August 28, 2019

Bread of God, Bread of Life

John 6:5-15, 25-35

“The bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

—  John 6:35

When crowds of people followed Jesus around, he spoke to them about the kingdom of God and healed many who were sick. One day, when they were all in a remote place and hungry, he even fed a crowd of many thousands—all with a boy’s lunch of five barley loaves and two small fish.

Yet Jesus was not content with setting up a free lunch program. When the crowds sought him out and found him again, he said, “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.” He knew they were looking for more food. They were attracted, of course, by his healing and teaching, but—wow!— he could even multiply food. Think how useful that could be! They wouldn’t have to buy groceries anymore. And just think how far an army could go with him as their king!

But Jesus warned, “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” And by this he meant, “As you work for your groceries, even more eagerly seek the bread of heaven.”

The people were confused because they didn’t listen to Jesus’ teaching. But the bread of life that they really needed was the gift of Jesus’ life, which would give renewed, real, and everlasting “life to the world.”

O God, we need real life. Give us each day our daily bread—and help us always to remember that what we really need is you. Fill us with faith and trust in you, we pray. In Jesus, Amen.

About the author — George Young

George Young, a native New Yorker, worked as a taxi driver in New York City before studying to become a pastor. Then he, his wife Ruth, and their children were missionaries for many years in northeastern Japan. They worked with ministers and believers from the Reformed Church in Japan to spread the good news of salvation in Christ and ­establish new churches. Now George and Ruth are retired and live in the northeastern United States, nearer to their children and grandchildren.

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