“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the Bread of Life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out.’” - John 6:35-37
Like most parents, my mom and dad tried to do everything right as they raised their young children. Part of that plan was nourishing their minds and bodies with a healthy diet of fresh fruits, vegetables, and whole grain breads.
Everything went swimmingly for years until, one day, my sister had a playdate at a friend’s house. On the drive home, she breathlessly declared that she had discovered something amazing called… Wonder Bread. My mom’s dramatic imitation of the announcement is hilarious, but I know she groaned when the inevitable exposure occurred. My sister didn’t care that the bread was chock full of additives or that it was less nutritious and filling than what she ate at home; she only cared that it was delicious. And she wanted more. (For the record, she grew up to be an extremely healthy and nutrition-conscious adult.)
Our world offers a seemingly endless array of tasty morsels and tempting treats, and the menu extends far beyond food. Some items can be enjoyed in moderation, while others are inherently toxic and destructive. Many promise to feed our bodies, minds, and souls, but none will ever truly satisfy us. Our appetite will always return. We will want more, or we will begin to crave new flavors and experiences. Only Jesus, the Bread of Life, can completely and permanently assuage our hunger.
We have seen this theme before. Jesus told the woman at the well that “everyone who drinks of this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks of the water that I will give him will never be thirsty again. The water that I will give him will become in him a spring of water welling up to eternal life” (John 4:13-14). Why bread and water? Why not wine and honey cakes, both of which existed during Jesus’ day and, frankly, sound a lot more appealing? Bread and water were staples of survival; they were absolutely necessary. Obviously, water is still vital and, as far as I’m concerned, so is bread. Jesus was highlighting our innate and inescapable need for the salvation he offers. We cannot have eternal life without him.
Only Jesus can truly satisfy our hunger and slake our thirst. And yet, many of us (myself included) have to learn this lesson over and over. We turn to worldly sources of fulfillment and satisfaction before remembering they are hollow. Thankfully, he is patient and steadfast in his love. He will always welcome us back. He promises that he will never cast out those who believe (v. 37).
May we choose to feast on the Bread of Life rather than the empty offerings around us!
Reflect and Respond:
Where do you turn for nourishment and sustenance? Do you look to the Bread of Life or the Wonder Bread of this world? We would love to hear your thoughts in the comments.
In our six-week Bible study on the book of 1 John, you are invited to live and celebrate true life in Christ. Throughout his first letter, John wrestles with the assurance of salvation. How do we know that we are genuine Christians, and how can we recognize authentic faith in others? The Apostle John taught that you can enjoy full assurance through believing in the incarnate Son of God, walking in the light of obedience, and loving God and his children. Embark on this study with us today!
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