Key Texts: Mt 14:13-21, 15:32-39, Mk 6:30-44, 8:1-10, Lk 9:10-17, Jn 6:1-14
Bread was part of the staple daily diet in the Jewish economy. Mary & Joseph would have used public and possibly private ovens for baking bread everyday to feed Jesus and his brothers & sisters. Jesus was raised on it and is often quoted, “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God“, Matthew 4:4. Jesus taught that we need spiritual food as well as physical food & drink. Historically, the Jews talked of bread as representing the whole substance of humanity’s physical needs. Ezekiel calls bread the ‘staff of life’ three times, Ezk. 4:16, 5:16 & 14:13. Jews also talked of the bread of tears, sorrows, wickedness & deceit, as part of daily life, Psalm 127:2, 80:5, Proverbs 4:17, 20:17. When Jesus claimed his identity was the bread of life, he was referring to the essential part of spiritual survival and salvation. Jesus said he came for us to have abundant life, (Jn 10:10) therefore, Jesus is the beginning of a rich lifestyle, filled with wisdom, righteousness, power and purity, glorifying God now and forever more.
This is the only work of miraculous power which all four gospels contain. 2Kg 4:1-7 may be similar. You’ve got to be hungry before God can fill you, Luk 1:53, God cannot fill hands that are full of junk. Jesus asked his disciples to do what seemed impossible. Realize that we can do what Jesus asks WITH HIS POWER, Lk 9:13ff, Jn 6:6. Philips faith was to grow to believe Is 55:1‑2ff, was true, Philip was to buy bread from the Lord. The disciples found they only had 5 little barley rolls and 2 sardine‑like fish which was a very small meal, but in the hands of Jesus, little was very much. We are not to doubt that what we have is little, put ourselves in Jesus’ hands and let him work through us and we will see that we can do much for others, we are VALUABLE! Remember that the overabundance of God’s blessings are not to be wasted, Jn 6:12.
After Jesus performed the miracle of feeding over 5000 people bread & fish, he used the bread as an illustration of his own purpose for humanity, while speaking in the Capernaum Synagogue, Jn. 6:1-63. Jesus made reference to his flesh and his words being like bread. Therefore we can see Jesus today as the bread of life in his words we read in the Bible and in the communion we share on the Lord’s Day. Christians held the Apostle’s teaching and the Lord’s communion as an essential part of their worship, Acts 2:37-42. We know their teaching contained the words of Jesus and the communion as the body of Christ, or bread of life, from which their daily spiritual life was maintained. It was so important to Paul, that he designed his journeys to incorporate the Lord’s Days activities of communion and the Apostles teachings every first day of the week, Acts 20:1-7. The Spirit of Christ was with them and they enjoyed the bread of life. The first day of the week became so important to them, that John describes it as “The Lord’s Day”, Rev. 1:10. The wonderful reward for Christians that overcome sin, is described as ‘hidden manna’, Rev. 2:17. Which is an obvious reference to miraculous food from God while Moses led the freed Hebrews out of Egypt, Numb. 11:4-9. Jesus refers to it in Jn. 6:32-33.
Spiritual food is taught and offered in different ways. The Hebrew writer spoke of the meat & milk of God’s word, Heb. 5:11-6:6. Paul spoke of spiritual food, being Jesus himself, 1st Cor. 10:1-4. Peter said we should desire the milk of God’s word as a baby yearns for milk, so we may be saved, 1st Peter 2:1-3. With this accepted in our hearts, we cannot over emphasize our need to make Jesus the bread of our life. Do you digest the words of Jesus and commune with his body?