I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
The branches of the Jesse Tree stretch across Scripture, providing a helpful way to see God’s plan of salvation leading to the coming of Jesus. And the story of Christ’s coming does not end in Bethlehem. Jesus’ ministry and teaching help us grasp the meaning of our Savior’s birth.
In the setting of our text for today, Jesus has just miraculously fed a crowd of over five thousand people from a few loaves of bread and some fish (John 6:1-13). Not surprisingly, the crowd wants more of Jesus and his miracles, so they follow him around. Their hungering for physical bread gives Jesus a teaching moment to talk about spiritual life and sustenance.
Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life.” In their eagerness for free food, the crowds have missed the spiritual significance of Jesus’ feast in the wilderness. The physical bread that Jesus provided not only gave nourishment—like the bread (manna) God gave the people of Israel long ago—but also pointed to the spiritual bread of Jesus’ body. Through his sacrificial death and resurrection, Jesus provides the bread of eternal life for God’s children.
Bread is wonderful and nourishing, but it can’t feed our souls. Only Jesus, broken for us, can do that. Whatever you eat today, remember the one who gives you new life.
Father in heaven, thank you for our daily bread. And thank you for sending Jesus, who nourishes and satisfies our souls. Amen.
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