This text is used for the Lectionary Year B on August 9, 2015.
(This is the first of three reflections on Jesus’ “I am the bread of life” statements in John 6, and all three really need to be read together.)
One of the first things to note about a text is the context in which it appears. This important text, recorded only in John, takes place on the day after the feeding of the 5,000 (the only miracle appearing in all four gospels; Matthew 14:13-21; Mark 6:30-44; Luke 9:10-17; John 6:1-15), and after Jesus has crossed the Sea of Galilee during the night by walking on the water (Matthew 14:22-36; Mark 6:45-54; John 6:16-24). John’s account of these events includes significant parallels with Moses (being in the wilderness; miraculous manna in the wilderness; climbing the mountain to be with God; miraculous crossing of the sea). These parallels are prelude to the fact that a new covenant, superior to the covenant that came through Moses, is about to take place.