John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
If you know anything about me, you will know that I have struggled with my weight most of my life. Why? Oh, certainly there are many factors that contribute to weight gain like heredity, the sedentary nature of my job, my age, and the list can go on. But in reality, the number one factor is that I LOVE food. Food was intended to be fuel for the body; to allow the body to move, work, and function but in our society. However, food is all too often used for anything but fuel. We eat to celebrate. We eat to socialize. We eat when we are bored. We eat because its "time" to eat. Sometimes I have eaten because I was invited to...and wasn’t hungry…but I didn't want to be rude. We even eat to PREVENT feeling hungry later.
In today's passage, Jesus conveys a mental image where he describes himself as the "Bread of Life". He uses the term "Bread" here in a more generic sense, representing food in general instead of the wheat based baked good. Food is one of the key components to sustaining life, also including oxygen and water. Without these three, we will shortly die. Notice that, when Jesus then describes himself as the 'Bread of Life', he is saying without HIM we too will die! Jesus makes this a Life and Death matter! Let's look at the entire conversation to better understand what Jesus is teaching.
John 6:26-35 Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (27) Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. (28) Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God? (29) Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent. (30) They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? (31) Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat. (32) Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (33) For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. (34) Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. (35) And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Jesus often drew large crowds that might follow him for days. But even though the crowds followed him, their motives weren't always for the purpose of understanding that he was the Son of God and that He was THE Messenger of God. Sometimes, the crowd followed him almost like a side show. He performed various miracles and fed masses of people with only scraps; which caused his reputation to grow and crowds to swell. But Jesus did not come to earth just to see how big of a crowd he could draw. He did not leave Heaven for popularity or Glory. He did not become the Lamb of God to be a sideshow. He came to be the Bread of Life!
In this recorded exchange, Jesus is dealing with those that are proud and loyal to be Jews. They saw themselves as God’s chosen people and they did not need anything other than their heritage and ancestry. In fact, when Jesus mentioned that he was the Bread of Life, they responded with verse 32: “Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” In other words, God will provide! God did Provide!. He provided Jesus! There were limits to the manna God provided. It was temporary. It did not last. And all those that did partake still ended up dying of something. That is the difference with Jesus! But the Bread that Jesus offers is Eternal! Manna sustained life for a day. Jesus sustains Life forever. Literally Eternally! There simply is no greater Benefit of Jesus!
Are you Hungry for something that this world cannot provide? Do you have an emptiness that cannot be filled? Maybe its a Hunger for Jesus. If you partake in the Benefits of Jesus you will Never Hunger again.