Summary: “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. I am the bread of life. He who comes to me shall never hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst” John 6:33, 35.
Theme: We need the food that comes from heaven
Text: Ex. 16:2-4, 9-15; Eph. 4:17, 20-24; John 6:24-35
The worsening food situation, especially in the developing nations, is one of the major problems facing the world today. We have all seen pictures of starving and dying children from areas devastated by famine and in Africa millions die yearly from hunger and starvation. The sad aspect of this problem is that it cannot always be blamed on the failure of the rains. It is very often the result of civil wars, bribery and corruption, mismanagement, greed and lack of concern for human life. Starvation also occurs in the developed nations where there is an abundance of food and we sometimes read of people who have abundant food and yet die from starvation. They die from an eating disorder and many of us are familiar with the one known as anorexia. Those who suffer from this disease are so scared of putting on weight that they would go to great lengths to prevent it. They would often induce vomiting after eating and end up starving to death. But eating disorders go beyond the physical food we eat. We have all inherited an eating disorder known as unbelief that results in the refusal to eat the food of life and a preference for the delicacies of death. It was unbelief that made Adam and Eve sin in the Garden of Eden by eating of the only tree that they had been forbidden to eat from. They were allowed to eat of every tree, including the tree of life but not of the tree of knowing good and evil. Instead of eating from the Tree of Life and living forever, they ate from the forbidden tree. Their action led to spiritual death and separation from the tree of life and all of us have inherited this eating disorder. Although man no longer had access to the tree of life the hunger and the appetite remained. This is the driving force behind the search for the wonder drug that can cure every disease, the wonder diet that can prevent cancer and heart disease, or the wonder food that can be eaten without putting on weight. This search is really intended to lead us to the right food, the living Bread. Christ is the food that deals with our spiritual eating disorder. We need this food that comes from heaven.
Man consists of a physical material part, the body and an invisible immaterial part, the spirit and the soul. Both parts, when alive, need to be nourished. Just as our physical body needs to be kept strong and healthy, so also does the spiritual body. The physical body needs food and physical exercise to satisfy physical hunger and sustain life. Without the right kind of food a person will become malnourished and eventually die of starvation. We also need nourishment for the spiritual body but this body first needs spiritual life. Just as someone who is dead physically does not need any food so someone who is dead spiritually has no use for spiritual nourishment. And just as a physical body needs food to satisfy hunger and sustain life so a spiritual body needs spiritual food to satisfy spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life.