Jesus Is The Bread Of Life
By Steph Nickel
The feeding of the 5,000 people on the far side of the Sea of Galilee is recorded in John 6, and is followed by the revelation that Jesus is the bread of life.
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In the first part of John 6, we read about Jesus feeding 5,000 men with five small loaves of bread and two fish. Witnessing this miracle firsthand—and having their physical hunger satisfied through no effort of their own—the crowd wanted to make Him their king by force. They didn’t understand that He had come to do so much more for them than fill their stomachs.
Jesus slipped away and ended up across the sea in Capernaum. However the crowds were not content to just let Him go and so they followed.
John 6:26-35 (ESV) says,
“‘Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do, to be doing the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ So they said to him, ‘Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”’ Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’ Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.‘”
Water and Bread
In John 4, Jesus discussed the water that wells up to eternal life, the water that satisfies the deepest spiritual thirst anyone has ever had—or will ever have. In John 6, we read about another staple of life: bread.
Just as Jesus knew all about the Samaritan woman, He knew all about the crowd that was following Him. They were interested in having their physical needs met. And although He knew they wouldn’t fully understand what He was saying until after His death and resurrection, He taught them about spiritual hunger and thirst.
He challenged them not to work for food that would perish but for food that would endure to eternal life. And He told them that He would be the One to give them this food.
He redirected them away from the five loaves and two fish. Even when the crowd brought up the issue of Moses giving them manna when their ancestors were in the wilderness after fleeing captivity in Egypt, Jesus pointed out that His Father “gives you the true bread from heaven.”
Jesus went on to say, “For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
And as if that wasn’t clear enough, He went on to spell it out for them. When they asked that He give them the bread come down from heaven, Jesus responded, “I am the bread of life.”
He told the Samaritan woman that those who drank the water He gave would never again thirst. And Jesus went on to the crowd who had followed Him to Capernaum that those who came to Him would never hunger and those who believed in Him would never thirst.
These aren’t easy concept to understand, but we can clearly see that faith in Jesus Christ is absolutely crucial, even more important than food and water.
You can read more from Steph Nickel at Steph Nickel’s Eclectic Interests.
Stephanie’s show, “Family Life Lessons,” airs from Monday to Friday on HopeStreamRadio.
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