Faith, Bread, and Carbohydrates
Well, folks, I’m going to go there. This month’s theme is Faith, and one of the dearest verses to me in the Bible regarding faith is John 6:35:
“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’”
What? Jesus is the bread of life? You mean bread is a good thing? Today, bread has been pretty demonized in all its gluteny goodness and its hip-growing carbohydrates. So why does Jesus refer to himself as bread? After all, he didn’t say He was the KALE of life.
Anyway, why bread? Well, bread is life-giving. It fills us up and satisfies. Practically every culture on earth and throughout history has some type of bread as an inherent part of its diet. In fact, across nearly every race, country and religion, bread is seen as a peace offering. There are countless Biblical references to growing, processing, and baking wheat for bread, both leavened and unleavened. The ancient grains they used, along with the natural yeasts made bread easy to digest and almost a complete, balanced food in itself.
Now, the second part of that verse addresses our thirst. Water is the ultimate thirst quencher. Our bodies need water to live. It is the medium in which all our life-giving processes occur.
But we are never permanently filled with bread or water, are we? Physically, our bodies will always hunger and thirst for more in order to sustain us.
At the beginning of this chapter, Jesus had performed two amazing miracles: feeding the 5,000 and walking on water. Because of the first miracle, the crowds were amazed and followed him. They wanted their bellies full. However, when they reached him, he further explained that there were two types of bread: perishable bread and eternal bread. They were asking for more perishable bread that would just leave them hungry again.
But Jesus went on to say in verses 47-50,
“Truly, truly, I say to you, whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die.”
Jesus was trying to tell them that He is more than the world. We need to have faith in him. He did feed them perishable bread and fill their stomachs temporarily. Yet he did it in a way that transcended the way the world works. Through a miracle. He even showed the disciples that He goes beyond the natural laws that water follows as He walked out to their boat.
So one miracle had to do with bread and the other with water.
Do you see it? Jesus is the eternal bread and eternal water! We need to be seeking Him for that kind of filling. I know that on a day-to-day basis, particularly when I am overcome with all that I have to do, it is difficult to seek more than just the perishable bread of the day. Lord, just help me get through this moment. Help me find a parking place. Help me have the patience to teach that spelling list one. more. time. I am living in the physical world and not seeing past it.
But that is where faith comes in.
We need to hunger for the eternal bread of Jesus! And we need to have faith in the life-giving water He is. He is eternal. He is life-giving. He fills us up and is the only way we can be satisfied.
Do you want that filling? I know I do. Frankly, I need to hunger for Jesus the same way my flesh hungers for that soft, delicious loaf of bread at the bakery. Yet even more. I need to have faith that Jesus can and will satisfy, and I need to daily seek Him for it.
Do you wake up hungry each morning? Hungry, I mean, for Jesus?
Read the entire chapter of John 6 and ask God for the faith to believe that Jesus can satisfy us! He is able! Come to Jesus…you will not hunger. Have faith in Jesus…you will not thirst.