I’m not quite sure where my love of bread came from. I cannot remember coming into our home after school and smelling fresh-baked bread. There are no memories of being at Grandma’s and watching her knead dough, waiting with anticipation (and butter) for the first slice. I do love me some bread though.
This past summer I decided to limit carbs (sigh). Of course, this means bread. Sugar in all its shimmering, white splendor does not tempt me like bread. Warm bread with good butter – my, my, my.
Bread was a staple in Jewish culture – really, in many cultures. I get that. Fresh, hot, and dipped in some olive oil. Oh, and a crunchy crust. So, Jesus knew that those around Him (and you and I too) would understand about bread.
In Exodus 3:14 God first introduces Himself to Moses as, “I AM”. What does that mean? Over the next few weeks we will see how God brings His statement to life through Jesus.
What could be a reason for Jesus to describe Himself as the bread of life?
In difficult times throughout history, bread has often been the only nourishment to fill bellies. I have heard many stories of depression era lunches consisting of biscuits and syrup brought to work or school in a pail. To bake a loaf you need only a few basic ingredients – flour, water, yeast and salt. Simple. Nourishing. Life sustaining.
Earlier in John 6, Jesus had fed 5000+ with a little fella’s lunch of five loaves and two fish. It was miraculous and they all were filled. I can only imagine the scene. With that picnic fresh on their minds, Jesus wants them to understand that He was there for more than what could be seen.
There is a difference in coming to Jesus for bread and because He is Bread. – Lysa Terkeurst, Finding I AM
They knew about manna – bread from heaven. They had heard the stories. Now, this man is feeding them too. What they didn’t get that Jesus wanted them to get (us too) was that He was much more than a meal ticket. He is Bread.1 He is and will always be the only one who satisfies. Our relationship with Him is what fills us and nourishes us and sustains us.
When we eat (consume) what the world provides, we hunger again. Gosh, most often I have found, we are hungrier. It’s a gnawing that never completely goes away. Yet, when we fill (ongoing) our selves with Jesus, we can live satisfied.
Satisfaction is a sacred place to find, not a circumstance to fall into place. – Lysa Terkeurst, Finding I AM
Footnotes – 1John 6:47-51