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Read |John 6|
BREAD. In every part of the world, across all socioeconomic backgrounds, from France to Jamaica, bread is essential. In fact, it is so important that it is used as a synonym for food. If one's pantry is wanting, but one has bread, one has food. In the Gospel of John we see Jesus at the centre of a story about bread, which turns out to be about so much more.
There is a great multitude and it is clamoring for a touch from Jesus--the one they had seen heal and deliver. It clamors so that it maybe counted amongst the healed and delivered. Jesus receives it compassionately and uses the fact of its presence to create a context for a miracle--the multiplication of a little boy's poor offering of 5 barley loaves and 2 fishes to feed over five thousand people. (John 6: 8 - 10). After witnessing such an act the people are not only filled, but amazed. They conclude, "'This truly is the Prophet who is to come into the world.'" (John 6: 14, CSB). The Prophet, but in their minds, not the Christ.
A day later, this same crowd gathers around Jesus. They gather for more "bread and fish"--for another sign. However, Jesus does not give another sign. You see, signs are only valuable because of what they signify, and Jesus knew that this crowd had missed the meaning of the sign. They had failed to recognize that the true blessing was not in the WHAT of the sign, but in WHO it revealed, so he says:
Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him. (John 6: 26 - 27, CSB).
They are now more aware that there is a MORE to be desired. There is a gift given by the Son of Man which satisfies eternally--there is bread from heaven. They plea, "'Sir, give us this bread always.'" (John 6: 34, CSB). He responds to their plea by giving them the WHO: "'I am the bread of life.'" (John 6: 35, CSB).
The food the Son of Man gives is His very life:
This Food is given to satisfy the need of she who knows her poverty--perceiving her need and also her inability to meet it. This Food is given so that she may not have to perish because of her poverty. This Food is given so that she who is poor may come into wealth, by grace through faith in Jesus Christ. (Ephesians 2: 8 - 9). This Food is given to make sure an inheritance beyond human comprehension--one which the grave cannot swallow up. This Food is freely given. It is a gift. It is a gift given because of great love. (John 3: 16).
Beloved, your poverty does not have to be your shame. We are all born poor and any good we have is a gift from the generous Father of Lights, who is above. (James 1: 17). His generosity, fueled by His great love for us, moved Him to give us Jesus--the Bread of Life. The offering that so perfectly satisfies that, if it is all we have, we have all we will ever need. In His very person is Life itself and all necessary to fulfill every need of our lives. Do not perish because of your poverty. There is life and life more abundant in Him. (John 10: 10). Believe on Him today. Trust in the sufficiency of Jesus Christ--His life, death, sacrifice, resurrection, Spirit and promises--for a victorious life here on earth and a secure future with Him in heaven.
Dear God, I know that I am a sinner and there is nothing that I can do to save myself. I confess my complete helplessness to forgive my own sin or to work my way to heaven. At this moment I trust Christ alone as the One who bore my sin when He died on the cross. I believe that He did all that will ever be necessary for me to stand in your holy presence. I thank you that Christ was raised from the dead as a guarantee of my own resurrection. As best as I can, I now transfer my trust to Him. I am grateful that He has promised to receive me despite my many sins and failures. Father, I take you at your word. I thank you that I can face death now that you are my Savior. Thank you for the assurance that you will walk with me through the deep valley. Thank you for hearing this prayer. In Jesus’ Name. Amen.
Carolyn Sinclair McCalla is an educator, Christian education youth coordinator, author, singer, workshop and retreat leader, speaker and. founder and president of EarthBasic. However, she is first and foremost a daughter of God, with a passion for encouraging women to embrace the fullness of God's love for them in Jesus Christ. You can connect with Carolyn on facebook, Instagram and here.