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Bread of Life


A basket of bread, a chalice, and a palm branch

Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." (John 6:35 NIV) Bread is basic nourishment. Bread is universal nourishment. Every culture has bread. Wheat bread. White bread. Challah bread. Pumpernickel. King's Hawaiian. Without nourishment, we waste away. Without nourishment, we die. Hunger and thirst are the indicators that our bodies need food to live. We hunger. We thirst. We eat. We drink. And our bodies receive the fuel we need to live. But Jesus is clearly not talking about His being physical bread, nor is He talking about physical hunger when He says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty." He is talking about a deeper hunger. He is talking about the hunger of our soul. The default of our fallen human nature is to live by our appetites. We hunger for love and can seek to fill the hunger with the pleasure of sex. Could it be that promiscuity and affairs and one night stands are not just about pleasure, but at a deeper level are a hungry soul seeking love? The hunger for love is filled completely when we encounter the love of Jesus. "Ain't nobody love me like Jesus!" (Cody Carnes' song) And with my soul filled up with the love of Jesus, I become free to make my relationships about giving love, instead of taking pleasure. We hunger for success and seek to fill the hunger with achievement and fame and wealth. And we find that achieving success in the world's terms leaves us empty and unfulfilled. Could the hunger for success point to the deeper hunger for significance? The hunger for significance is fully satisfied when we receive and live in our identity as children of the Living God through faith in His Son, Jesus. I'm a child of a King! I'm already a "somebody," so I don't have to climb up higher than you to prove to myself I have significance. We hunger for more and seek to fill the hunger with stuff. We are tempted by new, shiny objects like the latest phone or that dream house or the car with all the bling and tech. Could our insatiable need for more be a deeper hunger for security and provision? In Jesus we have everything we need, and the hunger for more is satisfied by Godly contentment. Jesus is all I need, and I am free to live a life of simplicity and generosity. This living bread gives nourishment and life to our hungry souls. And the unexpected benefit is that this life never ends. It goes on into eternity. Later in the chapter, Jesus says this: "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51 NIV) Whoever eats this bread will live forever. What bread? The Living Bread that is Jesus. He does not just give us spiritual bread to eat. He is our life-giving nourishment. Jesus is eternal life for those who entrust their lives to Him. One of the most liberating truths of faith in Jesus Christ is simply that death is defeated. My body is going to die some day, but I am not going to die. I am going to live forever because Jesus is the Bread of Life. The life He gives has already triumphed over death when He came out of the tomb 2,000 years ago! Today (May 7) is Communion Sunday at Grace Church. In Holy Communion, we receive the Body and Blood of Jesus for the nourishment of our souls. Today we feast on the Bread of Life. And He is enough! Thanks be to God.

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