And Jesus said, “I Am” … your sustenance, and your light
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
When Jesus spoke again to the people, he said, “I am the light of the world. Whoever follows me will never walk in darkness, but will have the light of life.”
The crowd by the Sea of Galilee was mystified. First, they had been fed well the previous evening, all 5000 plus of them, from “five small barley loaves and two small fish” (John 6:9). Then Jesus had sailed across the lake without a boat—how in the world (6:22)? Miracles were foremost on their minds. Give us more they said, manna for this day too, "bread from heaven”, so we can believe you were really sent by God (6:29-31).
Jesus was not about to give in to their request for another miracle. He had everlasting life on His mind: “The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. …I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty” (6:33-35). Real life, eternal life, far surpasses even a miraculous feast on a hillside.
Not long after, in the light of the torches on Temple Mount at the Feast of Tabernacles*, Jesus pictured Himself as true light: “I am the light of the world…the light of life” (8:12). By coming down from heaven He had shone light on God: “If you knew me, you would know my Father also” (8:19). And that light is the light of eternal life the Father would soon bestow on all who believed Jesus was “the one (He claimed) to be” (8:24).
It’s all about life. You can have food and water for this life only, or you can choose a smorgasbord of living water and the bread of eternity. You can exist in the shadows of this present darkness, or let the light of Jesus guide you all the way into heaven. Jesus truly is who He claims to be, your life and your light.
*IVP Bible Background Commentary: New Testament, Keener, p.285