Jesus Is The True & Better Manna

from the Advent 2015: Born Is The King reading plan

Exodus 16:1-36, Matthew 4:1-4, John 6:22-40, John 6:57-58

BY Matt Redmond

My wife and I joke that I can remember every meal I’ve ever eaten. While not strictly true, there are a few meals we describe as our “most memorable meals.” They’re not always the most lavish. They’re not even the best tasting. Sometimes it’s the company. Usually it’s the timing.

The week of 9/11 was dark. There was a heavy cloud of anxiety hanging high everywhere. Every news report and conversation turned on the terror of those attacks. It was suffocating.

But a meal helped.

The Friday following that Tuesday we went out for pizza with our neighbors, Bryan and Erika. We sat outside by the cobblestone road in Old St. Charles and laughed a little. I remember being thankful to God for His faithfulness when afraid.

For my money, the most memorable meal in the Old Testament is in Exodus 16. The Israelites are grumbling to Moses and Aaron, “You brought us into this wilderness to make this whole assembly die of hunger” (v. 3). Though they have been miraculously freed by God, they are so hungry they wish they were slaves back in Egypt. God has consistently revealed His faithfulness to them but they are still afraid of dying of hunger.

What does God do? He sends food. Specifically, He sends bread, which probably tasted like duck confit to the hungry wanderers. Can you imagine what it was like to eat this provision—that basically came out of nowhere—after being so hungry? What did it taste like? What does God’s faithfulness taste like when you’re hungry?

It was certainly a “most memorable meal.” We are told they ate this bread until they went into the Promised Land. Some of the manna was even kept in the Ark as a memorial of God’s faithfulness.

Every Israelite knew about this “meal.” So when Jesus starts providing food out of what seems like nothing, the Israelites get excited and remember the memorable meal of manna. But Jesus knows they are only after food. He tells them, “I am the bread of life… No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will be thirsty again” (John 6:35).

Jesus is saying, I am the true and better manna. You see, the manna pointed to God’s faithfulness to His people by keeping them alive until they crossed over Jordan and went into the Promised Land. Jesus is the Bread of Life, saving us from our greatest problem—our sin— which separates us from eternal life.

If we are honest, we forget God’s faithfulness. The world grows dark. Fear and anxiety about our homes and the world at large cause us to doubt. What are we to do when this happens? Feed on the Word made flesh (John 1:14).

The manna was a meal pointing to Jesus, the Bread of Life. He is the meal that will satisfy forever. Not because He will fill our stomachs and extend our lives or take away all our problems, but because He has given His life to satisfy our great need for a Savior.

Written by Matthew B. Redmond

Post Comments (35)

35 thoughts on "Jesus Is The True & Better Manna"

  1. Kevin says:

    That we fail to trust Him. That we think we know best but we don’t. That we think we are wise but we aren’t. That we rely on what we think we know instead of trusting Him.

  2. Kevin says:

    Continue this Bible study. Dig deeper, be open.

  3. Kevin says:

    That I need to better study and obey it; trust it/Him to guide my life.

  4. Kevin says:

    That He will always be there with a solution that is better than any I could come up with, that He has a reason for what He does and what He command me to do and I need to trust Him.

  5. Kevin says:

    Dear Father,
    Like a spoiled child I want and demand what I shouldn’t have and fail to do what I should do. Help me trust and obey you and draw me to your Word that I might be wiser and better equipped to hear and follow your will. Help me to do this and share with others your wisdom and love.

  6. Justin says:

    Flowing Jesus requires a long obedience in the same direction

  7. Justin says:

    We quickly and easily forget how and when God provides for us

  8. Justin says:

    Make a list of the ways God has been faithful to me

  9. Justin says:

    The gospel satisfies our deepest human needs and provides us with eternal purpose, meaning, significance

  10. Justin says:

    With a grateful heart

  11. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Remember God’s faithfulness in even the smallest things so that I remember His faithfulness to tell my kids and grandkids and those around me about who my God is.

  12. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Man is doubtful and very focused on themselves and what they can get. We miss the greatest point of it all.

  13. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Jesus is the truest and fullest satisfying food we could ever have because He rescues us from our sin forever.

  14. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    God is faithful, and true to provide for us both physically and spiritually forever.

  15. Jeffrey Messenger says:

    Father, teach me to remember Your faithfulness in the smallest of small things so that I can let my life be a testimony to others about who You are, my King.

  16. Jonathan Newman says:

    We have been created with needs: to eat, to have purpose, to be loved, but most of all to be saved from dying in our sins.

  17. Jonathan Newman says:

    Jesus is the ultimate provision of God’s faithfulness. Though we may eat on this earth and still die one day, he is the nourishment that brings our souls back to life and sustains them forever after our earthly bodies die.

  18. Jonathan Newman says:

    Savoring the fact that I have the ultimate nourishment and restoring resource not in a thing but in the person of Jesus. When I’m anxious about life or feel dejected about something, I would do well to sit and dwell on the fact that I am spiritually rich and blessed beyond my wildest dreams.

  19. Jonathan Newman says:

    God is our provider of our essential needs and his faithfulness transcends time and space.

  20. Matthew Johnston says:

    God provides.

  21. Matthew Johnston says:

    In thankfulness for God’s providence. Also, I hope that I will remember His faithfulness in the desert time, or when I am hungry. Too often, I complain about what I don’t have, rather than rejoice in what God has provided.

  22. Matthew Johnston says:

    We complain.

  23. Matthew Johnston says:

    Jesus is the true and better manna. Like food, he provides life. But life through Jesus is everlasting and truly filling.

  24. Matthew Johnston says:

    Thank you for this food! God, thank you for providing daily and eternally for our needs. Thank you for providing Christ as the true and best manna. Thank you for abundant life in Him. Help me not forget.

  25. Josh Burns says:

    He is faithful no matter what. In my worry and anxiety, He is good. He is present.

  26. Josh Burns says:

    Live in the presence of God today, knowing that I don’t need to worry or fear. God’s got me. I’m His child. He will never leave me or forsake me.

  27. Josh Burns says:

    God provided the ultimate sacrifice so that I don’t have to worry or be anxious. His Son’s death on the cross provides everything I need.

  28. Josh Burns says:

    It’s easy for me to focus on the problems of the world and get bogged down by it. It’s easy to focus on what I don’t have and start complaining. I am prone to wander.

  29. Josh Burns says:

    God, remind me of these truths today. Remind me that you made the ultimate sacrifice for me, so that I don’t have to worry about my security or my life.

  30. Tyler says:

    Jesus is enough! He is our perfect sustainer and is able to fulfill the deepest longings of our hearts. As the bread of life, he never spoils; he never leaves us hungry.

  31. Tyler says:

    Man is quick to grumble and even quicker to forget the provision of the Lord. We are inclined to desire the most immediate form of satisfaction, seeking normal bread to fill our stomachs instead of seeking the bread of life in Christ.

  32. Tyler says:

    Today, when I get hungry, I’ll stop and think about how Jesus is the bread of life. I’ll let my physical hunger remind me of the spiritual hunger that only Jesus can satisfy.

  33. Tyler says:

    God is faithful yesterday, today, and tomorrow. It is by his hand that we are sustained and cared for even in our grumbling.

  34. Tyler says:

    My prayer is that Jesus is enough for me. That I would find joy and satisfaction in him and him alone.

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