Day 8

The Bread of Life

from the John reading plan


John 6:1-71, Acts 3:22-23, Psalm 29:10-11

I love bread. This is no writerly exaggeration. When I’m at a restaurant and the waiter asks if I’d like bread before my meal, I think to myself, “What planet are you from? Heavens yes, I want bread! Bring it hot, and bring it fast!” From cornbread to pumpernickel to brioche to tortillas—man, I love bread.

I love Jesus. This, too, is no exaggeration. Jesus is, as Updike wrote, the “tall friend of my childhood.” I’ve loved him since I was a boy, wooed to His side by the King James Version of His love, faithfully proclaimed each Sunday by my father’s pastoral voice. And here, at almost fifty years of age, I love Jesus still.

One of the many things I adore about Jesus is the trick He often used when speaking. I do not use the word “trick” in a belittling sense at all. Jesus would fill the air with common words attached to a startling idea. He was, and is, a master of this. For example, “I am the Bread of Life.” To take this most common, and let’s face it, universally beloved thing—bread—and when the hungry people said, “Give us this bread,” to respond to them: “Its me!”? Genius. Absolutely genius.

And while on that day such talk presented good news, full of ripe possibility, it also challenged the ears on which it fell. The text indicates that many disciples heard His words and found them tough, if not impossible, to swallow. Jesus was proclaiming bread with bones in it—His own. The people could understand the manna that Moses provided and how it sustained their ancestors in that wilderness time. But to make the jump from that to this son of Joseph, this son of Mary? Unbelievable. Absolutely unbelievable.

Not much has changed. The Son of Man still stands before us, pointing to all the things we love, not to diminish those good gifts in any way, but to point to the better gift—Himself—and say, “All those things will leave you still hungry, still restless, still aching. But take Me and you will live forever, and never hunger or thirst again. I am the Bread of Life.” And while this message still strikes the mind as utterly unprovable, it endures a pleasure to the ear. An absolutely hopeful pleasure.

I love bread. But I love Jesus more.

Written By John Blase

Post Comments (9)

9 thoughts on "The Bread of Life"

  1. Ken Fuller says:

    40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.

    The real need of each person today is forgiveness and hope. Jesus meets that need in Himself – His gift of life (His sacrificed body) on the cross. Look on Him, believe He is Bread from heaven and receive His gift of life.

  2. Forrest says:

    They said “Give us this bread always…”

  3. Justin Rigdon says:

    I do struggle with filling my worldly appetite with things that leave me still hungry. I waste a great deal of time seeking enjoyment in things that often leave me feeling more unfulfilled (and often more angry at myself) than before I started.

    I desire for this bread as well. My heart needs it.

  4. Brandon says:

    I love Jesus too. There is nothing I want more than His life in mine.

  5. Stephen says:

    34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.

  6. Luke Blackburn says:

    Jesus is spiritual manna sent from heaven. He is meant to be consumed and this gives life to our souls. His words and teaching are direct from the Father. If we accept Him as God’s Son and believe that He came for our Salvation, we will be filled with life everlasting. He will satisfy our spiritual angst and nourish our wondering souls. His message is difficult to accept, but if we do, He will restore our connection to our Creator Father. This will give us life and purpose beyond this world.

  7. Kevin says:

    Love the line in the summary, “but there’s a better gift”. God sees us struggling and sometimes we get a nudge like “hey I know you think that’s cool, but guess what’s better Kev? Me.”

  8. Joshua says:

    I needed to hear this message today and am being reminded that I need to lay everything at the foot of the cross. I’ve been so scared to do this for so long. That feeling of vulnerability and not being in control. Please God let me truly submit to you. To trust you, and for your word to guide and change my life.

  9. Nick Crawford says:

    I am so encouraged by the words of Simon Peter in his response to Jesus asking if they, too, would leave:
    “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life, and we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
    God, I pray for this unshakable drive to know Jesus for all of my life. It is only by your Bread that I am sustained. Help me to see the gifts and blessings that You give me and know that they are from You, never to be consumed by the gift itself. Help me to cherish the greatest gift of all, Jesus Christ, and the salvation that He offers me.

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