33.For the bread of God. Christ reasons negatively from the definition to the thing defined, in this manner: “The heavenly bread is that which hath come down from heaven to give life to the world In the manna there was nothing of this sort; and, therefore, the manna was not the heavenly bread. ” But, at the same time, he confirms what he formerly said, namely, that he is sent by the Father, in order that he may feed men in a manner far more excellent than Moses. True, the manna came down from the visible heaven, that is, from the clouds; but not from the eternal kingdom of God, from which life flows to us. And the Jews, whom Christ addresses, looked no higher than that the bellies of their fathers were well stuffed and fattened in the wilderness.
What he formerly called the bread of heaven, he now calls the bread of God; not that the bread which supports us in the present life comes from any other than God, but because that alone can be reckonedthe bread of God (144) which quickens souls to a blessed immortality. This passage teaches that the whole world is dead to God, except so far as Christ quickens it, because life will be found nowhere else than in him.
Which hath come down from heaven. In the coming down from heaven two things are worthy of observation; first, that we have a Divine life in Christ, because he has come from God to be the Author of life to us; secondly, that the heavenly life is near us,
so that we do not need to fly above the clouds or to cross the sea,
for the reason why Christ descended to us was, that no man could ascend above.