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Devotional - week of December 19, 2004


SENT BY THE LIVING FATHER

As the living Father sent me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on me will live because of me.  John 6:57

Jesus refers to His birth dozens of times in the Gospel of John. Most of His comments speak of His being “sent” by the Father. From John 6:29 to John 6:57, Jesus makes eleven references to His birth. In John 6:57 Jesus indicates that His birth is all about life.

The living Father sent Jesus. The man Jesus lived because of the living Father who lived in and through Him.

When Philip asked Jesus to show the disciples the Father, Jesus said, “If you have seen me, you have seen the Father.” In John 14:10 Jesus explains that His works were the works of the Father—the living Father living in and through Him.

In John 6:57 Jesus adds, “He who eats me shall live because of me.

Jesus uses the word “eats” in this verse as an analogy for faith.

Jesus spoke these words the day after He miraculously fed the 5000. Now many of those he had fed have come to Him for more bread. Just as the Jews had eaten physical bread for their bodies, Jesus wants them to put their faith in Him for their spiritual needs—they are to “eat” Him.

In John 6:51 Jesus said:

I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever …

The word “eats” in this verse is in a tense that can refer to a one-time event. Likely, Jesus is referring to entering the Kingdom of God by faith in Him. In 6:57 “eats” is in a tense that means continual action. He is referring to experiencing abundant living by continuing to live by faith in Him.

In John 6:57 Jesus says that just as His living Father lives in and through Him He will live through those who live by faith in Him.

As the man Jesus lived because of the living Father who sent Him to earth, so by faith men can live because of the One the Father sent. The Christmas story is all about life according to John 6:57.