The Bread of Life
Key Verse: “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.”
ONE MANIFESTATION OF Christ’s authority and power included the feeding of a great multitude from five barley loaves and two fishes.
“Jesus said, Make the men sit down. Now there was much grass in the place. So the men sat down, in number about five thousand. And Jesus took the loaves; and when he had given thanks, he distributed to the disciples, and the disciples to them that were set down; and likewise of the fishes as much as they would. When they were filled, he said unto his disciples, Gather up the fragments that remain, that nothing be lost.”—John 6:10-12
After this miracle, the people desired to take the Master by force and make him a king. Realizing this was not the Father’s plan, Jesus withdrew from the multitude and retired to a mountain for a season of communion with God.—vss. 14,15
Another incident which gave evidence of Christ’s divine appointment was his walking on the sea to meet his disciples who were traveling in a boat in the midst of a storm.—vss. 19-21
This act was perhaps another instance which stimulated the people’s interest in Jesus. For most, this interest was likely not from an appreciation of his being God’s representative on earth, but from an increasing determination to thrust him into a position of leadership that would result in their being freed from Roman subservience. The Lord could read their thoughts and sought to draw their minds away from merely acknowledging his miracles. Instead, he desired that they would accept him as their Messiah and become his followers.—vss. 25-27
In their failure to appreciate Christ’s words, the multitude asked him for a sign to give them a reason to believe him. They drew a comparison between his feeding of the five thousand in their midst with the extensive feeding of all Israel during their wilderness experience in Moses’ day, when manna was sent from heaven and sustained their forefathers for forty years. Jesus then corrected their thoughts by pointing out the fact that God, not Moses, had created this special provision. He also stated that the true bread of God which came from heaven would give life to the world.—vss. 30-33
In our Key Verse, Jesus identified himself as the “bread of life,” and said that whoever came to him would never hunger or thirst. In this context, the Lord intimated that coming to him would be to approach him with a desire for righteousness.
During this present Gospel Age, a special invitation has been extended. It has gone to those who are willing to devote their lives to following Jesus’ example of selfdenial and cross bearing, to become a part of his church that will live in heaven.—Matt. 16:24
How thankful we are that the human family at large will have a future opportunity of receiving everlasting life here on earth by believing on and obeying their risen Lord and King. “This is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.”—John 6:40