We’ve been looking at the names of God and how his names help us understand him better. This week I want to look at why the Son of God is called ‘The Bread of Life’.
After Jesus feeds the five thousand physical bread, he makes some extraordinary statements to the crowd which followed him. They clearly wanted more physical bread, but Jesus said:
‘”I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
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. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
At this the Jews began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws him, and I will raise him up at the last day. It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from him comes to me. No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world”’ (John 6:32-51).
Why does Jesus call himself the bread of life? Jesus is teaching that if you trust in him it is like eating physical food, you will be able to keep on living. But in comparison to physical food, feeding on Jesus by faith gives eternal life. Jesus teaches this when he says those who have believed in him will be raised on the last day. It doesn’t matter what you die from, even a deadly virus, you will not truly die if you have fed on Christ.
But this bread of life will not always be available. We’ve seen shortages of certain foods in our stores of late. One day the bread of life will not be found. Not because too many have eaten of Christ by faith – Jesus is sufficient for all. But because one day God will remove the opportunity to feed on Christ by faith.
Have you said ‘Sir, from now on give us this bread’? Joel Radford