Summary: Bread represented much more than just a loaf or even a general reference to food. Bread represented all of the things needed for physical life.
Bread and Life
June 13, 2010
Abigail has been active with her 4-H projects this year and has done one on baking breads. I cannot tell you how many different kinds of bread have gone through my house this year but there have been almost too many to count.
* Apple Cinnamon bread
* Lemon Blueberry bread
* Orange bread
* Peanut Butter bread
* Strawberry bread
Bread is spoken of many different times through scripture. Bread has special meaning in various aspects of the spiritual heritage of Israel and provides a special role within the practice of Jewish worship.
* Feast of unleavened bread
* Table of Showbread in the Tabernacle
* Jesus countered Satan – man does not live by bread alone
* Jesus admonished the disciples to pray for daily bread
* Jesus fed massive crowds with a few loaves of bread
* The early church broke bread together
One of the most powerful statements about bread in the New Testament comes from the teachings of Christ about His mission and work in our world. If you have your Bibles, please open them to John 6:48-51 (quickview)
48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. 51 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 6:48-51 (quickview)
The truth of reflection - Bread
Bread represented much more than just a loaf or even a general reference to food. Bread represented all of the things needed for physical life. The Hebrew understanding of bread meant that the person had food, clothing, shelter, family, good health and anything else for a full life.
Jesus taps this line of thinking when He makes the statement about the bread of God in verse 33. Jesus moves beyond just the supply of God for the things of physical need but also of spiritual need. It is vital to understand the setting of these words that Jesus says. The reality is that Jesus had recently fed large crowds of people with a few fish and small loaves of bread. The issue was not that there was not a miracle but that the people were not satisfied with what Jesus had done.
Satisfaction was missed because of two key issues:
1. People were not satisfied with the supply of the meal – The people wanted Jesus to give them a continual supply of food. The concept was much like a new manna from God
2. People were not satisfied with the supernatural display that Jesus provided – The people wanted to see something more dramatic from Jesus. The people wanted to see bread falling from heaven.
Jesus speaks of more than just a physical form of satisfaction. The reality is that physical satisfaction is fleeting and often short lived. Physical satisfaction leaves people empty and needing more. Jesus wants to give people spiritual satisfaction that outlasts and provides far beyond anything of a physical nature.