The word bread appears in the Bible between 250-400 times (depending on the translation). The variety of times it is mentioned is significant, but there are a few times where bread is brought up in connection with life itself.
The first was in Exodus 16 where God told Moses He would provide manna to His people… He would have it rain down manna from Heaven. Another is when Satan attempts to tempt Christ to succum to His hunger in the desert and turn a rock into bread. “But he answered, “It is written,“‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God.’”” (Matt 4:4) This quote was a reference to Deut 8:3 which was actually referencing the story from Exodus.
The next one I want to discuss is a bigger story with many facets, when Jesus fed the 5,000. In this story, we have such a large crowd (the men alone were 5,000) that “Philip answered him, “Two hundred denarii[a] worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little.”” (John 6:7) That is aprox. $24,000 today. Philip said that even if they had $24k, they still could only provide “a little” food for this many people. Yet Jesus feeds them with one boy’s left over lunch and still had an abundance of left over food.
Interestingly enough, Jesus ties the story of manna and the lunch for 5,000 together (both were food from Heaven). These people had spent days observing miracle after miracle, healing after healing… they knew Jesus was special but still weren’t convinced. “So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (John 6:31-31) Instead of rebuking them for still asking for a sign after they had seen dozens, “Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”” (John 6:32-33)
Jesus Himself is the Bread of Life. What He provides is far more valuable than the manna that sustained the Israelites for 40 years and it’s far more valuable than anything we get distracted by in our life. He is the reason, the only reason for us to celebrate. He gave everything for us so that we could spend eternity with His Father… our Father in Heaven. Sometimes we need to be reminded about that as we get bent out of shape about issues that won’t even surpass our own lifetime, much less eternity.
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