More from the Head Heart Hand blog:
Over the past few days we’ve been looking at how God answers “Give us this day our daily bread” by graciously providing food for our bodies, food for our minds, and even food for our emotions. But, of course, the author of this prayer also knew that as man cannot live by bread alone, He would one day stand before starving souls and say, “I am the bread of life” (Jn. 6:35).
Unlike many foods, bread is not an optional luxury. For most of us it is a basic necessity of life. Similarly, Jesus is not an optional extra. He is essential and indispensible.
Different cultures and different classes have different diets and digestive abilities. But one thing common to almost all of them is bread. As Jesus said, He was not just bread for Israel, but “the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (Jn. 6:33).
Some foods are rare, others occasional, and others seasonal; but we need and eat bread every day of our lives. Can we (dare we) go a day without Jesus? Do you reserve Jesus for special occasions and seasons? Or do you daily feed upon Him by faith.
Many foods are unhealthy and damaging, but bread imparts, nourishes, and sustains life. Ordinary bread gives life for a day or two, but Jesus said that, “If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (Jn. 6:51).
Some sugary foods allay hunger quickly – but briefly. Most salads wouldn’t fill a fly (just kidding). But the bread of life satisfies our deepest hunger – our hunger for forgiveness, for purpose, for intimate friendship, for life after death. In a day of instant gratification but lasting hollowness we need soul-satisfying bread.
As sinful beggars who have forfeited the right to even one crumb of bread, we are dependent on God’s giving (not paying) of daily bread for our bodies, minds, emotions, and souls. Notice how many times in John 6 Jesus describes Himself as the bread given by God or sent by God.
God has not just dropped a few crumbs from His heavenly table that we have to scramble for. He has opened the richest storehouse of heaven and given us His best bread.
May we respond as hungry souls did in Jesus day: “Lord, evermore give us this bread” (Jn. 6:34).