIS: Is there anything preventing your belief in Jesus?

DO THIS: Confess it.

PRAY THIS: God, help any unbelief.

PLAY THIS: Come To The Table.

short + biblical + practical
Read through the Bible daily with Vince Miller.

14 thoughts on “Come To The Table

  1. Eddie Ackerman says:

    I heard from a pastor once that if you are concerned about your spiritual health, that’s a good thing. If you no longer care about your spiritual health, that’s when you might have grieved the Holy Spirit and are due for eternal lake of fire territory. Every other sin, besides maybe taking your own life, can be forgiven between the time it is committed and when you are judged before God. As long as you have breath in your lungs and are willing to reconcile with God, He will forgive you and you can be made whole again and live eternally with Jesus.

  2. Thomas Sells says:

    Thanks Vince…I love the bread, but hate the carbs 😀 …Seriously, we have an amazing savior and I appreciate how he is using you to encourage and help men like me…have a great week!!!!

  3. Jimmie says:

    Brother Vince, could you explain to me in detail what does Hebrews 10:26,27 mean. I have been saved since 1977 and I back sided and had some affairs after knowing the Lord. I am on the better path now, but I read these verses and have been scared that I am not going to Heaven because I knew better.

    • gonzalo says:

      Brother Jimmie,
      I can see this is very heavy in your heart. I pray Vince gives you a better understanding of these verses. If I may, most of us have done something after our acceptance of the Lord that could disqualify us from His grace, but we and you hold on to the fact that it is more natural for God to offer forgiveness, grace and mercy than it is for Him to be quick to pour His wrath on us. If you have truly repented and have turn from said things, He is faithful to forgive, accept, and embrace you as son again and again… “his anger last but a moment, but his love endures forever”. Brother don’t let the enemy twist the Word against you, he tried that with Jesus… perhaps you need to defend yourself in the same matter as Jesus did… with the Word. Have a super bless day brother in the faith!

    • Dennis says:

      Hey Jimmie,
      I know you asked Vince to respond but, I wanted to share something. I was saved in 1985 and licensed to preach in a Southern Baptist church in 1988. Well in 1989 I walked away and slipped back into the world , drinking and having relationships outside of marriage. In 2009, I was ready to put a 9 mm to my head, I went into a church and during the invitation, I went forward and since that day I never looked back! You see God loves us unconditionally. Read the parable of the Prodigal Son in Luke 15:11-32, it will give you perspective.
      AS for Hebrews 10:26-27 , to sin willfully is speaking of someone who has trampled the Son of God underfoot. It is a knowing , deliberate rejection of Jesus’ great work for us on the cross. The writer of Hebrews spoke of something much more severe and relevant to these discouraged Jewish Christians who contemplated a retreat from a distinctive Christianity and a return to Judaism with its sacrificial system. This is turning your back on Jesus. The scripture has nothing to do with backsliders. A man may be overtaken in a fault , or he may deliberately go into sin, and yet neither renounce the Gospel , nor deny the Lord that bought him.
      This is why we have repentance, and with true repentance comes forgiveness. I hope all this made sense.

    • Chris says:

      I just saw a chalkboard video on this last night! I’m single and watch alot of you tube at night. They explained Willing sin vs Willful sin. Sounds confusing. I actually took a photo to show someone else, I’ll see if it loads onto here. The left side explains willing (I actually just ended a dating relationship because of this), having the attitude of “I’m saved I can do whatever”. Versus the right side, willful (which I do too often), where you may be really tired, willfully do the wrong thing, yet it affects your sleep, waken the next morning begging for forgiveness, and try to live today better than yesterday, begging for God’s help. It used the exact verses you just mentioned. Thankfully it didn’t help me rationalize, yet helped me be at peace from fear. Do your best, God wants to pick us up and love us, like a dissaponted father, not a mad jailer. Take his spanking (discipline) to heart and let’s begin our eternal life today, not when we physically die!

    • Vince Miller says:

      Jimmie, this verse refers to perpetual deliberate living in sin for an unbeliever. This is not you. If you have received Jesus as Lord your sin is/was nailed to the cross. He does not take it down and hold it against you every time you sin.

  4. Matt says:

    Learned a new word today! Metonym. Cool how Christ use an earthly object (bread) to help us understand a spiritual truth (HE is the bread that gives us life, sustains us every day, nourishes us, and ultimately saves us). Thanks Vince!

  5. Massimo says:

    I’m distracted by “ba-manna” bread. Man that’s a terrible dad joke! And I just know I’m going to end up using it! My family doesn’t know what’s coming….and I love it! 🤣

    Thanks for the deeper teaching and understanding, Vince!

  6. rick says:

    I believe…but at times my doubts take over my mind, so does that mean I don’t fuly believe? I struggle with this..I know Jesus is my Lord and Savior so why do I have these doubts at times? It is frustrating!

  7. Mark says:

    Brother Vince, powerful words again today as usual, “that we must consume him with our belief” is a very poignant reminder of how our relationship and belief in Him is so important, and so fulfilling! He IS the Bread of Life! As a believer I look forward to the day when we all share in the biggest banquet feast ever in Heaven.

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