Jesus was born in Bethlehem,. The name means “house of bread”. Bread had huge significance for the people of Israel. It was baked daily and was a staple part of their diet. A necessity providing energy and sustenance. God provided the Israelites daily with manna when they were in the wilderness. Jesus taught us to pray for our daily bread. Notice the common theme of provision being daily.
The Israelites were told to gather manna (bread from heaven) on a daily basis when they were in the wilderness. They couldn’t store ‘today’s provision’ for ‘tomorrow’s need’.
Bread for physical nourishment is important but Jesus knew that that alone would never sustain us long-term. It would never satisfy the deepest longings and needs of our hearts.
When Jesus was tempted in the wilderness and was asked to turn the stones into bread, His response was,
Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.
Jesus was hungry. Bread probably seemed very appealing to him having been fasting for forty days. But He was willing to see past a temporal physical need being met to the greater purpose of His Father; ultimately to the greater good of mankind. He knew the power of His Father’s words. He knew they were laced with life, abundant, satisfying life.
Jesus was born in a place that was home to physical nourishment (bread) to provide a home where people could receive spiritual nourishment (abundant life).
Jesus took five loaves of bread and two fish, gave thanks, broke the bread and five thousand plus people were fed. He then turned to His disciples and said,
I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
(John 6:25-27, 48-58)
The One who said, I am the Bread of Life allowed Himself to become broken Bread for you and for me. He went to the cross. Laying down His privileges as God, He died a death that was ours to die. This incredible sacrifice provided life for our bodies and nourishment for our souls.
Jesus, The Bread of Life, who was broken so that we can eat, provides the grace, mercy, love, courage, compassion, strength, help, wisdom, and forgiveness we need on a daily basis.
Without the breaking of the Bread, there would be no life. We wouldn’t be able to eat. We wouldn’t be fed. We wouldn’t have what we need.
Every day, we can feed on the Bread of Life, rich in love, grace, and mercy, and receive the nutrients we need. Like the Israelites, we need to receive daily. We can’t use ‘today’s provision’ for ‘tomorrow’s needs’.
When we intentionally create space in our lives to feed on the Bread of Life, we will begin to experience the abundant life Jesus spoke of in John 10. The life He came to bring.
Cheap and counterfeit bread that other sources offer will lose its appeal compared to the real and authentic Bread of Life, full of glory and beauty.
Feeding on the Bread of Life will cause our hearts to burn just like the disciples on the Emmaus Road. The more our hearts burn, the more we will yearn for that which sustains and satisfies.
Is anyone thirsty? Come and drink. … Listen to me, and you will get what is good. You will enjoy the finest food. Come to me with your ears wide open. Listen, and you will find life. I will make an everlasting covenant with you. I will give you all the unfailing love I promised David.
Bread of life is life and truth setting those, who are willing to feed on Him, free. With ears to hear and hearts to receive, we will receive all the life and nourishment we need. Not just today but every day of our lives.
The One who became broken bread for us will sustain us in our brokenness.
It’s in the breaking that life was given. It’s in our receiving and eating that sorrow turns to joy, confusion to clarity, despair to hope, and turmoil to peace.
Eyes fixed on the One who was broken, our Bread of Life, releases grace to embrace the mysteries we face, healing for our souls, strength for our bodies, and hope for tomorrow.
The Bread of Life is our greatest nourishment.