Last month I wrote a post listing some of the many Names of God. Read here. I ran through many different Names and the verses that referenced them. But now I want to take one of His Names that I ran into during my Bible reading and explore it a little bit deeper. I read this yesterday, and I do not have it all figured out...but perhaps by looking at it specifically, we will be able to understand it in a new way together. =)
John 6:35 reads,
"And Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.'"
Bread of life...what exactly does that mean? What is this "hunger" and "thirst" referring to? Is this a physical or spiritual longing?
Earlier in this chapter, there are some notes to take into mind. John 6:1-15 is about the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus was on a mountain, surrounded by five thousand hungry, longing men. (They don't list the number of women and children...were there even more?) These people had followed Jesus "because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased." They were seeking Him because of curiosity and amazement. Perhaps they were seeking healing themselves.
Together on that mountain, Jesus had the entire group sit in the grass. He took the food they had - a measly five barley loaves and two fish -, gave thanks for the food, and had the disciples distribute the feast. Miraculously, that little meal ended up satisfying the entire crowd with food to spare.
After these amazing occurrences, Jesus left and went somewhere else. Of course, the crowds couldn't resist following; they found Him again. This is when Jesus began talking about "the bread of life."
Jesus told them,
"'Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.'" - John 6:27
The people were seeking instant satisfaction. They were desiring food to fill their bellies. They wanted miracles, amusement, something that would fill the longing deep inside.
Jesus offered something better.
"...My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is... - John 6:32-33
The bread of God is...what?
"For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world."
Who is "He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world"? Isn't that Jesus Himself? Well, that sure makes sense when you remember that Jesus said, "I am the bread of life." When Jesus offers living water (see Revelation 22:17) or the bread of life, He is offering Himself.
Bread (representing food) is essential to our life. It is something we cannot live without. It brings contentment, satisfaction. When Jesus says that He is the bread of life, perhaps He is saying that He is all this?
Jesus is true contentment. Jesus is true satisfaction. Jesus is essential to our life. We cannot live without Him.
Every single person has a desire inside themselves for something more. Something that can't get stolen, destroyed, or lost. They have a longing for something much deeper. In the same way that food satisfies our appetite, we long for something to satisfy our yearning. Someone to love, cherish, and appreciate us. Someone who understands.
If this is what Jesus was meaning to say (I won't pretend to believe I have this all figured out!), that means that we, as Believers living in Christ, should have this fulfillment. And if we are living fulfilled lives, won't joy, peace, and love be evident as well?
My question to you is this: If our lives are not exhibiting these qualities, what is wrong? Are we forgetting to abide in Christ? Is our relationship with God a saber instead of conocer one? Do we have idols on the throne of our hearts?
Jesus is the bread of life. He is the only One who can bring us true satisfaction. Nothing else (possessions, popularity, achievements, etc.) can bring us that joy.
What about you? What does your life look like? Are you feasting on the bread of life or are you grabbing for stale, dirty crumbs?
Don't search for satisfaction apart from the One who can bring it.
Is Jesus our bread of life, and, if not, how can we remove the barriers in our way to allow Him to rule over our hearts? Does "bread of life" mean something different to you that what I suggested? Comment below!