Bread is usually a basic part of most people’s diets. When Jesus proclaimed that He was the ‘bread of life’ those listening would have connected this to one of the necessities of life. His Jewish audience would also connect this statement to the manna that saved their ancestors in the desert. Jesus points out to them that that bread was also from God.
As food is a necessity for life, hunger can drive our thoughts and actions. Jesus often spoke of meeting the needs of the those who were hungry by giving them something to eat. Yet Jesus knew that this earthly food was only temporary. Even though satisfied right then it was only for a moment. So Jesus offered Himself to His audience and to us as the ‘bread of life’ – bread that satisfies a deeper hunger that resides in all of us.
Food satisfies out physical need or hunger. But this is not the only type of hunger we face. We all crave to be loved, to find companionship, to fit in, to be successful, to be in control, …. The list goes on and on. We are vulnerable to being tempted to try to fill our hungers in unhealthy and temporal ways. The recent story of David and Bathsheba reminds us how quickly it can go bad when one gives in to the desires of our flesh.
Jesus offers Himself to us as the ‘bread of life’ in the passage today. Through this, He offers us life abundant. Jesus can also be our ‘living water’, rising up within us. When we choose to walk with Jesus we are filled with His presence. Like bread, He sustains us when we are in need or are struggling with temptations. Like water, He quenches our thirst for all we desire. When we choose Jesus, we choose life.
Scripture reference: John 6: 24-35