Bread of Heaven, the Life of God – My Daily Bread!
Our call to desire Christ is taken from John 6: 33, 35-40, NIV, which reads:
“For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. 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.’”
What lead up to this profound truth of who Jesus was? He made this awesome statement to a crowd that had followed Him after He had performed the miracle where He fed five thousand. However they received an unexpected reply from Jesus when they found him. Perhaps they expected to be commended by Jesus for being diligent in seeking Him out. Instead Jesus revealed to them the truth of their hearts – namely that they followed Him “not because you saw the miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” (John 6: 26, NIV) Jesus knew that their perspective was motivated by material gain rather than understanding the true significance of Jesus, His mission and His message.
Then Jesus chastised them and told them to “not work for the food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” (John 6: 27, NIV) This comment from Jesus leads them to ask Him “what must we do to do the works God requires?” (John 4: 28, NIV) They believed that they needed to do works in order to gain everlasting life. Then Jesus confronted them with a shift in their spiritual paradigm, a colossal change in their thinking that would need to occur for them to see the Kingdom. He simply said: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one He has sent.” (John 6: 29, NIV)
After this profound statement, they still did not believe, for they asked Him for a miraculous sign that they might see and believe; and they reminded Him of the manna that their forefathers were fed while in the wilderness. They were minimizing Jesus’ miracle of feeding the 5,000 as something fairly insignificant when compared to manna for millions daily. How did Jesus respond to their doubt and self-seeking materialism?
Christ in a few sentences shook their world upside down with the key passage above. They wanted eternal life by a works ministry, He told them to get eternal life they had only to believe in Him, they wanted another sign, He told them that He was the sign, they spoke of temporal bread that satisfied for a little while, He spoke of life-giving bread that lasted an eternity and of a thirst that was forever quenched! They spoke of their life on earth; Jesus spoke of the life that could be had in the resurrection! They simply could not fathom that life would be very different in the Kingdom that Jesus was beginning to sketch for them.
But you know what; sometimes God has the same kind of conversations with us today. We come to Him with our heart closed and with our hands out expecting to get what we want; He opens our eyes to what it means to walk with Him, to accept our cross and follow Christ. We come entangled and snared by the material things of this world; He strips away all the things not needed for His kingdom and focuses us on what He knows is important – for He is preparing us for eternity. We come with our priorities all out of whack after living a lifetime with God on the fringes of our lives; He lovingly shapes and molds us into the likeness of His Son, all the while fixing our hearts on the things that matter to Him.
And through it all, we come to appreciate that Jesus is our necessary food– the living bread that came down from Heaven to do the will of the Father. That only through a relationship with Him can we enter into the Fathers rest! For Jesus is the “way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through” Him. (John 14:6, NIV) Rejoice in the living Bread, Oh the Bread of Heaven, Jesus Christ our Savior and King!
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