Mar 7, 2017

Abiding Fulfillment


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!

8 comments:

  1. Your blog post reminds me of one of my favorite quotes by CS Lewis, “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”

    Good things to ponder this week..we will all pursue something...what will that be? Good reminder. =)

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    1. Oh yess! One of my favorite C.S. Lewis quotes. ;)

      I agree...the topic of having fulfillment in Jesus is so important. Even so, it's hard to pinpoint things that might be standing in the way of having that satisfying joy. I suppose that's where prayer comes in; we need to humbly ask for God's guidance and listen when He answers. ♥

      Thanks for commenting. =)

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  2. Oh, this is a lovely post! I never thought about that name that way. I love what you wrote! I've been thinking on this a bit too as I know we've both felt this longing for true satisfaction and joy. It's so hard to practically do this/have this though isn't it?

    Amazing post!!

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    1. Yes, it is so difficult, Hannah! I almost feel like I don't have the authority to post about this topic; this is something I struggle with so much! How easy it is to become dissatisfied when we face long days, difficult jobs, and bothersome people. Why is keeping our focus so hard sometimes?! Even so, I have found that those days in which I am able to keep a continual conversation with Jesus and focus on Him are the most peaceful days of the week. And it's not as if the world or my schedule is more peaceful...it's my attitude.

      Do you have thoughts on this subject? How can we practically make changes so that we experience true satisfaction in our own daily lives, focusing on Jesus? =)

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    2. Oh, yes! Those days are always the best when I'm in a continual conversation with Him. ♥

      Hmm...thoughts? Not that many...I find it helpful to continually be simplifying life though. Practically it looks different for everybody, but I'm daily going through my life and seeing what I can take out, what is not eternal, and just how I can better make Jesus the One my life revolves around. I've found that extremely helpful although also difficult too. :) Also of course spending undivided time with Him and practicing His presence all help me focus on Jesus. What about you??

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    3. I appreciate your thoughts, especially now that this post has somewhat lessened in my mind. It's so easy to become convicted about something, but in a few days the thought completely vanished! Reading your comment helped revive these thoughts, so thank you!

      Downsizing is a great way to focus our thoughts on Jesus and learn to have satisfaction in Him alone. I also appreciate what you said: "...make Jesus the One my life revolves around." I have been thinking about that recently. What does my life revolve around? For me, I think it often revolves around my schedule...getting things done. I "fit" Jesus in and even give Him a large percentage of my time...but the rest of my day is for myself to get my other things done. I'm not sure how to find a balance there. I think it's important for us to realize that yes, we need to get things done...but if Jesus chooses to change our schedule, then He will also give us time later to finish things up. =) But it's hard to truly live that out fully...

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  3. I enjoyed reading your thoughts/study on this! I don't think I've ever realised that statement about being the bread of life comes after Jesus fed the multitude. That puts it in context well! It's sad that the people in His day didn't make the connection and just wanted free bread.. but then I have to ask, do I do the same? Do I follow Jesus because I want the benefits? Or do I want Him? Hmm, it's thought-provoking, this topic! Thanks for bringing it up. I really appreciate how your posts are always Bible-based and prompt thought. :)

    I think a lot of my barriers to the Bread of Life are in my thoughts. I've been realising lately how important and powerful our thoughts are! I can be looking at the Bible or praying for example, but if my thoughts are elsewhere, there's no point! I'm not gaining that connection to God, I'm just using the time to think about whatever it is that's consuming me. It's kind of sobering.

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    1. That is a question that I don't know the answer to, Jessica. "Do I follow Jesus because I want the benefits? Or do I want Him?" I think that many of us become Christians just so that we can go to heaven. I know that that was one of the primary reasons I accepted Christ those many years ago. Jesus was the way to salvation and heaven...so I chose to follow Him. Is that wrong? Certainly, as we grow in our relationship with Him, we will learn to appreciate and love Christ because of Himself. But when we first learn about Jesus' sacrifice and make the decision to follow Him, it's easy to do it for the benefits. Yet it's something I continue to struggle with.

      That's another hard issue. I have found myself in the same place - praying or reading the Word but actually thinking about something completely different. Guarding our thoughts has come up again and again while I read through Proverbs. But it's so hard!! How have you been striving to overcome that challenge and focus on Jesus?

      Thank you, dear friend. And I appreciate how your comments here always make me dig just a little bit deeper. ♥ If I ever stop by in Australia, I'll be sure to visit. ;)

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