I don’t know about you, but I love bread! I cannot pass a bakery without looking in and usually buying something. Fresh bread is one of my big weaknesses. As an Aussie I reckon there is nothing better than grabbing a thick crust of fresh bread, still warm, and eating it with butter and Vegemite. Sure most of the rest of the world would disagree with the Vegemite bit, but hey, this is what we Aussies do.
So I was more than ecstatic to see in this section of scripture that it is the Will of God that we eat bread. However it is a different and much, much better bread than anything we can lay our hands on here on earth.
The Bread of Life
Here in verse 35 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” Jesus is the “bread of life” and he is telling us to eat and drink of Him. WHat on earth is he talking about?
The answer is quite logical when you think about it. We eat bread and consume it so that we can grow and mature in our physical bodies. So too we consume the teachings of the Lord and the Gospel of the truth of Jesus Christ so that we can grow and mature in the Spirit.
Pretty simple isn’t it? If you hunger for the truth and if you are thirsty for righteousness, Jesus says to come to him. In the Beatitudes he said that when we seek him out that, “Blessed are they who hunger and thirst for righteousness, for they shall be satisfied.” (Matthew 5:6) So when we hunger for the things of God, the promise is that we shall receive them and be satisfied. He will not leave us hungry and thirsty but will give us the spiritual food and drink we need to grow and mature in Jesus Christ.
The Will of God
But what about it being the will of God? How is eating this bread, the bread of life that is Jesus, doing the will of God?
Again we see that it was the will of the Father that Jesus come to the earth to live, teach and die for our sin. He did this in obedience to the will of the Father so that we would have the opportunity of redemption from sin and a new life in the spirit.
It is the will of God that we come to Jesus in faith and to learn as He said here, “For this is the will of my Father, that every one who sees the Son and believes in him should have eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (Verse 40)
The will of the Father is that everyone who believes in Jesus and comes to Him will not be cast off and lost. He wants those who seek him and will protect them as they learn to be obedient to His ways. It says so in verse 39 of this section, “…this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up at the last day.”
So we see here the wondrous promises of God for those who seek Jesus Christ.
Firstly, we see that he will feed us the spiritual food and drink that will sustain us and allow us ot grow. He wants His children to be mature, not affected by every influence of the evil one, not tossed about by the winds of philosophy and what is falsely called religion. Instead he wants his children to be stable and secure and able to discern right from wrong. This is the outcome of the spiritual food that comes from Jesus, the bread of life, so that we can grow.
Secondly, we see that when we come to Him and partake of this bread of life, He will protect us. It is the will of God, and thus His promise, that no one who comes to him will be lost. And He is more than capable of holding onto those who come to him. As Paul wrote, “What then shall we say to this? If God is for us, who is against us?” (Romans 8:31)
So I am thankful that he offers us this divine and spiritual bread. I love the bread I get at the bakery, but I love the bread of life that is Jesus Christ even more. The baker’s bread might keep me going physically for a while, but the bread of life endures to eternity.
(Photo sourced from stock.xchng taken by Hannah Chapman)