God miraculously rescued His people from four hundred years of slavery and set them on their way to the promised land. Having crossed the Red Sea, they found themselves in the desert with no food. They began to grumble against God, ‘now you have brought us into this wilderness to starve us all to death’ (Exodus 16:3). Then the Lord said, “I will rain down bread from heaven for you,” and in the morning thin flakes like frost appeared on the ground. This was God’s manna from heaven. When the Israelites saw it, they were puzzled. They didn’t know what it was.
Food from the hand of God; do we recognise it for what it is, and if so, what do we do with it? Do we receive it with gratitude and eat, or complain that it’s not to our liking? God knows what we need. We know what we want. There is a difference.
Jesus said, “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). He was despised and rejected. Today is just the same. “I am the living bread that came down from heaven” (John 6:51). Yet He is rejected today, perhaps more than ever. Throughout the world there are wars and rumours of wars. People are crying out for peace. Again, the answer is staring us in the face. “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble” (John 16:33).
Bread alone is not enough to see us into the Kingdom. Manna lasted one day only. Then it went stale. ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4). By the word of God life was created, life is sustained, and life is complete. ‘the Word was with God, and the Word was God ... In him was life, and that life was the light of all mankind’ (John 1:1 & 4). He came into the world, yet the world did not know Him.
We have books by the million. We have words coming at us from every direction. ‘“Meaningless! Meaningless!” says the Teacher. “Utterly meaningless! Everything is meaningless”’ (Ecclesiastes 1:2). Jesus said, over two thousand years ago, “I have told you these things, so that in me you may have peace. In this world you will have trouble. But take heart! I have overcome the world” (John 16:33).
The Word of God became a man and lived for a time among us. He was the living manna from heaven. Where the first manna was limited, Jesus is limitless. He came to rescue mankind from destruction. He provides for us a lifeline, which He offers to the world. All we need to do is grasp it. ‘And everyone who calls on the name of the Lord will be saved’ (Acts 2:21).
Prayer: Dear Lord, You are the Living Bread, the bread of life. I’m hungry Lord. Feed me with this bread, for there is nothing else in this life that can satisfy. Help me to share this bread with others, that they too may be filled. They may be more hungry than I am. In Jesus’ name. Amen.
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