"Psalm 23," John August Swanson. Used by permission from the artist.
Image © by John August Swanson. Artwork held in the Luther Seminary Fine Arts Collection, St. Paul, Minn.
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Bread of Life
John 6:35-59 Commentary
by Scott Shauf
John 6:35-59 consists of teaching by Jesus centered on his proclamation, “I am the bread of life” (verses 35, 48).
“I am the bread of life” is the first of the seven “I am” statements in John’s Gospel. These statements are unique to John and in many ways encapsulate the distinctiveness of John’s presentation of Jesus. The “I am” beginning of these sayings is more emphatic in the Greek than can be expressed without awkwardness in English (Greek ego eimi).
“I am” often reminds readers of the revealed name of God from the burning bush story (Exod. 3:14), and, to be sure, from the opening verse Jesus’ divine nature is front and center in John (“ … the Word was God,” 1:1). The striking feature common to all of the “I am” sayings in John, however, is that they all express Jesus’ relationship to humanity. The other six are: “I am the light of the world” (8:12), “the gate for the sheep” (10:7), “the good shepherd” (10:11), “the resurrection and the life” (11:25), ...
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2019-20 Worship resources
The narrative lectionary is a four-year cycle of readings. Read more.
Narrative Lectionary 116: Bread of Life
February 16, 2014
Join Profs. Rolf Jacobson, Craig Koester, and Kathryn Schifferdecker for "I Love to Tell the Story," a conversation on Year 4 of the narrative lectionary. This podcast covers the text for Feb. 16, 2014: John 6:35-59. Accompanying reading: Psalm 34:1-10.