Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6: 35
“I am the bread of life”, Jesus declared to His disciples. He reminded them that just as God had sent the manna from heaven to fall to the ground to sustain His people in the wilderness, so the Father had also sent Him, the Bread of Life, to give sustenance to the world. What a beautiful expression. What a source of life He truly is for all of us who believe in His most holy name.
In Jesus’s day, bread was the main part of any meal and the most important. By Him referring to Himself as such, He is not only reminding us that He is available to everyone – the rich and poor alike – but He is also saying that He is the true and only source of life. As the nutrients from natural bread give strength and nourishment to our bodies, so Christ can bring life to our souls. Once we “feast” upon His goodness, nothing else will ever suffice. He is all we will ever need to satisfy the emptiness in our souls as He lives and flows through us with His love and strength. He is our Savior, our Sustainer, and our true Comforter. He is the Giver of hope, our saving grace, and our deepest joy. “All who come to Him will never go hungry, and they will never be thirsty as they drink from His living water.”
Throughout Jesus’ public ministry and even today, people have questioned His identity. Throughout the book of John, Jesus focuses not on what others think of Him, but on who He declares Himself to be. Besides teaching that He is the Bread of Life, He declares Himself to be The Light of the World, The Gate, The Good Shepherd, the Way, The Vine, and The Resurrection and the Life. He supplies all our needs in this life and in the one to come for all eternity. How grateful we are for His love and grace.
As we pray the Lord’s prayer and say these words, “Our Father who art in heaven . . . Give us this day our daily bread”, may we think of more than food for our physical nourishment that we need and desire, but may we think of receiving Him into our hearts with just the portion and grace that we need for today. What joy to know that He lives in us and gives us life – now and forevermore.
Our most gracious Lord, we thank you for the bread of life you give. How you fill our hearts and souls with peace, love, comfort, hope, and the promise of eternal life to come. Amen