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The Bread Of Life

Updated: May 25, 2020

By bro Alvin Lin

Samson once came across an interesting sight of a swarm of bees and honey in the carcass of a lion (Jdg 14:8), and he posed a riddle to his companions: “Out of the eater came forth meat, and out of the strong came forth sweetness.” (Jdg 14:14). His companions threatened and pestered his wife to entice him to find out the answer and they replied with the answer: “What is sweeter than honey? and what is stronger than a lion?” (Jdg 14:18). While some may consider honey to be the sweetest thing, the Psalmist considers spiritual food to be sweeter than honey (Psa 19:10; 119:103). So how is spiritual food better than physical food?

The bread of a lad (Joh 6:9)

John 6 gives us an account of Jesus feeding a great multitude of 5,000 men. The food was provided by a lad, which comprised of 5 loaves of bread and 2 fishes. The amount would ordinarily have been just enough for a meal for the boy (Joh 6:9). We see that physical food is an essential, yet limited commodity, whose price is dependent on the supply (or lack of it). There are some who go to Christ seeking for physical blessings (Joh 6:26), but such does not profit if one does not realise the importance of the spiritual (Joh 6:63).

The bread from heaven (Joh 6:32)

On the other hand, the manna freely given by God in the wilderness (Exo 16:15) was sufficient to feed all the Israelites on a daily basis (Exo 16:18). However, even such “angels' food” (Psa 78:25), though free and adequate, is still physical in nature. Just like ordinary food, it would spoil (Exo 16:20), and those who partook of it would still hunger and have to eat again (Exo 16:35), and they would still eventually die (Joh 6:49). There are some who go to Christ seeking for miracles (Joh 6:30), but such does not profit if one does not realise that the purpose behind the miracles was to prove the identity of Jesus (Joh 6:14) and to confirm His Word (Heb 2:3-4).

The living bread (Joh 6:51)

This bread is the true bread from heaven freely given by God (Joh 6:32) and readily available to “any man” (Joh 6:51). It is superior to physical food because it “endureth unto everlasting life” (Joh 6:27) and those who partake of it “shall never hunger” (Joh 6:35), but shall “live for ever” (Joh 6:58). How then do we partake of the “bread of life”? Firstly, we have to believe in Jesus who is the source of life (Joh 6:47), otherwise we will “die in [our] sins” (Joh 8:24). Secondly, we have to go to His life-giving Word, since we live “by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God” (Mat 4:4). Thirdly, we have to labour for Him to receive eternal life (Joh 6:27), because those who do not bear good fruit will be “hewn down, and cast into the fire” (Mat 7:19).

Indeed, spiritual food is far better than physical food. Our Lord Jesus is the bread of life who gave His life “for the life of the world” (Joh 6:51), so that “we might live through him” (1Jo 4:9). Therefore, let us not be overly concerned with the material things of this life and “spend money for that which is not bread” and “labour for that which satisfieth not” (Isa 55:2), rather let us feed on the spiritual food that is the Word of God and labour in Christ in order to reap our spiritual reward.

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