Bread of Life
Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Similar to the Samaritan woman at the well respectfully asking Jesus for water (John 4:15), these Jewish followers of our Savior respectfully request of Him bread–albeit both were desirous of the commodities alone, missing the mark of the teaching sought which was Christ alone. Is that not human nature illuminated for us to see? While it is never wrong to pray for our needs, how much of our prayer life is often consumed with asking for meeting the physical in lieu of the spiritual–not taking into account that our bodies could better fare without food than our souls without Christ. Most often our priorities are askew because our focus is not fixed. We choose to dwell on the temporal rather than the eternal.
Oh that we would have the greater desire of King David to seek God’s face prior to seeking His hand. Psalm 27 gives us David’s earnest petition to the Lord:
One thing I ask of the LORD, this is what I seek: that I may dwell in the house of the LORD all the days of my life, to gaze upon the beauty of the LORD and to seek him in his temple. (Psalm 27:4)
To dwell in the Lord’s presence is to dwell in security. In Psalm 91 we read:
He who dwells in the shelter of the Most High will rest in the shadow of the Almighty. I will say of the LORD, “He is my refuge and my fortress, my God, in whom I trust.” Surely he will save you from the fowler’s snare and from the deadly pestilence. He will cover you with his feathers, and under his wings you will find refuge; his faithfulness will be your shield and rampart. (Psalm 91:1-4)
What we are seeking is satisfaction. Is there a better state of being? The definition itself leads us to longing: “to put an end to an appetite or want; to meet the expectations or desires of; to satisfy desires and to gratify feelings” (Oxford Dictionary). Let’s face it, who does not desire sustained satisfaction? Unfortunately, we all too often look for it in all the wrong places–roaming from here to there, jumping from bigger to better, seeking, striving, sweating, only to be found wanting.
While provision of our earthly needs provided by the Father is profitable, it pales in comparison to the provision sent for our spiritual needs. Just as God rained down the manna from heaven sending it forth to temporarily fill the stomachs of the wanderers, He sent forth His Son–the true Bread of God–to save all who would believe–permanently.
Take It to Heart
Jesus responds to His hearers in our verses for today by giving them the first of many “I AM” statements presented in John. “I AM” was the way God described Himself to Moses. Jewish hearers would have known when Jesus used those same words regarding Himself He was equating Himself with God. He is our satisfaction in all things.
“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35) Jesus is our sustenance, our sufficiency.
“I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12) Jesus is our guidance, our direction.
“I am the gate for the sheep.” (John 10:7) Jesus is our access to the Father.
“I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11) Jesus is our caring protector, our total safety.
“I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25) Jesus is our surety.
“I am the way and the truth and the life.” (John 14:6) Jesus is our eternal counselor.
“I am the true vine.” (John 15:1) Jesus is our source of strength, our power.