Saturday – February 20, 2016
Day 11 – John 6:22-71
Focus: vs. 35
“35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
The fact that I enjoy a good meal is obvious after one looks at me. What’s the best thing you ever ate? I’m not sure I could pick just one thing. I can tell you my favorite BBQ restaurant or the best hamburger I ever ate. I love Italian food and I could point out a few really good Italian restaurants I have been to over the years. I can even tell you the place you’ve never heard of where I had the best roast beef sub ever. The truth is that I like food too much to pick an absolute favorite but I can share a few of my favorites from specific kinds of foods.
In our focus verse Jesus refers to himself as The Bread of Life. In Omaha you will find the Rotella bakery churning out fresh bread all over the region. At the bakery they have a store where they can sell you the extras at a lesser price. One day I picked up a couple of loaves of a honey wheat bread. It looked good so I brought back home to South Dakota and used it to make a Dagwood sandwich. You remember those? From the comic strip character who was always making sandwiches stacked way too high with wonderful sandwich fixins? Anyway, I bit into my Dagwood and discovered that I had brought back the best tasting bread I had ever had in all my life. I’m pretty sure they didn’t bake it but, rather, they mined it from a wonderful golden bread mine somewhere in the heart of Omaha. The slices where big and thick and had some sort of grainy and light-colored sprinkles on top of it. The flavor was perfectly sweet and wheaty (is that a word?). It was bread perfection and every day I don’t eat it is a little less bright than the day of that Dagwood. I’m embellishing – but only a little!
One day after the feeding of the five thousand the crowd follows Jesus to Capernaum. Just before our focus verse, they find Jesus in order to ask Him more about this event. I wonder how that bread tasted? Jesus, however, sees right through them. He says, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. (vs. 27)” “What is this work?” they ask. Jesus says, “That you believe in him whom he has sent.” Can you believe that the next question they ask is essentially “Really? Prove it! What sign to you offer to prove who you are?” Seriously? You just watched the man feed 5,000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish and you need a sign? The Pharisees go on to talk about manna in the wilderness as proof that Moses was sent by God but Jesus corrects them. It wasn’t Moses that gave you that bread, it was God in Heaven. He goes on to say, “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” It’s Jesus – He is the Bread of Life but that is a truth they just couldn’t handle.
Bread is often used as a symbol of life because we need food to live. Jesus is the Bread that we need for eternal life – you can’t have eternal life without Him. While Man looks for life that will perish, Jesus offers life that is eternal. There’s nothing on earth that compares. I need this Bread and so do you.
Prayer Focus: Dear Jesus, You are the Bread of Life. Thank you for saving me and giving me eternal life. Help me to share You with the world around me so that they, too, may find eternal life in You.