John 6:30-35 – “So they said to Him, ” What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? 31 ” Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE GAVE THEM BREAD OUT OF HEAVEN TO EAT.'” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 “For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.” 35 Jesus said to them, ” I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.” NASU
Our Lord had just performed the miracle of the Loaves and Fishes feeding the multitude. The formula, if you need one is 5+2 = 5,000. He took 5 loaves and 2 fish and feed 5,000 people. They had followed Him from Capernaum to seem more miracles and signs. I am convinced that, at this point, they were curiosity seekers rather than true believers. They were following for the loaves and fished not because the recognized Him as the Son of God. I contend that based on v.30 where they asked, what sign He would show them that they might believe and v.31 where they referenced the manna in the wilderness. Jesus’ response is worthy of note in v.33. He informed them that Moses did not give them bread, it was from God and that the Father gives the True Bread from heaven which gives life. That elicited a powerful response from the crowd in v.34, “Lord, give us this bread.” Jesus connected the dots in v.35, “I am the bread of life: he that comes to me shall never hunger; and he that believes in me shall never thirst.” JESUS is the True Bread of Life.
The fact that Jesus declared Himself to be the Bread of Life probably does not mean as much to us in America as it would to those of that day and many of the Middle East and the Far East. BREAD is the principal food of 75% of the people of the world as they live either entirely upon bread or that which is made from wheat or barley flour. It is the chief food of the East. In the Bible, the expression, “Eating Bread” is like us saying, “Eating a Meal.” BREAD to them has a certain sacredness. Many in the region of Palestine are brought up to believe that bread has mystic and sacred powers. In some regions bread is so revered they will not rise to salute a guest if they are in the midst of breaking bread together, they wait until they are finished eating. The attitude of many of those people toward bread is religious or spiritual. Everything from the sowing of the seed to the baking of the loaves is done in the name of God. The Prayer of Matthew 6 conveys a powerful image to them in the words, “Give us this day our daily bread.” It was to these people that Jesus first said, “I am the Bread of Life.” Another interesting note is that the Bread was always broken but never cut. These people viewed bread as a principal source of life and without bread, they could not expect to live long.
I would like to focus on three things about this Bread from Heaven and hope to inspire and encourage your heart.
- Jesus is the Bread of God – v.33. He meets the need or demand of God on our behalf as our substitute.
- Jesus is the Living Bread – v.33. He meets the need of the world dead in sin as He is the Life-Giving
- Jesus is the Bread of Life – v.35. He meets and sustains the needs of His people our daily bread or life.
Jesus GAVE Himself as a sacrifice for us. Jesus GAVE His Love to sustain us. Jesus GAVE His life to redeem us. He is our substitute. As we have received we are to GIVE. Our giving is to be free without coercion. Our giving is to be with compassion, generous, and a regular occurrence. The Bread of Communion represents Christ’s broken body our substitute. In and through Him we live and move and have our being.
God, bless you richly as you enjoy this day in Him!