Monday, September 21, 2020

I Am the Bread of Life

 "And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst." - John 6:35

I am thoroughly enjoying my study of the "I AM" statements of Jesus in John 6. This chapter is a long chapter (71 verses!), but so rich in teaching, instruction, and truth. To top it off, my pastor's wife has been teaching a Sunday School series entitled "The Lord's Prayer" which ties Matthew 6 ("Give us this day our daily bread") in with John 6 ("I am the bread of life"). Plus, I received an email from one of my Christian blogs this week with a sermon on this very topic. I love it when God does that! 😊

There is so much rich and powerful symbolism in these verses that I'm afraid I can only brush the surface. I highly encourage you to read John 6:22-59 for the full story and spend some time studying these truths on your own. It's far deeper than I ever realized! With that said, I'm going to take just a few minutes to share what I have learned and am learning from the commentaries I've studied, the teachers I've listened to, and of course, the unfailing Word of God.

The "I Am the Bread of Life" statement is the first of the "I AM" statements of Jesus. In this statement, Jesus is saying that anyone who comes to Him "to obtain what the soul craves, and as the only all-sufficient and ordained source of supply shall have conscious and abiding satisfaction" (Jamieson, Fausset, & Brown Commentary). Jesus is the bread that sustains your life and mine - not just physically, but spiritually as well.  

Friends, you and I were created with a deep spiritual need to know our Creator. God created me hungry. But my hunger goes far deeper than my physical need - it is a deep, emotional, spiritual need. It's a need that only the One who created me can fulfill. In these verses, Jesus is showing us the difference between physical fullness and spiritual fullness. The people in John 6 came back to Jesus because he had performed a miracle and met their physical needs (Jesus feeds the five thousand, verses 1-14), but Jesus wanted them to know that He offers so much more than that! He can satisfy not only their physical needs, but their spiritual needs as well. 

Only those who believe on Jesus will find their deepest hunger satisfied.

Jesus uses the example of manna in the wilderness to make His point. The Israelites were obviously very familiar with this story - their ancestors had wandered in the wilderness for 40 years, but God sustained them by providing manna daily. The manna couldn't be gathered and stored for future use. No, it had to be used that day or by the end of the day it would rot. Thus the Israelites learned to rely on God for their food daily (verses 30-35). 

"Christ is bread to the soul which bread is to the body, nourishes and supports the spiritual life as the bread does the physical life."
- Matthew Henry Commentary

It was Jesus who taught us how to pray: Lord, give us this day our daily bread (Matt 6:11). He took the physical illustration of the daily manna in the wilderness and gave you and I the spiritual application. He alone is the eternal food for my soul. He alone can satisfy my deepest hunger. In Jesus' answer to the people, he lifted their eyes from their physical need to their spiritual reality. The truth is:

You can have a full stomach but an empty life.

So often we live empty. We have everything we could possibly need, but we are still empty. When we are living empty, it's because we're not being filled with the right things. That's when Jesus beckons you to come to His table and be filled. You say, "yeah, but how?!" (This is where my Sunday School lessons come in handy 😉 my pastor's wife always has the YBH - yeah, but how do I apply this to my life?) 

Let's be real here - life has a tendency to empty us of God's goodness. We may start our day filled, but little by little, bit by bit, we pour out until there is nothing left. We are living empty. When we live life empty, we live filled with frustration and anger. God says to come to His table and be filled. Go to Him in prayer, get in His Word, and speak truth. In all of life's "emptying" moments, make these two statements:
  1. Lord, how can I glorify You in this moment?
  2. Thank you, Lord, for what you are going to do. (state your faith) 

"For he satisfieth the longing soul, and filleth the hungry soul with goodness." - Psalm 107:9

Let the empty hungering be the catalyst for God to work in you and through you. There is a filling up that happens when you speak the truth according to God's Word and focus on what you do have as opposed to what you don't have. Jesus knows your hunger, He understands your emptiness - that's why He gave you the truth  of John 6. He is the spiritual food that will give eternal satisfaction, and is the only source for the consistent peace you need in the emptying moments of life. 

Page Details

I knew I wanted to draw a loaf of bread, but I'm not incredibly artistic so I needed help. I just Googled how to draw and easy loaf of bread and found a quick, two minute YouTube video (seriously, any one could do it!). I then stamped my titles using the I Am and Bitty Minnie Alpha stamp sets from Sweet 'n Sassy Stamps, watercolored the loaf of bread using my favorite Prima Marketing Pastel Dreams watercolor paints, and added some grey shadowing. 

(The blue spots are bleed-over from the page next to this one. I'm a messy journaler, what can I say? 🤷😉)


May you be filled with the Bread of Life this week, 


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