Bread of Life
November 13, 2023
“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” John 6:35
Food is a big part of our lives. We need it to survive. Planning meals, obtaining food and cooking entrees consumes our time. Food is also a key part of our celebrations. In fact, many of us have likely already begun planning food for upcoming Thanksgiving festivities. Food is ingrained into our routines and it was similar for the people of Jesus’ day. That is why the feeding of the 5,000 was such a big deal. People were amazed and eager to see if Jesus would keep miraculously producing food.
John 6:28-35 tells us how the crowd tracked down Jesus after the feeding. They desperately wanted Jesus to give them more food. But when they asked about it, instead of handing them bread, he encouraged them to stop focusing on the physical. He drew them away from material food that spoils and pointed out their need for everlasting food. The crowd was hungry for physical food and miracles. But Jesus taught that no matter how much they ate, or how many miracles they saw, their hearts would not be satisfied.
What is it that you hunger for? Perhaps it is security, affirmation, acceptance, a job, or loving relationships. Jesus does not say that these longings are wrong, only that they will not fully satisfy. Landing the job, getting the house, reaching the health goal, and even a happy family cannot fill the hunger in our hearts. That is a hunger filled only by Jesus.
Despite Jesus’ revelation about eternal food, the crowd asked for more proof (vs. 32-33). They had already experienced his teaching and miracles but they wanted more. We can fall into the same habit. How often do we ask God for more, instead of recognizing the miracle of the work he has already done in our lives?
In response to their demand, Jesus once again pointed them heavenward. He declared that he is the bread of life (vs. 35). It is only in him that our hunger is filled. When we receive him, believe him and live with him, our longing is satisfied. He fills our hearts in a way that material things cannot.
Just as Jesus invited the crowd to recognize their real hunger, he invites us to do the same. Where will you turn with your hunger? Will you lay it at Jesus’ feet and allow him to fill your heart? Jesus is our bread of life, and our source of satisfaction. His love and grace is a gift that fills our souls, and that is a reason to praise. In your reflection this week, thank the Lord for sending his son. Bring him praise for the peace and fullness of life that is found only in Jesus.
Heavenly Father, We acknowledge that each of us deeply needs you. There is a longing in our hearts that only you can fill. When we try to satisfy that hunger with other things, remind us that Jesus is our bread of life. Let us fully receive and accept him, allowing him to satisfy our deepest longings. It is in his name we pray, Amen.
Spiritual Care Coordinator
P.S. Sign up to receive these devotions through email here.