I hope you’re ready to grab this week by the horns and do it up right. Me? Not so much. We vacationed at Disney World last week, with the kids. SO much fun.
But after the dozen-hour ride home this weekend, I’m coming down from my family-fun high. My Introversion is flaring up again. I’m afraid this week might grow its own horns, grab me against my will, and toss me around a bit. Just a hunch.
Before we jump into Scripture, let me ask you. Have you ever tried to cut bread out of your diet completely? And by bread, I mean crackers, tortillas, pitas, and other forms too. I’d guess nearly all of us have at some point. Bread has been written up and called out more times than I can count. In many opinions, bread and bread-related items are the great enemy of good nutrition and a healthy body.
It’s hard for us to give up though. As soon as you think you’re over it, somebody serves up warm pitas with fresh hummus at a family gathering, and Next Week flashes like neon lights inside your brain. You think, there’s always tomorrow. Because warm pitas. True story.
Nonetheless, other than for the love, it’s not a problem for us to stop eating bread. There are plenty of other even better options to fill our hunger.
It wasn’t that way in Jesus’ time though. They didn’t live in a food culture like ours, with overflowing marketplaces and restaurants beckoning on every corner. Food was not a hobby.
The people of Jesus’ day actually needed bread.
Obviously, they feasted. But not the modern Western way. Not all the time. They ate much less than we do, from what I gather. They went without sometimes too.
Jesus walked the earth before all the wheat bellies and grain brains. Bread was the most important part of their diet, and many existed on bread alone. They knew how important it was and appreciated its value.
Bread gave life. Bread sustained. They considered it almost sacred, and knew who provided bread for them daily.
Remember manna, the bread from heaven? While the Israelites wandered in the wilderness, God provided manna every morning. While manna was a miracle from heaven, it wasn’t the true bread of life.
In the 6th chapter of John, Jesus speaks with crowds who have followed him to the other side of the lake. They ask Him for a sign to help them believe and remind Him of manna. He tells them the Father has something much better than manna for them.
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
A few verses later, Jesus again says, “I am the bread of life. 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 comes down from heaven…” (verses 48-51)
Jesus is the most important staple of our lives. Needed daily. In abundance. For life.
Oh Lord, give us this day our daily bread…
To start from the beginning of this series, click here.