Bible Reading: John 6:35, 49-51
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.
Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 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."
My dad was the village grocer; we never ran out of food! For the first nine years of my life we lived right next to the shop. There was a connecting door, which made shopping very easy for my mum. We then moved a mile away from the shop, but if we were ever short of anything, dad would bring it home with him at lunch time or in the evening.
In Sheffield we lived a hundred yards from a village supermarket and a mile from Morrisons. One of our concerns, then, when considering moving to Walgrave was what we would do if we ran out of bread or milk. Pop round to the neighbours was one answer, keeping the freezer well stocked was the other.
When Jesus claimed to be ‘The Bread of Life’, he wasn’t talking about physical food to support our physical lives, as God had indeed done for the Israelites in the wilderness when he supplied Manna on a daily basis for forty years. Nor is the bread that he offers bread that we can borrow from our neighbours or store in the freezer.
The bread that Jesus offers us is bread that supports our spiritual lives for today and for eternity. We can’t borrow it from our neighbour; we have to buy this bread for ourselves. It is free, but it costs us everything. Nor can we lend it to our neighbour, though we can, and must, show them how to obtain it for themselves.
We cannot store up this bread in a spiritual freezer; we need to eat it each day if we want to remain nourished each day, but the more we eat the stronger we get, without any fear of getting overweight.
There is a desire today for fit and healthy bodies and many diets advocating healthy eating regimes to satisfy this desire. There is also a spiritual hunger today for something that sustains our inner life and many ideas and philosophies to feed this hunger. But only Jesus offers us bread that will enable us to live forever. Only Jesus gave his body for the life of the world. Let us eat of this bread daily and show our friends and neighbours how to obtain it.
Thank you Jesus that you gave your life that I might live. Help me to come to you daily, to feed on you and on your word, that I might grow stronger in this life and look forward to the life to come.