Pentecost +10 – Year B
John 6:35, 41-51
As we read the poetic language of John, it is important to remember Jesus as teacher, mentor, and leader of disciples. This will continue to ground us as we listen in on images of bread, life, eternity, and magnetism.
Jesus, as sage and wise one, has enough teaching to chew on that a follower will always have a next syllabus. To come and live with Jesus will be fulfilling whether or not you buy the "bread" identifier.
As you read this passage it will be helpful to translate "taught" and "come" as "drawn to", "believes" as "lives with", "eternal" as "present", and "raised" as "revealed". Go ahead, mark your bible – cross out words and write in new ones.
As you reflect on the way this passage now reads, there are two additional perspectives to add.
The first is, "I have come from heaven." The next time someone asks where you are from, use this line. Our identified starting place is important and if you don't see G*D (euphemism, "heaven") as part of your start you are likely to settle for coming from Madison or somewhere else and be bound by its limitations, your pedigree. In some sense, our start is what magnetically aligns us with our best intention and allows us to be drawn by it. For John our start is pre-creation.
Secondly, "bread from heaven" is an extension of the creation tale of a by-passed tree-of-life (that one may eat of it and not die) we have been guarded against. Imagine, a walking tree-of-life pursuing us even East of Eden as we are hesitant to glance back at it lest we are tempted to run back only to be sent away. At some point our moving ahead will intersect a tree-of-life and we will better recognize the good and evil we thought so desirable to know and set out on a journey less traveled – presently being drawn by G*D to become our part of G*D - from before creation to right now.