John 6:34 MEANING

John 6:34
(34) Lord, evermore give us. . . .--Comp. Note on John 4:15. It would be better to read Sir for "Lord" here, as there. They, as the Samaritan woman, think of the satisfaction of physical need. They do not realise that man does not live by bread alone. The manna fell from heaven and gave life to their fathers; He has spoken of bread of God coming in the same way, and giving life. He has given them bread on earth, which they ate yesterday, but they hunger again to-day. Could He give them "evermore this bread?"

Verse 34. - They said therefore to him, Lord! His hearers have clearly been more impressed than ever with the extraordinary claims of the speaker. They have risen from the "Rabbi" of ver. 26 to "Kyrie," which implies, as the "Kyrie," or "Sir," or "Lord" of John 4:15, some advance in their tone of deference. The request that follows is neither ironical nor sarcastic, nor need it be as carnal in its spirit as the similar language of the woman of Samaria (John 4:15). They have some dim notion of "doing the works of God," and of some heavenly satisfaction given to their earthly wants. It may be that they imagine some material thing coming down out of heaven, more potent and lasting than the historic manna. Lord, evermore - "at all times," "continuously" - give us this bread, of which you speak, and which as Son of man you are able to bestow, which will not be limited in quantity, which will prove to be the elixir of life, the food of the eternal life, and which will satisfy all our hunger, abolish our poverty, make us indifferent to death. A great prayer this, which Christ showed himself not unwilling to answer in his own way.

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.Then said they unto him,.... At least some of them:

Lord, evermore give us this bread; that is so divine and heavenly, and has such a quickening virtue in it: these words are said by them either seriously, and to be understood of bread for their bodies, of which they imagined Christ was speaking; and so sprung from ignorance of his sense; and from sensuality in them who followed him for the loaves; and from a covetous disposition, being desirous of being supplied with such excellent food without charge; and from idleness, to save labour and pains in working for it; and from a vain desire of the continuance of this earthly life, being willing to live for ever, and therefore would have this bread evermore; and from a gross opinion of plenty and delicacy of corporeal food in the times of the Messiah; See Gill on Luke 14:15; or else these words are spoken ironically, by way of derision, as if there was no such bread; and if there was, that Christ could not give it. However, the words may be improved, when considered as a petition coming from, and suitable to, a sensible and enlightened soul: for such who are sensible of their famishing condition by nature, and of their need of Christ, the bread of life, and whose taste is changed, and have tasted how good this bread is, will earnestly desire always to be supplied with it, and to live upon it; for nothing is more grateful to them, and more nourishing and satisfying to their souls; they are never weary of it; it is always new and delightful to them, and they always stand in need of it, and wait in the use of means and ordinances for it; and this has always an abiding, lasting, virtue in it, to feed their souls, and nourish them up to everlasting life. Josephus (i) says of the "manna", which was a type of this bread, that there was such a divine quality in it, that whoever tasted of it needed nothing else: and the Jews also say (k), that

"in the manna were all kinds of tastes, and everyone of the Israelites tasted all that he desired; for so it is written in Deuteronomy 2:7, "these forty years the Lord thy God hath been with thee, thou hast lacked nothing", or "not wanted anything"; what is anything? when he desired to eat anything, and said with his mouth, O that I had fat to eat, immediately there was in his mouth the taste of fat.--Young men tasted the taste of bread, old men the taste of honey, and children the taste of oil.''

Yea, they say (l),

"whoever desired flesh, he tasted it, and whoever desired fish, he tasted it, and whoever desired fowl, chicken, pheasant, or pea hen, so he tasted whatever he desired.''

And to this agrees what is said in the apocryphal book of Wisdom, 16:20,21:

"Thou feddest thine own people with angels' food, and didst send them from heaven bread, prepared without their labour, able to content every man's delight, and agreeing to every taste; for thy sustenance (or manna) declared thy sweetness unto thy children, and serving to the appetite of the eater, tempered itself to every man's liking.''

All which must be understood of that pleasure, satisfaction, and contentment which they had in it; for it was a very uncommon case to eat it, and live upon it as their common food for forty years together: and no doubt but that there was something remarkable in suiting it to their appetites, or giving them appetites suitable to that, to feed upon it, and relish it for so long a time: twice indeed in that length of time we read they complained of it, saying, that they had nothing but this manna before their eyes, and their souls loathed it as light bread, Numbers 11:6, and lusted after the flesh, and the fish they had eaten in Egypt. And so it is with some professors of Christ, and his Gospel; for there is a mixed multitude among them, as there was among the Israelites, who disrelish the preaching of Christ, and the truths of the Gospel respecting his person, blood, and righteousness, and salvation by him; they cannot bear to have these things frequently inculcated and insisted upon; their souls are ready to loath them as light bread, and want to have something else set before them, more suitable to their carnal appetites: but to such who are true believers in Christ, who have tasted that the Lord is gracious, Christ, the true manna, and bread of God, is all things to them; nor do they desire any other: they taste everything that is delightful, and find everything that is nourishing in him.

(i) Antiqu. l. 3. c. 1. sect. 6. (k) Shemot Rabba, sect. 25. fol. 108. 4. (l) Bemidbar Rabba, sect. 7. fol. 188. 1.

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