‘I am the bread of life…’ (John 6:35)
I wonder how many of us have been to a show or a concert, or watched one on television, where after the performing artist has finished and left the stage, the audience clap and call for an encore. From the audience point of view it shows that they have enjoyed the show so much that they want more and from the artist’s point of view it lets them know just how much their performance was appreciated by the audience.
It could be argued that a similar situation exists in our Gospel passage in John where we find this, the first of seven ‘I Am…’ sayings of Jesus. It follows soon after the feeding of the 5000 and the crowd follow Jesus to this location, wanting more of the same, in a sense. Yet it would seem that the crowds here are more interested in their physical needs and have failed to truly understand the spiritual significance of the feeding of the 5000 prior to this.
In saying that He was the Bread of Life Jesus is letting the crowds – and us today – know that He is the one who is able to feed us spiritually. He isn’t saying that he was like the bread they had just eaten to fulfil their physical needs, rather He was speaking metaphorically. He was emphasising that He isn’t just bread to fulfil our physical hunger, He is the Bread of Life that sustains and we all need this Bread of Life every day. Every day we need to feed on the Living Word of God – to nourish and sustain us and to enable us to grow in faith. Every day we need this Bread of Life to give us the strength, courage and encouragement we need to help us find a way through all that life throws at us. Every day we need Jesus in our lives, so come to Him and allow Him to sustain you as only He can.
Lord, we give You thanks that through Your Son You have come to us and that in Him we can grow in faith and draw closer to You. Help us to do this, to come the Living Word each day that we may flourish in our faith and at the same time witness to others, that they too may come to Your Word. Amen