THE BREAD OF LIFE
One day the Lord Jesus told people that He was the bread of life (John 6:35). He is not only life but the bread of life so that we can eat Him. The bread of life is the life supply in the form of food, like the tree of life (Gen. 2:9), which is also the life supply "good for food." We need to realize that Jesus is eatable. I was a Christian for many years and never heard that I could eat Jesus. In John 6:57 the Lord Jesus says, "He who eats Me shall also live because of Me." The bread of life is surely something eatable. For Jesus to tell us that He is the bread of life implies that He is eatable, and He told us directly that we can eat Him. We live because of Him when we eat Him. We live by what we eat. My eating three times a day helps me to be energetic and vigorous. Dieticians tell us that we are what we eat. The more we eat Jesus, the more we become Jesus. We live by what we eat, and we are what we eat.
THE VINE TREE
Jesus also told us that He was the true vine (John 15:1). He is the vine tree. We all know that a vine tree is not a tall tree. If Jesus were such a high and tall tree, His fruit would not be available to us. But Jesus is a vine tree who is so available for man to eat and enjoy. He is not a tall tree but a long tree. In John 15 Jesus told us that He was the vine; then in Revelation 22:2 we see that the one tree of life grows on the two sides of the river, which signifies that the tree of life is a vine, spreading and proceeding along the flow of the water of life for God’s people to receive and enjoy.
The New Jerusalem is a square city. Its length, breadth, and height are all twelve thousand stadia (Rev. 21:16). A stadion equals about six hundred feet, so twelve thousand stadia is about thirteen hundred and fifty miles. The New Jerusalem is a mountain on the top of which is the throne of God. Out of this throne proceeds a river of water of life (Rev. 22:1) and along the river grows the tree of life. The river begins from the throne and reaches all the twelve gates of the city. In order to do this the river must spiral its way through the entire city to reach all the twelve gates. The vine tree begins from the throne and grows spirally around the mountain along the banks of the river. Eventually it passes through all the twelve gates.
How long is this vine tree? This vine reaches every corner of the inhabited earth. It is long enough to reach Argentina, Chile, Peru, Uruguay, Paraguay, Colombia, Bolivia, Canada, Great Britain, Germany, Greece, Turkey, Russia, China, Korea, Japan, Thailand, the Philippines, and Indonesia. Jesus as the marvelous vine tree is growing around the globe. It is not a tall tree from the earth to the heavens, but it is a long tree growing spirally around the globe. Jesus is not a pine tree but a vine tree spreading and growing over the entire earth. In John 15 the Lord Jesus told us directly that He was the vine, and in Revelation 22 the tree of life is a vine. We should not think that there are two vines. There is only one vine, one tree of life. This vine tree is in Genesis 2 as the tree of life, in John 15 as the true vine, and in Revelation 22 it is growing spirally around the mountain of the New Jerusalem to reach all of God’s chosen and redeemed people. We must be brought into the realization and into the vision of the Lord Jesus as the tree of life, the embodiment of the divine life, the long and spreading vine tree.
(The Divine Economy, Chapter 4, by Witness Lee)