In response to a recent call for subjects for discussion I offer the
I recently discovered that during the Passover meal the following words
were spoken over the unleavened bread: "This is the bread of affliction
which our fathers ate in the land of Egypt. Let everyone who hungers eat;
let everyone who is needy come and eat the Passover meal."
Jesus, as a practicing Jew, would of course have known these words. I
wonder if they are not in the background of the bread-of-life discourse of
6:32-59. 6:4 provides a temporal link with Passover, and the feeding and
walking-on-the-sea stories can be seen as a new Exodus. The phrasing of
verse 35 in particular seems reminiscent of the Passover liturgy. Jesus
redefines the Passover bread in terms of himself, and the bread of
affliction becomes the bread of life.
A few questions occur to me: What is the connection between this discourse
and chapter 4, and, Why does Jesus never say, "I am the water of life?"
Is there a connection between the words from the Passover liturgy and John