John 6:48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. 50 This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Jesus had fed the 5000 and there had been twelve baskets full of left-overs. It was an amazing event and yet, somehow, the people wanted to compare what he had done with Moses. Moses gave the people food every single day that they wandered in the wilderness. This miracle that they had experienced — was it something that Jesus could do for them on a daily basis?
They didn’t understand the significance of Jesus’ presence and how his very life was the bread of life. The thing that the people were clamoring for, manna, was only temporary. It fed the people while they walked in the wilderness, but all of those people had long since died. Jesus was the new kind of bread that had come down from heaven.
He refers to himself as the “living bread.” He was inviting his listeners to become partakers of him — of the divine nature. In doing so we would be transformed into God’s holy people. The hope of this living bread was so much more than the manna in the wilderness.
Jesus would give his very life so that all could be fed by him. This was now not just the gift of the Father, but the sacrificial gift of Jesus himself.
I love really good bread, but for me, really good bread has to be firm and whole grain. I’ve lived far too long in Europe to be comfortable with things like “Wonder Bread.” It literally makes me “wonder” what in the world it’s made of! I go to the bread section in an American grocery store and poke the bread looking for something that is firm. I know it’s just my opinion — but I’m looking for what I consider really good bread.
Jesus was offering the people the very best bread — but they didn’t want it. They thought that what they wanted was for him to supply their daily physical needs with bread like the manna from heaven in the days of Moses. What they really needed was his bread — the bread of life.
It’s very tempting to try and tell God what is best for us. Just like the Israelites we may be explaining to the Lord that we want that manna! Is there something that we are wanting from God these days that simply may not be the best thing for us? For the people of Jesus’ day to understand what he was saying, they would need to listen carefully and have faith to believe in him.
Jesus is trying to offer us the best today. The problem is that we may be wanting the wrong kind of bread and we may be pestering him for what we think is best. Relaxing and trusting in God can be difficult at times, but it is the only way to get the very best. Don’t be satisfied with the things that will be gone tomorrow, but trust the Lord for the eternal.
Lord, thank you for what you provide and help me to trust in you. Amen.
If you would like to read more "Reflecting the Image" click on the image to take you to the NPH bookstore.The book is also available in Kindle format on Amazon.com.