47 Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has everlasting life. 48 I am the bread of life.
Jesus returned to the main discourse with verse 47. There is a movement from God taking the initiative in our salvation by drawing us to Him to faith as an onus on man.
Verses 47 and 48 summarize Jesus’ teaching.
Most assuredly, I say to you,
Previous verses exhorted people to believe; here the thrust becomes the assurance of believing on Christ.
Again, we have another double “amen” making the following statement important. This is the third double amen in chapter 6. Jesus was arresting their attention here. What He was about to say He solemnly assured those who believe on Him (Jn 5:24).
he who believes in Me has everlasting life.
The operative word in Jesus’ statement is “life.” The life here is eternal life.
Faith is a demand of God. Man has a responsibility in salvation. To believe in Jesus is to possess everlasting life (Jn 3:36; 5:24). The word “has” is present tense; it is not “shall have.” The present tense of “believes” indicates that those who believe have eternal life at the moment they believe.
I am the bread of life.
By another “I am” statement Jesus claimed to be the sustenance of eternal life (Jn 6:35). Jesus’ bread would do what no other bread could do. Belief in Him gave “everlasting life.” This phrase deepened the scandal toward the Jews.
Manna had no life and was dead. Jesus as the bread of life offered eternal life. It was not Jesus’ point to the Jews that they must not return to the sin of their ancestors who murmured in the wilderness. The statement of this verse stands in isolation from any other comments. Jesus wanted the Jews to see who and what He was in all its magnificence.
We cannot separate who Christ is and what He does. He not only is the medium of the message, He is the message. There is an inseparableness of salvation from His person.
Belief in Christ must be decisive at a moment in time.
Eternal life begins with a decision. Previous to this decision, people are spiritually dead. Jesus, however, offers eternally soul-satisfying food.
Salvation can never come to anyone without the drawing power of God, but it cannot be consummated without believing on Jesus. There is a tension between these two dynamics that is difficult to hold, but nevertheless we must hold both to be true.
Eternal life begins when one receives Christ in the here and now. This is the beginning of eternal life and the ending of spiritual death. Eternal life is the present and abiding possession of those who believe in Christ.