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Feasting on the Bread

Monday, January 2

“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)

When my oldest son was a baby, I learned how to make homemade bread. In the early days of learning how to make bread we experienced the occasional leavening issues and the irregular shapes of those loaves. Despite these issues, he loved making and eating homemade bread and so once a week, we made several loaves of bread. At first, I did all the work, but as he got older one of the highlights of his week was helping in the bread making process. In fact, some of my favorite memories of his childhood are of his body being covered in flour as he learned how to knead the bread. Another is of him sitting on the floor in front of the oven watching the bread bake as he anticipated the moment when we would cut into the freshly made loaf and the smell of the bread would fill the house.

You know, the crowds that followed Jesus loved bread too. After Jesus provided a miracle feast for more than 5,000 people by multiplying five loaves and two fish, the people followed after Him, hoping for more bread. Their hunger for physical bread provided Jesus with a teaching moment to talk about spiritual bread.

In the first of seven “I Am” statements in John's gospel account, Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” In their eagerness for free food, the crowds had missed the main point of Jesus’ banquet in the wilderness. They had forgotten that God had provided the ancient people of Israel with bread from heaven (manna) in the wilderness (see Exodus 16). And the physical bread Jesus had provided for them pointed them to the spiritual bread of His body, the bread of life, that would be given to all God’s people through His death on the cross. Yes, homemade bread is wonderful, but eventually it runs out. Only those who feast spiritually on Jesus’ body will hunger no more. Jesus declared, “I AM the bread of life!” Do you believe Him? When you come to His table of grace and forgiveness, are you filled up with His feast?

Prayer for the Day: Jesus, You are the Bread of life, help us feast on this meal so that we may do your will today and every day - Amen

Personal Prayer: “Lord Jesus, You ask – “Who do you say that I am?” Lord, open my mind so I can understand who You are, and who I am in You.”

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