Not by Bread Alone: A 31-Day series

Day twenty-two: The bread of life

“I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” John 6:26

I made some bread today.

It’s one of my favorite things to make from scratch. Very little compares to the satisfaction of pulling warm bread out of the oven knowing you made it with your own hands.

The Israelites loved them some bread, too.

If you grew up in church, you probably know the story of Jesus feeding a crowd of 5000 men with just five loaves and two fishes. You probably also know that Jesus made a number of “I am” statements about himself in the Gospels, including, “I am the bread of life.”

But do you know what happened between the miraculous feeding and that substantial statement?

I had never paid much attention to the context of this miracle and Jesus’ subsequent declaration before, and I am indebted to Kyle Idleman (author of Not a Fan) for shining light onto this important story.

This is what happened: Jesus left. The crowd followed him to the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Jesus accused them of looking for more free food.

“So they asked him, ‘What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our forefathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written, “He gave them bread from haven to eat.”’
“Jesus said to them, ‘I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’
“‘Sir,’ they said, ‘from now on give us this bread.’” (John 6:30-34)

They asked him for bread.

The one who was born in Bethlehem.

The one who, forty days hungry, looked the devil in the face and declared, “Man does not live by bread alone.”

The Word who spoke and brought wheat out of a barren landscape.

They asked him to give them bread.

“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life.’” (John 6:35, emphasis added)

Beloved, he IS the bread.

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This post is part of a 31-day series. A list of all the other posts in this series can be found here.

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