I am the Bread of Life (part one)
This passage opens as the crowds are tracking down Jesus, because the day before He had fed 5,000 people with five loaves of barley bread and two fishes. He knows their hearts and immediately instructs them to seek the food that endures and leads to eternal life. Jesus goes on to remind them that it was God, not Moses, who provided the manna from heaven to their ancestors who wandered in the desert for 40 years and that “my Father gives you the true bread from heaven” (v 32.) Jesus declares that “I am the bread of life.” Bread figures so prominently throughout Scripture – in sacrifices, as manna from heaven, and in the Last Supper, where it symbolizes Christ’s body broken for us. In all cases, it sustains the human body and our relationship with God.
When I reflect on this passage, I see myself among the people – forgetful, demanding, and hard hearted. I am reminded of a time when my heart was hardened and I walked in the ways of the world. I am gladdened that Christ is the bread that “gives life to the world.” Note the present tense; He gives us life every day.
Jesus taught His disciples to pray, just as we do every Sunday, “Give us this day our daily bread.” Clearly this request includes all of the basic necessities – food, shelter, and clothing. But it also includes spiritual food to sustain and grow our faith, our trust and reliance on God.
Stepping Out in Lent – During this Lenten Season, I am reminded that God is the giver of life, and all who believe in Jesus Christ shall have eternal life. It is through His grace and mercy that we come to a saving faith and He provides what we need to sustain and grow that faith.
Author – Jackie Pugh and her husband, Tom, have been members of St. Peter’s for almost two years. She serves on the Altar Guild and has participated in several Bible studies. She is the proud step-mom to three children and grandma to Levi, Sawyer and Ava.