Three of our Lord Jesus Christ’s great sayings are strung together, like pearls, in this passage. Each of them ought to be precious to every true Christian. All taken together, they form a mine of truth, into which he that searches need never search in vain.
We read that Jesus said—”I am the bread of life—he that comes to me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst.”
Our Lord would have us know that He himself is the appointed food of man’s soul. The soul of every man is naturally starving and famishing through sin. Christ is given by God the Father, to be the Satisfier, the Reliever, and the Physician of man’s spiritual need. In Him and His mediatorial office—in Him and His atoning death—in Him and His priesthood—in Him and His grace, love, and power—in Him alone will empty souls find their needs supplied. In Him there is life. He is “the bread of life.”
With what divine and perfect wisdom this name is chosen! Bread is necessary food. We can manage tolerably well without many things on our table, but not without bread. So is it with Christ. We must have Christ, or die in our own sins. Bread is food that suits all. Some cannot eat meat, and some cannot eat vegetables. But all like bread. It is food both for the Queen and the pauper. So is it with Christ. He is just the Savior that meets the needs of every class. Bread is food that we need daily. Other kinds of food we take, perhaps, only occasionally. But we need bread every morning and evening in our lives. So is it with Christ. There is no day in our lives but we need His blood, His righteousness, His intercession, and His grace. Well may He be called, “The bread of life!”
Do we know anything of spiritual hunger? Do we feel anything of craving and emptiness in conscience, heart, and affections? Let us distinctly understand that Christ alone can relieve and supply us, and that it is His office to relieve. We must come to Him by faith. We must believe on Him, and commit our souls into His hands. So coming, He pledges His royal word we shall find lasting satisfaction both for time and eternity. It is written—”He that comes unto me shall never hunger, and he that believes on me shall never thirst.”
We read that Jesus said—”Him that comes to me I will never cast out.”
What does “coming to Christ” mean? It means that movement of the soul which takes place when a man, feeling his sins, and finding out that he cannot save himself, hears of Christ, applies to Christ, trusts in Christ, lays hold on Christ, and leans all his weight on Christ for salvation. When this happens, a man is said, in Scripture language, to “come” to Christ.
What did our Lord mean by saying—”I will never cast him out?” He meant that He will not refuse to save any one who comes to Him, no matter what he may have been. His past sins may have been very great. His present weakness and infirmity may be very great. But does he come to Christ by faith? Then Christ will receive him graciously, pardon him freely, place him in the number of His dear children, and give him everlasting life.
These are golden words indeed! They have smoothed down many a dying pillow, and calmed many a troubled conscience. Let them sink down deeply into our memories, and abide there continually. A day will come when flesh and heart shall fail, and the world can help us no more. Happy shall we be in that day, if the Spirit witnesses with our spirit that we have really come to Christ!
“Lastly…Twice over come the solemn words—”This is the will of him that sent me.” Once we are told it is His will, “that every one that sees the Son may have everlasting life.” Once we are told it is His will that, “of all which he has given to Christ he shall lose nothing.”
We are taught by these words that Christ has brought into the world a salvation open and free to everyone. Our Lord draws a picture of it, from the story of the bronze serpent, by which bitten Israelites in the wilderness were healed. Every one that chose to “look” at the bronze serpent might live. Just in the same way, every one who desires eternal life may “look” at Christ by faith, and have it freely. There is no barrier, no limit, no restriction. The terms of the Gospel are wide and simple. Every one may “look and live.”
We are taught, furthermore, that Christ will never allow any soul that is committed to Him to be lost and cast away. He will keep it safe, from grace to glory, in spite of the world, the flesh, and the devil. Not one bone of His mystical body shall ever be broken. Not one lamb of His flock shall ever be left behind in the wilderness. He will raise to glory, in the last day, the whole flock entrusted to His charge, and not one shall be found missing.
Let the true Christian feed on the truths contained in this passage, and thank God for them. Christ the Bread of life—Christ the Receiver of all who come to Him—Christ the Preserver of all believers—Christ is for every man who is willing to believe on Him, and Christ is the eternal possession of all who so believe. Surely this is glad tidings and good news!