Hundreds of years before His birth and during His life, Jesus was identified in many ways. The very statement “I AM” that Jesus uses to describe himself comes from Exodus 3:14, a promise from God and a prophecy which foreshadows the coming of Christ.
Who did Jesus say He was? In the Gospel of John, Jesus Himself speaks about who He is and why He came. In this series of four devotions, we will explore Jesus’ words about His identity and what it means for our lives.
Jesus: Bread of Life
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus answered,”Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”Jesus answered,”The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” Jesus said to them,”Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.””Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”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 6:25-35)
Bread, specifically in the Bible, is a significant food. It came in the form of manna in the desert for the Israelites. It was broken time and again at Passover meals, and earlier in John chapter six, Jesus had just fed 5,000 plus people with two fish and five loaves. Jesus is performing miracles and using them to share with His followers the truth about Him.
What does bread provide for us? We eat it for nourishment and sustenance; it fills us up and even prevents us from eating more than we should! Without it, our stomachs are empty.
Jesus, who identifies Himself as the Bread of Life, fills our souls! Bread is only a temporary fill in our stomach. As we go along our daily life, we have to continue to eat and be nourished. But, Jesus, our bread of life, provides unending fullness through His love and mercy towards us!
I can only imagine how baffling it was to the disciples to hear about this “bread from heaven” that would give life to the world. What did Jesus mean by this?
Jesus wanted His disciples and followers to know the truth of who He was and why He came. But Jesus wasn’t on earth just to deliver a message; He came as the Bread of Life and gave up His body for us. He died in our place for our sin; He rose from the grave so that we may live eternally with Him!
Dear Father, thank You for sending Your Son to be our Bread of Life. Help us to continue to be nourished by Your Word, so that we may live God-pleasing lives here on earth and look forward to eternity with You! Amen.