ATP Blog #40
Bread of Life
A couple days before this conversation, Jesus Christ demonstrated the provision of God in the form of physical bread (and fish). Now they come to Him demonstrating a need, although they did not realize it themselves, for spiritual nourishment. Building off of their reference to the manna in the desert, which miraculously provided them the ability to make tasty bread in the wilderness wanderings, Jesus said to these people, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’ (verse 35)
From God The first point Jesus needed to make was that the provision, whether it be spiritual or physical, comes from God. (verse 32) ‘Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.’ First we notice that the people credited Moses with the miraculous manna in the desert, but Jesus credits God; Moses was just the spokesman. Second, Jesus moves the conversation from past tense—did not—to present tense—gives—to demonstrate that God is still providing for peoples’ needs. Third, Jesus moves the conversation from physical food to spiritual sustenance, which is far more important. Consistently throughout His earthly ministry, Jesus is moving conversations from what is experienced with the five senses, the physical, to that which is experienced with the spirit and soul, the spiritual.
From Truth The second point Jesus needed to make was that what God provides is true, as opposed to that which the devil provides, or that which we humans can provide (which doesn’t last). We know that all that comes from the Father is true, and perfect, because the Father is the source of truth. Therefore, all that is given to us by the Father must also be true. What does it mean that the bread from the Father is true? The first thing is that the bread God the Father has provided is the person of Jesus Christ, who is God, and is truth. Second, the bread that God the Father provided is eternal, never running out. Our physical bodies are only around for a limited time, and physical bread sustains only a limited amount. Our souls are eternal, and for proper sustenance needs spiritual food that lasts. What God provides through Jesus Christ is exactly what we need: salvation, redemption, sanctification, justice, and an example.
From Faith So, how does one acquire this lasting sustenance? Jesus answered that by saying, ‘I am the bread of life, He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.’ (verse 35) Thus, to acquire the necessary satisfaction for our hunger, we must come to Jesus Christ—pursue Him, desire Him, seek Him. To acquire the necessary satisfaction for our thirst, we must believe in Him, which is faith!
Urgent Since we all do not know how long our lives will last (people physically die at all ages), then we must be urgent about our decision regarding the acquisition of this Heavenly Bread. Jesus Christ came, God in the flesh (Immanuel), to provide all of humanity the necessary sustenance for true life. Do you want to truly live? Do you want to make your life count? Then seek out and trust in that which God provides through Jesus Christ. This is present tense provision. Take advantage of this offer. Once you have physically died, the destination of your soul has been determined based on your decision in life. EAT THE BREAD!!!