I am the Bread of Life
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 NIV)
Shortly after Jesus had fed the five thousand, the crowds follow him to the other side of the lake where they ask him a question: “what are the works that God requires us to do?” Jesus’ reply is very simple. It is not about the works that we do but rather our belief in him (verse 29). Jesus is inviting the crowds to see who he really is and to have a desire to follow him. For too long, the Pharisees had placed a burden of compliance with duty and behaviour on the people. They were conditioned to believe that faith was about works rather than faith. Jesus brings them back to faith and belief which are centred in relationship.
Yet, even with it explained simply to them they needed something else. They needed a sign. A sign like the provision of manna in the desert. They needed something tangible upon which to hand their belief. Responding to their request, Jesus reminds them it was not Moses who provided the manna but God, the Father. And as in the desert, the Father longs to provide bread from Heaven. Bread speaks to us of nourishment, the source of life and well-being; it comes to us in the person of Jesus. He is the bread from Heaven, given to us by the Father. He will sustain us, give us energy and be the source of our abundant life.
He has already told his disciples that his food is to do the will of the Father (John 4:34). He is the living bread sent from Heaven to give us eternal life. As we consider this truth, let us not be like the crowds who wanted to know what they had to do. My prayer is that we respond in faith, seeking out the person who gives us life from Heaven. Life centred in a relationship with the Father brought to us by the Son. We, too, can live like Jesus, making it our food (the thing that nourishes us) to do the will of the Father.
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