April 1, 2017 – Saturday
Read: John 6:35 – 40, NIV
Focus: v. 35, NIV
Then 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.
Just out of curiosity, I “googled”- “The significance of bread in different cultures.” What I discovered was that bread in some form is found in almost every region and culture in the world. In most it is also referred to, much as we Americans are wont, as “The staff of life.” This means that it contains most nutrients essential to life. Bread is made from many different grains and in many different styles including baking, frying, boiling, and many others. The varieties are legion with many countries consuming much more bread than we Americans do.
When Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life,” He was making a huge statement to His followers. Bread is a staple of life in most parts of the world so therefore it is very significant for it to be mentioned by someone like Jesus. He was equating Himself as something that was absolutely essential for the sustaining of life. However, He did not only say He was the “bread of life” but also that he was the other part of the necessity of life – water. Good water supplies are essential for any civilization to survive. Our two most basic needs are food for hunger and water to drink. Bread and water supply this. He is referring to Himself as being necessary to sustain life. Since he also claimed, “I am the way, the truth and the life,” then He has made Himself to be most essential for life. However, He is talking about much more than physical life. He is referring to a life that is eternal in nature. I seem to be working rapidly toward the fourscore figure of 80 years (77 before Easter arrives), and I know that He cannot be referring to physical life. I don’t believe I would like to continue forever getting older and older with all the pitfalls and other problems that come with age. Just imagine it multiplied many times over! I get tired just thinking about it. “Is it bedtime yet, dear?” “No, it is only 7:45 PM, keep going.”
This event occurred shortly after the miracle of feeding the five thousand with just 5 loaves of barley bread and 2 small fish. The crowd came looking for Him and Jesus, correctly it appears, accused them of searching Him out because He fed them. He went on to tell them that He was the bread they needed. This is something they did not like so they grumbled among themselves so much so that Jesus flatly told them to stop grumbling. They could not get over that he was Mary’s little boy and the carpenter’s son all grown up. More than that, they didn’t like His assertion that He came down from heaven.
Jesus is the Bread of Life. He is absolutely necessary for eternal life. He provides all that is necessary to live forever. Have you made his acquaintance? Even more, have you received Him as that which is necessary for eternal life? Is He your Bread of Life?