Bread of Heaven
How many times during the day do you think about food? I never realized how much food occupies my mind until I had a day when I couldn’t have anything but liquids. A routine medical procedure that required a day of a liquid diet was an eye-opener. I discovered that during my morning run, all I think about in the last mile is what I will make for lunch. In the afternoon, my mind is pre-occupied with dinner plans. Even a late afternoon boat ride was consumed with what kind of drink/snack I would usually be enjoying instead of my can of diet Sprite. Food, glorious food! I even had to avoid Facebook and Twitter, as these are filled with recipe posts and pictures of things I couldn’t eat. When the procedure was finally over, my first thought wasn’t about the results….all I could think about was coffee and a breakfast biscuit. And more coffee.
Jesus probably understood our obsession with food when he proclaimed that he is the bread of life. What better way to demonstrate his supreme importance in our lives than to tap into our most basic need for sustenance:
John 6 (Common English Bible)
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
What a beautiful image! Jesus is offering himself to us in a way that meets our needs. When he came, people struggled to understand what he was offering. For him to plainly say, “I am the bread of life” was as simple, and yet as profound, as it could be.
41 The Jewish opposition grumbled about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
42 They asked, “Isn’t this Jesus, Joseph’s son, whose mother and father we know? How can he now say, ‘I have come down from heaven’?”
I suppose there will always be naysayers to everything, even the most incredible gift the world could have ever received. Joseph’s son couldn’t really be that special, after all….
43 Jesus responded, “Don’t grumble among yourselves. 44 No one can come to me unless they are drawn to me by the Father who sent me, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets, And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has listened to the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God. He has seen the Father. 47 I assure you, whoever believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life.
Jesus explains exactly what this gift means. It will not only sustain you, it will allow you to be raised up with him on the last day. It is not just manna for one day, it is manna for every day from now through eternity!
It isn’t just bread, it is the bread of LIFE.
49 Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that whoever eats from it will never die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever, and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
With THIS bread, you will live forever.
How many times have you thought about food today? How many times have you thought about Jesus today? Jesus provides the bread that will never end…a bread that comes down from heaven above. That is worth our consideration.
May we think about God today as many times as we think about food.