Jesus - The Bread of Life
Yeshua (Jesus) told them, I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never become hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never become thirsty. John 6:35 (NIV)
Several years ago I was given the opportunity to visit the Holy Land for my 60th birthday. I had dreamt of this opportunity since becoming a follower of Christ. While we were in Jerusalem, it became very clear that bread is a daily staple in the Middle East. I must admit I prefer bread over meat. Bread has always been my favorite part of a meal. So when Jesus talks about bread, He has my attention. And when I’m hungry, all discipline goes out the door; all I want is immediate satisfaction, and if I’m not careful, I will look for anything to satisfy my desire.
When Jesus talked about bread, He was not presenting a new message. Every Jew was aware of the “daily bread” given to their ancestors as they wandered for forty years looking for the Promised Land. God provided for the Israelites and Jesus offered a similar opportunity. He used the familiarity of bread to teach those with Him not to focus on the things that will spoil but the eternal blessings that He alone can provide. They could give themselves physical food but only Jesus offered eternal life. As the crowd sought Jesus, He realized that their desire was not for Him but for physical bread. They wanted their immediate needs fulfilled and weren't focused on the eternal value they would receive through Him.
In light of this, we must understand that this teaching is really not about bread. It is about Jesus being all that we need. He is the sustainer of life and if we feed on Him, He will give us life. Just like the crowd that followed Jesus, we have to stop and check our desires. Do we want Jesus or the things He can provide? Are we more concerned with immediate satisfaction or are we looking ahead to true satisfaction in Him? Are we concerned with immediate blessings or eternal blessings?
Why would Jesus call himself “The Bread of Life?” Jesus is telling us that He is life. If we want to live for eternity and be satisfied, we must seek after the things only He can provide. We can satisfy an immediate longing ourselves, but only Jesus can satisfy for eternity. He is giving us the opportunity to know Him. I find it interesting that the One who called Himself “The Bread of Life” was born in the town of Bethlehem which means “house of bread”.
FURTHER READING: 1 Corinthians 8:6
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