When preparing for a recent hurricane, I tried to stock up on food and water. The stores were nearly empty, but I found one loaf of bread pushed deep in the shelf. It was some thick white stuff that I’d never bought before, but bread was bread. I needed sustenance. Anything would do in the face of having nothing.
The same way my body needs physical bread to survive, my spirit needs spiritual bread to thrive. However, I can’t go to my local grocery store and buy bread that provides eternal life. Even a fortified bread will not extend my life span. To find spiritual nourishment, I have to go to the source of spiritual life.
In John 6, Jesus is talking to the people after having performed the miracle of feeding five thousand men (plus women and children) with just five loaves and two fish the day before. People are always looking for a free lunch. So, they returned demanding more.
The multitude crowded Jesus trying to justify their request by stating Moses had given the Israelites manna in the desert. Jesus reminded them that God had provided manna, not Moses. Yet, for all their munching on manna, the people still died. Physical food can only sustain our bodies for so long.
Because bread wasn’t lasting, Jesus didn’t give them food. He offered something better for them to feast on.
In John 6:51 Jesus says, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world” (NKJV).
Take a minute for that to soak in.
Now, I seem to get hungry more often the next person. Sometimes, I have even threatened to chew off my arm if I don’t get a meal fast enough. However, I have never eaten myself. Ever. I’m just not that hungry.
The people of Jesus’ day freaked out too. Some thought Jesus was telling them literally to eat His body and drink His blood. Several of His followers abandoned Him because they weren’t about to hang with a cannibal.
What the people didn’t realize was that the coming sacrifice of Jesus’s body—His flesh and blood—would produce spiritual food that gave life. Not just life on earth, but life forever. Jesus is the bread of eternal life. When our spirits were separate from the Father, His broken body paved the path to our heavenly home.
We are reconciled to God through the life Jesus gave for the world. Since the life of the flesh is in the blood (Leviticus 17:11), the pouring out of Jesus’ perfect blood emptied His body of physical life so that we could have eternal life.
When we feast on the flesh of Christ, we are relishing the Word of God. Jesus was the Word made flesh (John 1:14). Our spiritual food is to soak in as much of Scripture as possible so we can stay fortified for our daily life on earth and our eternal life in heaven.
I need to approach my time in the Bible even more seriously than my time at the dinner table.
My full plate will only last until the next meal. God’s Word endures forever. I must feed both my body and spirit to have fullness of life for now and all time.
After returning from the store, I packed my white bread and my Bible as essential items. I needed both to outlast the storm. Thankfully, God kept me and my family safe during the hurricane.
The moments I tore my eyes from the weather on the screen to read the words of hope in the Word sustained my heart throughout the rain. And that meant more to me than a few slices of white bread. May we all feast on the body of Christ as our bread of eternal life through fair winds and high storms.
10/9/2022 03:55:59 pm
So happy to hear you're settling in sweet lady. I know Florida is blessed to have you. Praying God uses you in a might way in your new home. Great message as always, but I encourage you to stock up hurricane supplies earlier next season so you don't have to settle for the stuff hidden in the back of the shelf. Like God's Word, it's important to have it handy (stored in our hearts) for when we need it. I grew up and lived many years in FL; I pray you grow to love the place and its people.
10/11/2022 09:22:14 pm
You are right. Next time I will have been here longer and hopefully will have a larger store of food. Being prepared is important for both our physical and spiritual bodies.
10/11/2022 09:22:38 pm
So glad the comparisons blessed you.
10/11/2022 09:10:07 am
I like to munch on Psalm 37. Verse 4 is famous (delighting in God), but the surrounding verses also hold my attention and give me strategies for everyday life. To trust God, feed on His faithfulness (another food analogy!), and commit my way to Him.
10/11/2022 09:23:46 pm
Thanks for sharing Psalm 37. That passage is a whole feast. I needed the reminder that when we feed on His faithfulness, and think about how He has been faithful before, we can have peace He will be faithful again.
10/11/2022 09:56:17 am
I'm so glad you were safe in the storm and that God gifted you with this inspiring message to share with us. We are so blessed to have His spiritual "food" that grants us the gift of eternal life if we accept Jesus as our Savior. John 6:35 is a wonderful reminder.
10/11/2022 09:24:31 pm
Yes, our spiritual food gives us eternal life in heaven and fullness of life on earth.
10/12/2022 06:07:57 am
"When we feast on the flesh of Christ, we are relishing the Word of God." I love this statement, Joanna. Thanks for sharing.
10/12/2022 10:13:06 am
Well written post, Joanna, with a powerful message. You've connected Scripture to explain the graphic imagery Jesus used. Thank you for the reminder about the priority of God's Word to sustain us.
10/12/2022 06:18:12 pm
Welcome back! Enjoyed your post! I read Isaiah 40:11 this week and found comfort knowing God carries me in His arms and close to His heart.
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Joanna Eccles has led Bible studies for over ten years and completed the year-long C. S. Lewis Fellows Program. She is passionate about discipleship and helping people know God better. Joanna enjoys coffee, traveling, and reading, and currently lives in Virginia.