Summary: This is a message discussing the bread for physical life and the Bread for spiritual life.
Text: “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:33).
Is there anyone present who has never eaten bread? All of have eaten bread at some time in our life. Bread is one of the staple food items and dates back to the New Stone Age which I understand is about 9500 years before Christ. Sound like bread has been around forever. Bread falls into the grain category of the food pyramid.
As you know, there are many different kinds of bread. There is white bread, whole wheat bread, potato bread, buttermilk bread, multi-grain bread, honey and honey wheat bread, sourdough bread, and the list goes on and on.
Bread is nourishment to our physical body. We can toast it, spread peanut and jelly on it, make a sandwich out of it or eat it plain. It does fill the empty space in one’s stomach for a short period of time.
Has any here ever baked bread? I remember the days when my mother would bake bread. We hardly ever bought store bread. The aroma of bread baking in the oven is almost indescribable. I really hate to admit it now, but as a little fellow, I thought store-bought bread was better.
I carried my lunch to the little two-room country school I attended and in those days, we placed our lunch boxes in the cloak room. When lunch-time came, I would trade my homemade bread sandwich with another student who had a sandwich made of store-bought bread. The store-bought bread was always sliced evenly and didn’t have a hard or thick crust on it. I would give anything if I could have mother’s homemade bread today.
Scripture tells us that Jesus fed a multitude of 5000 people with 5 barley loaves and 2 fish. The people were permitted to eat as much as they wanted. Even after the meal, there were 12 baskets of fragments of bread left over. Jesus always showers us with blessing and provides more than what we need. In addition, He provides us with better and more than we could possible imagine.
Jesus took care of the physical hunger the people experienced. That was important to the people because their bodies needed nourishment. Our physical hunger is important because if we don’t eat and drink, our bodies will eventually deteriorate and we will become sick and die. Our bodies are loaned to us and it is our responsibility to take care of them. These are the bodies that are the temple of the Holy Spirit.
The people were impressed with what took place and Jesus knew that. He said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the good which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him” (John 6:26, 27).
The people were impressed with Jesus and continued to follow Him for their own selfish reasons. They were concerned only about their physical and worldly benefits. The same thing is going on today.
Some people look to Jesus for the wrong reasons. Some are looking to gain status or esteem for themselves. Some people are searching for Jesus from a self-centered perspective. There is no doubt that Jesus is concerned about each one of us, but His major concern is with our heart which is on a spiritual level.
When people came to Jesus individually, in groups, or in multitudes, He always tried to teach them spiritual lessons or spiritual values. When Jesus called Andrew and Peter to be disciples He said to them, “I will make you fishers of men” (Matthew 4:19). They were fishermen and fishing was their livelihood. Jesus was going to teach them that there is something greater than food for the physical body. He wanted them to fish for souls nourished by Bread from Heaven that would enable them to spend eternity with Him.
The people comprising the multitude thought they had to do some special work in order to attain a right relationship with God. This same thing happens today. People are asking what kind of work they must do to please God. We have numerous religions throughout the world because people are trying to find the correct answer to what God wants them to do.
Jesus gave the people the answer when He said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent” (v. 29). This is the same answer He is giving us. This should not be too difficult for people to understand.
People believe in many things. We believe the sun will come up in the morning and the moon will appear at night. We believe the pilot of the huge airliner will get us to our destination 1000 miles away. When we step up into the bus, we believe the drive knows the route to take. When we get behind the wheel of our automobile, we believe in our ability to drive. When we go to the doctor, we believe he knows what he is doing and that he will take good care of us. When we have an operation or a medical procedure, we believe and trust the person doing the procedure.