Jesus, the Bread of Life

22The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them.23Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten.24So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him.25They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs.27But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”

28They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”

29Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”

30They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do?31After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”

32Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven.33The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34“Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”

Jesus had just feed 5,000 men (we don’t know the total number of people) and had abundant left overs.  In this passage the people ask him for a sign like the manna (bread from heaven) their ancestors ate.  They completely missed the point.  Yesterday Jesus had done exactly what they had asked, and today they seem to have forgotten it.  I do the same thing all the time.  God gets me through some tough time or trial, or provides for my needs in some amazing way, and the next time I’m faces with a trial, and seem to have no faith at all.

But this is a “prelude” to a much deeper and complex set of readings.  Jesus is starting a section in which in talks of himself as the bread of life.  This section is one of the most controversial in the Bible, but I am going to try to avoid the controversy and just hit on the things I think almost everyone can agree on.

Bread was the mainstay of life at that time.  Everyone ate and needed as a vital part of their diet.  The people understood that what you ate went into your body and effected it greatly, to the point where it sustained life.  Now Jesus is telling them they need to take him into themselves like bread and let him nourish and sustain them.  We have the saying, “You are what you eat.”  Jesus in effect is saying the same thing here on a spiritual level. 

Lord, come into my and change me completely.  I give you all of me and want you totally.  I need you to sustain me, and grow me, and give me your life itself.  *obbs*