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Nourished by the Bread of Life

Posted by Pr Alex Tan on

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional thoughtfully penned by leaders in DUMC arising from their daily devotions. The devotional’s title, “Our Best Thought” is taken from the hymn, “Be Thou My Vision” as a reference to God: “Thou my best thought, by day or by night.” Receive direct updates through a Telegram Channel: https://t.me/ourbestthought


Scripture:

"When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here? Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, 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. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

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 6:25-35 (NIV)

“I AM the bread of life.”

This is the first of seven ‘I AM sayings’ of Jesus found in the Gospel of John. It was said to the crowds who sought after Jesus after experiencing His miracle of feeding the five thousand (John 6:1-13).

These ‘I AM sayings’ were specific revelations of who Jesus is, drawing from Exodus 3:14, where God revealed Himself to the Israelites as ‘I AM WHO I AM’. I AM describes a God who is completely sufficient in Himself. He stands ever present and unchangeable. In using ‘I AM’, Jesus was alluding to His own divinity.

 

Observation:

In the passage, when the crowds found Jesus, Jesus pointed out that they were drawn to Him not because of His miracle, but because they had had their fill:

"You are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God the Father set his seal.”
John 6:26-27

Jesus drew from the well-known story of God’s provision for the Israelites in the wilderness through the “bread of heaven” (Exodus 16), or manna, to show that He was the true bread of heaven, and “the food that endures to eternal life”.

Jesus was saying that their hunger can only be fully satisfied by partaking of His life.

 

Application:

In the Mediterranean society of Jesus' day, bread was the most important part of the diet. You had a complete meal if you had bread and water or a little wine. Grains of the Middle East were used to make bread. In our Malaysian context, while bread may be becoming a favourite, rice is a closer equivalent.

When Jesus said ‘I am the bread of life’ he was not saying, ‘I am like a fresh sourdough loaf from Kenny Hills Bakers’. He was saying, 'I am what you need to live.'

At the time of your reading this, you are either about to take your next meal or may have just had one. Our need for the Bread of Life should be such a natural longing; one that is completely related to how our physical hunger drives us towards food.

How much are we partaking in the life that Jesus grants to us? How do we feed from and partake of Him? It is by feeding from His Word consistently. Our Bible Reading Plan is a good place to start.

 

Response:

Lord, You are more than physical bread that addresses physical hunger. You are the Bread of Life that we partake of so that we will never go hungry in You. Only You can satisfy.
In Jesus' name we pray, Amen.


Pr Alex Tan is Pastor of First Touch ministries and PJ North 2. You can respond to this devotional by writing to .

Our Best Thought is a weekly devotional that follows DUMC's Bible Reading Plan. Posts on Sundays. Receive direct updates through a Telegram Channel: https://t.me/ourbestthought