January 5


"Then Jesus declared, I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry"' (John 635, NIV).

Among the self designations of Christ, that of the bread of life is especially meaningful. This vivid symbolism of bread was familiar to Christ's audience. What startled the people, however, was Christ's application of the symbolism to Himself. The symbolism emerges from the Jewish Passover and the Feast of Unleavened Bread, as well as from Christ's remarkable miracle of providing loaves and fishes for the hungry multitude (see John, 6:1-14). He tells them plainly that the loaves and fishes with which He had fed the multitude satisfied only their physical hunger and only momentarily. They would hunger again and again. But eating the Bread of Life was different. This gave permanent satisfaction. In the Bread of Life are contained all the nutrients necessary for spiritual life, health, and vitality.

John's Gospel gives prominence to the figure of bread to symbolize Jesus. Ten times he mentions Jesus Christ as the bread of life. In a unique sense, John portrays Christ as the life-giving bread imported from heaven to satisfy our spiritual hunger. Christ is not only the bread that satisfies, He's the "bread of life." Speaking of Himself, Jesus said that the Son has "life in himself' (John 5:26, NIV) He possesses the inherent ability to impart life to all who come to Him in faith.

Temporal bread becomes beneficial and life-sustaining only as it is eaten, digested, and assimilated. Similarly, Christ, the living bread from heaven must be fully eaten, digested, and assimilated into our characters. Christ's followers must continually nourish their spiritual lives by feeding on Him who is the bread of life. "Our Saviour is the bread of life, and it is by beholding His love, by receiving it into the soul, that we feed upon the bread which came down from heaven."--Thoughts from the Mount of Blessing, p. 112.

MY PRAYER TODAY: Lord, in simple faith I pray today, "Bread of heaven, feed me till I want no more." Amen!