Food is a relational subject, and is part of the language of many cultures, inspiring friendship and fellowship.
But just as food is necessary to sustain natural life, and links us to family, friends and culture, so Jesus instructs us to eat the right food which sustains us for eternity, for our own well-being, uniting us to the family of God, enjoying friendship with Jesus, and absorbing us into the culture of the Kingdom of God.
Bread has often been referred to as the staff of life, and the Scripture itself bears this out as in John 6:48 Jesus revealed to the people ‘I am the Bread of Life’, lovingly given by our heavenly Father for the life of the world.
Jesus brought this discourse after the people had witnessed the miracle of the feeding of the 5,000, and He turned their attention to the importance of the true and living Bread, encouraging them not just to focus on the food that nourishes the body alone, but on that which nourishes us spiritually. This was the place where the people didn’t understand that He was speaking to them about feeding on Him, so He could become part of them.
Each time we read the bible it becomes part of us and we’re changed by the living Word of God and we’re transformed more and more into the nature of Jesus. That which goes through the ‘eye’ gate of the bible is akin to food which has a good effect on our minds, hearts and souls. Sadly the reverse is also true. If we feed on that which isn’t good for us, then the consequences won’t be good.
The bible also tells us that, by virtue of our union with Christ, we’re tasting of the heavenly gift (Hebrews 6:4), but we’re also warned of the dangers of withdrawing our allegiance to God once we have had the privilege of partaking of His divine gift to us.
We need Christ, the Bread of life, and the more we read the bible, the more we get to know Jesus. Are we suffering from spiritual malnutrition because other things have crept in unawares and have gradually taken the place of the Word of God in our life? In the same way that physical hunger drives us to eat a good meal, so spiritual hunger should encourage us to delve into the Word of life. Do we ask the Holy Spirit to open up the truths of God in the bible so that we access wondrous things in His divine Law?
Anyone who comes to Jesus comes to life. The Bread of life brings salvation, healing and wholeness. Once we’ve tasted of the heavenly gift, it’s not for our benefit only. We’re then equipped to share it with others.
Prayer: Dear Heavenly Father, thank You for sending Jesus, and for imparting the Bread of Life to each of us in a hungry world. Lord, we’re sorry for all the times when we don’t take the time that we should to read and imbibe your precious word that is so vital to each one of us. Help us Lord to value it above all else. In Jesus’ name, Amen.