The Bread of Life
Scripture Reading — John 6:25-35
Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” — John 6:35
When our family lived in Taiwan some years ago, we didn't like the taste of the canned butter used in making the local bread. So once a week, I made several loaves of bread. Except for occasional leavening difficulties and the irregular shapes of those loaves, I loved making and eating homemade bread.
The crowds following Jesus loved bread too. Jesus had just provided a miracle feast for more than 5,000 people by multiplying five loaves and two fish, and the people followed after him, hoping for more bread. Their hunger for physical bread provided Jesus with a teaching moment to talk about spiritual bread.
In the first of seven "I am" statements in John's gospel account, Jesus says, "I am the bread of life." In their eagerness for free food, the crowds had missed the main point of Jesus' banquet in the wilderness. They had forgotten that God had provided the ancient people of Israel with bread from heaven (manna) in the wilderness (see Exodus 16). And the physical bread Jesus had provided pointed to the spiritual bread of his body, the bread of life. Through his death, Jesus provided the bread of life for all God's people.
Homemade bread is wonderful, but eventually it runs out. Only those who feast spiritually on Jesus' body will be satisfied. On what are you feasting today?
Jesus, bread of life, feed us till we want no more, that we may do your will today and every day. Amen.