This “I AM” statement follows after the miraculous feeding of the 5000 in early John 6. Jesus knows that stomachs are driving the crowds more than their hearts. We can connect the manna given to the Israelites in Exodus 16 (as Jesus does in John 6:48). Even with miracles in our eyes, we can still miss the point. Our souls have a hunger that resembles our stomach’s, which makes the visceral experience of communion that much more powerful of an image.
John 6:35, 48 / Exodus 16:4