Jesus says some things that, at first glance (or two!), sound confusing and can be hard to understand. Like any good teacher, He uses a variety of ways to wake ours hearts, and minds, to attention. An example of this is in John 6 where He says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; and this bread, which I will offer so the world may live, is my flesh” (John 6:51 NLT). When Jesus said this, the reaction was quick, “Then the people began arguing with each other about what he meant. ‘How can this man give us his flesh to eat?’ they asked” (John 6:52 NLT). What strikes me about this is the difference between knowing about someone, and actually knowing them. It is similar to being an expert on the nutrients, background, and health properties of a cucumber. While the information is good, I don’t receive any of the benefits unless I eat one. Jesus isn’t looking for people to merely be aware of Him and His teachings. He wants people to take the step of commitment, surrender and follow Him. A simple way of looking at it is like this: I can study about Jesus’ life, learn about First Century Israel, know the nuances of Jewish heritage and culture and be an expert in Old Testament teaching and prophecy, but it doesn’t mean I know Him at all. Knowing Him means surrendering my life to follow Him as Savior and Lord and having a personal relationship with Him. In the first verse we discussed, Jesus referred to himself as the bread and us eating Him. “Eating” here means to take Him as He is and make following Him essential to our lives. Just like the food we eat sustains us physically, our devotion to trust and obey Jesus keeps us strong and healthy spiritually. Now that is something to chew on!