Jn.6:35 – Jesus said to them, “I am the Bread of Life. Come every day to me and you will never be hungry. Believe in me and you will never be thirsty.
Food is a big deal. If you didn’t realize that before the Covid drama you certainly realize it now. As the saying goes, “You gotta eat”. The miracle that Jesus performed the day before this teaching was one of His greatest. He had fed 5000 families with a little boy’s lunch. This miracle brought up thoughts of the prophet Moses had prophesied about. Seeing this miracle of feeding thousands caused them to think Jesus was apparently their new Moses. Boy, did they have that wrong. Jesus said that the bread in the wilderness came from His Father, not from Moses. And more than that, Jesus claimed to be the bread of God from heaven. The manna and the loaves and fish were just pointing to Him. Here is how Luther describes this scene.
“Out of the mass of powerful words in the holy Scripture there is almost no stronger word that Christ is a bread and meal given by God, and that whoever eats this bread lives forever and becomes content, no longer hungering or thirsting. . . . It is a settled point that here in this chapter the Lord is speaking about spiritual food, for he himself explains it as the hunger and thirst of the soul. The soul wants to live forever, to not be cursed, to have a merciful God, to be able to stand before the wrath and judgment of God, to not be condemned by sin and the law or go to hell. Those are the soul’s desires. It is a spiritual thirst and hunger, for which we need a spiritual meal and drink. And so the Holy Spirit comes and says, “If you do not want to die or be damned, then come to Christ, believe in him and cling to him. Eat this spiritual meal, believe in Christ, that is the most important thing.”
The bread and fish pointed to our greater need; we need the bread from heaven. Just having an abundant supply in this life will never satisfy us and certainly won’t prepare us for the other world. Jesus told them in plain words that day, “Unless you eat My body and drink My blood you have no life in you”. So go ahead and eat this heavenly manna, it is available for everyone. The only qualification is to be hungry for this different kind of bread.