|Matthew Henry's Concise Commentary|
6:28-35 Constant exercise of faith in Christ, is the most important and difficult part of the obedience required from us, as sinners seeking salvation. When by his grace we are enabled to live a life of faith in the Son of God, holy tempers follow, and acceptable services may be done. God, even his Father, who gave their fathers that food from heaven to support their natural lives, now gave them the true Bread for the salvation of their souls. Coming to Jesus, and believing on him, signify the same. Christ shows that he is the true Bread; he is to the soul what bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life. He is the Bread of God. Bread which the Father gives, which he has made to be the food of our souls. Bread nourishes only by the powers of a living body; but Christ is himself living Bread, and nourishes by his own power. The doctrine of Christ crucified is now as strengthening and comforting to a believer as ever it was. He is the Bread which came down from heaven. It denotes the Divinity of Christ's person and his authority; also, the Divine origin of all the good which flows to us through him. May we with understanding and earnestness say, Lord, evermore give us this Bread.
Verse 33. - For the bread of God is that which cometh down out of heaven, and giveth life to the world. It is debated whether the ὁ καταβαίνων is "he who cometh down," or "that (bread) which cometh," etc. - whether in this verse the Lord passes at once to the identification of himself with the bread, or for a moment longer is delaying the announcement, and broadly asserting the qualities of that "bread of God," viz. that whoever and whatever it is, IT comes from heaven, and gives life, not merely to the theocratic people, but to the whole world. (The latter is the view of Hengstenberg, Lange, Meyer, Westcott, Moulton; the former translation is partially urged by Godet, who thinks our Lord here spoke amphibologically, meaning both ideas, but by the form of the expression reserving the solution of the problem.) It certainly does not follow that, if he was speaking of himself, the expression ὁ καταβάς would have been used, because, in ver. 50, after he has removed all ambiguity, he still uses the present tense, ὁ καταβαίνων. The present tense is that of quality rather than of time. These characteristics of the veritable bread of God must hold good. It must have a heavenly origin, life-giving power, and universality of application to human need. John 3:16 is here repeated. The whole world is the object of the Divine grace and love. The bread of God must be a Divine gift, mysterious and heavenly in its origin, and must at once demonstrate its vitality, its Source, and its Giver.
Gill's Exposition of the Entire Bible
For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven,.... In the way and manner just now mentioned: and which clearly points out Christ himself, who may be called "the bread of God"; to distinguish him from common bread, and to show the excellency of him, and that he is of God's providing and giving, and which he would have his children feed upon:
and giveth life unto the world; a spiritual life, which he is the author, supporter, and maintainer of; and eternal life, which he gives a right unto and meetness for, and nourishes up unto; and this not to a few only, or to the Israelites only, but to the Gentiles also, and even to the whole world of God's elect: not indeed to every individual in the world, for all are not quickened now, not shall inherit eternal life hereafter; but to all the people of God, in all parts of the world, and in all ages of time; of such extensive virtue and efficacy is Christ, the bread of God, in which he appears greatly superior to that manna the Jews instance in.
Jamieson-Fausset-Brown Bible Commentary
33. For the bread of God is he, &c.—This verse is perhaps best left in its own transparent grandeur—holding up the Bread Itself as divine, spiritual, and eternal; its ordained Fountain and essential Substance, "Him who came down from heaven to give it" (that Eternal Life which was with the Father and was manifested unto us, 1Jo 1:2); and its designed objects, "the world."
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