Jesus The Bread of Life

Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35)

Obviously, he was using bread to illustrate something...

A metaphor. But it sounds pretty lackluster, eh?  Would you like French bread, Italian, pumpernickel, or perhaps an English muffin?  Raisin bread, whole wheat, white, multi-grain, or maybe a roll with some butter?

As with everything in a 2,000 year old book we need to look at what this saying meant in his time in order to find what it means for us today. 

In Jesus’ time bread was not an accessory to a meal...

such as toasted garlic bread with a nice juicy steak. No, bread was the central part of the meal.  They did not have ‘fridges and freezers like we do.  No frozen pizzas. Eating meat was not a daily option for the peasants who Jesus most often taught. Their sheep were worth far more to them alive than dead on their plate.  With the animal alive they could get wool and milk.  To kill an animal for a meal was reserved for very special celebrations, like the visit of a king. For the most part they were vegetarian and ate flatbread like our pita bread, and dipped it in things like hummus, tahini, and baba ganoush.     

In Jesus time bread was the one essential of life. It was made daily, except for the Sabbath.  Bread was so much the main ingredient of eating that the word “bread” came to mean “food”.  If one had bread…one could live. And so when Jesus said, “I am the bread of life”, he was saying that he was the one essential for life.  He was claiming that he and he alone was the sustenance for life.  He did not say, “I am some bread of life.”  Or, “I am one of the many breads of life.”  No, it was exclusive. Without him there was—no life.

Jesus—the Bread of Life! 

He is the one and only who gives life, the one essential ingredient for life, the provision of God for all who come to him.  Jesus stated other, equally amazing things about himself—that he is God!  He is Emmanuel, “God with us.”

People will fail us. But Jesus remains the Bread of Life.  To learn more of him and his claims, read the book of John in the New Testament.  There you will find the “I AM” statements of Jesus, all of them equally amazing.  Or do we not have the time?

Our problem is that we gorge on so much “junk food” that we are not hungry for true Bread.  Our “taste buds” are so accustomed to the fluff and junk that we have no taste for the true Bread that would feed our souls.  The television, telephone, newspaper and ‘net are with us from early morning till we fall asleep. But if Jesus was right—and he was—we ought to feed upon Him first, before we take in anything else. First things first, there are no excuses when we know the truth about the Bread of Life.  To do otherwise is to say that Jesus does not rate even as high as the “junk food” we are feeding on. 

What does our “food” intake say about Jesus?

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