For the next seven Fridays, I am introducing a series based on the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus, found in John. The first of the seven is found in John 6. “I Am the bread of life” is the first of the “I AM” statements.
My sweet daughter loves biscuits. Her favorite meal of all time is biscuits and gravy. She would eat it every day if she could. There is just something about a hot biscuit on a cold morning that fulfills your hunger like nothing else. Bread is often seen as a staple to keep us filled and satisfied. Not unlike our spiritual life, we need this as part of our diet to keep us healthy and satisfied. Jesus explains in John 6 how He is the only thing we need in our spiritual diet. So often that is looked over or neglected where the church is concerned.
Here in our ministry, we often have a struggle of conveying to others the true identity of the church. Many in our area view the church as a fulfiller of needs, not a place set aside to come worship God. Over and over again, it is easy to fall into this trap of only fulfilling people’s worldly pangs in order to get people to come to church. Does God call us to take care of those in need? Absolutely. However, we should not forsake who the church is. That is the bride of Christ. Those who love God and pursue worship individually and corporately. Jesus, too, encountered this as He was doing His ministry. He saw that it was near supper time and a large crowd was still following Him. He knew that the multitude would need food. There, He feed 5000 plus people with five barley loaves and two small fish. This was truly a miracle! After performing this miracle, people continued to seek Jesus. Look at what Jesus says when the people find Him in John 6:25-27.
And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”
Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
People who had heard or witnessed this miracle were eager to see Jesus. When they found Him, He rebuked them for only seeking Him for materialistic reasons. He knew that they were more concerned about their stomachs and wants to really see Him for who He was, the Messiah. He knew the people’s true hearts.
The people continued to ask Jesus what they could do to get to heaven. Jesus told the crowd to believe in Him. Yet, the people were still not satisfied. They were spiritually blind. They wanted Him to do more signs, as if it wasn’t enough that He just fed over 5000 people and had leftovers. They wanted to see signs like how God gave manna to the Israelites. Jesus replies in John 6:32-33.
Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
He basically tells the people that He is the bread for spiritual growth. They need to believe in Him to be filled. However, the people still did not understand. They continued to think that Jesus was talking about physical bread and wanted very much so to be fed as they were before. Instead, Jesus replies that He is the bread of life. Look at John 6:35.
And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
Jesus was referring to Himself being bread of life. In all of us, there is a spiritual hunger and thirst. If it is not feed by God, something else will try to take His place. However, the hunger and thirst will continue until we come to Jesus. Once we are believers and follow Jesus, we will never again look for that food to fill that spiritual hunger, because Jesus will completely satisfy us. We will not look to other religions, people, or objects to satisfy. He is all that we need!
We as the church need to be emphasizing on Jesus as our spiritual bread that is needed for life. We as the church do not need physical and worldly things to try to attract people to come. We need to give them Jesus. He is the bread of life! In Him is total satisfaction! Putting our materialistic needs to the side, we must look to Jesus for spiritual nourishment in order to grow as a Christian.