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BREAD OF LIFE



 

Seven times in the Gospel of John, the Apostle recorded Jesus’ self-descriptions. Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life”(John 6:35); “I am the Light of the World” (John 8:12); “I am the Gate for the sheep” (John 10:7; “I am the Good Shepherd” (John 10:11); “I am the Resurrection and the Life” (John 11:25); “I the Way, the Truth, and Life” (John 14:6); and “I am True Vine” (John 15:1).

 

Each of these statements reminded Jesus’ disciples of the Burning Bush event. From the miraculously unconsumed bush, God disclosed His identity. “I am the God of your father, the God of Abraham, the God of Isaac, and the God of Jacob” (Exodus 3:6). Moses wondered aloud, “What is Your name? … God replied to Moses, ‘I AM…’ ” (Exodus 3:13–14).

 

So, when Jesus said, “I AM …”, His listeners heard, “I AM … I am God!” He was unequivocally declaring His Divinity.

 

And when Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life”, they were reminded of God’s gracious provisions.

 

First, their thoughts jumped back to a story they’d learned as children in Synagogue school. It was the story of God’s care for the wandering multitude in the Wilderness of Sinai. For His people, God provided bread that fell like the dew. Because they’d never seen anything like it before, the Israelites exclaimed, “What is it?” In the Hebrew language, they cried “Manna? Manna?” In English, “What is it? What is it?”

 

For forty years, God provided manna. Like the morning dew, the bread of life fell each morning, six days per week. On the sixth day, a double portion fell, providing enough for the Sabbath day, the day of consecrated rest. Without manna, the entire Nation would have perished in the wilderness wasteland. Manna, God’s gracious provision, was the bread of life.

 

Secondly, when Jesus said, “I am the Bread of Life”, his listeners thought about an incident that had occurred more recently. Five thousand men and their families had followed Jesus, the Great Rabbi, to hear His teachings. They gathered on a hillside, far away from their homes, a far from the nearest WalMart. When they were hungry, Jesus provided for their desperate need. Taking a little boy’s lunch, Jesus blessed it and multiplied it. Five barley biscuits and two sardines became a banquet of blessings for a multitude.

 

Jesus is still the Bread of Life. Today, with grocery stores and their well-stocked shelves on every corner, Jesus alone satisfies.  Jesus cautioned, “Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (John 6:27).

 

Even though our pantries and cupboards are full, our world is hungering for something. Our culture is looking for lasting peace, for real joy, for spiritual rest. Jesus is the Bread of Life. Only Jesus satisfies!




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