What comes to mind when you think of bread? If you are hungry, perhaps a “Bread Talk” treat would pique your interest. As a child I remember TV commercials that talked about a brand known as “Wonder Bread”. The tagline for Wonder Bread was that it “built strong bodies in 12 ways”. Even as a kid, I “wondered” how a piece of bread can have so many benefits.
What comes to mind when you think of bread as it relates to God? Did you know that “Bread” is referenced 492 times in the Bible? What does the subject of “Bread” teach us when considering our life as believers in Christ?
At its core, bread can relate to our physical and spiritual appetite. Let’s take note of the words of Jesus on this point:
Jesus said to them, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent Me, and to finish His work (John 4:34).
Jesus was consumed with doing the will of His Father. In addition, there was the burden of finishing the course and plan the Father had planned for Him. In our journey as Christians, we need to have a greater hunger to do and finish God’s will for our lives. This needs to be our daily bread. Is it yours? What other lessons can we learn from some Biblical examples of Bread in Scripture?
God’s Provision of Manna
“But now our appetite is gone. There is nothing at all to look at except this manna!” (Numbers 11:6, NASB)
The Lord had been providing daily bread since the time of the Exodus. The children of Israel complained to Moses that they had “bread to the full” when they suffered in bondage under the Egyptians (Exodus 16:3). As a result, the Lord brought forth a daily portion of bread from heaven to sustain them (Exodus 16:4). Were the people satisfied and content after this supernatural daily provision? The answer is no. In fact, they remarked that the food (bread) they had in Egypt was better (Numbers 11:5).
The people persisted in their cry for meat without taking time to thank the Lord for his faithfulness. What was the result? The Lord eventually answered their hearts’ cry for meat but sent a wasting disease into their souls (Psalm 106:15). Their “bread” was not to do the will of God but rather yield themselves to worldly appetites.
Whenever you Eat this Bread!
And as they were eating, Jesus took bread, blessed, and broke it, and gave it to the disciples and said, “Take, eat; this is My body (Matthew 26:26).”
Why is Jesus making this statement? In John 6, Jesus makes several references to Himself as Bread (vs 35, 48, 51). You may recall that Jesus had earlier broke bread and multiplied it to feed thousands of people (John 6:11). The broken bread filled the hunger and natural appetites of people. He now places the focus upon Himself as the Living Bread that will be broken for the multitudes of mankind.
“I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)
In John 6, it is important to note the transition from natural bread to spiritual bread. As Christians, our desires tend to the fleshly appetites as opposed to the spiritual. The Lord wants to bring us to the place of desiring that Living Bread; to desire Him and to partake of His life and message. Israel had a hunger for the bread that satisfied the flesh. They did not find the “manna” convenient; it did not measure up to their expectations. They found the message of the Lord as being difficult and hard to accept.
Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this, said, “This is a hard saying; who can understand it” (John 6:60)?
What is the Bread that you desire? Is it the bread that comes from the world that feeds the flesh? This was the problem with Israel of old and it’s a problem that exists today. On the other hand, do we seek to live daily by every Word that proceeds out of the mouth of God? This is the manna, the daily bread that God graciously affords to His sons and daughters. This is the bread that strengthens the spiritual man. This is the true “Wonder Bread” and it does much more than build bodies in 12 different ways. It strengthens and edifies the “Body of Christ for the Glory of God. Jesus is the True Bread of Life.
We will continue on this theme of “What is your Bread” in an upcoming devotional. In the meantime, let’s continue to partake of God’s daily provision of manna through His Word.
Monday: John 6:58
This is the bread which came down from heaven—not as your fathers ate the manna, and are dead. He who eats this bread will live forever.”
Tuesday: 1 Corinthians 10:17
For we, though many, are one bread and one body; for we all partake of that one bread.
Wednesday: Exodus 16:4
Then the LORD said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you. And the people shall go out and gather a certain quota every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in My law or not.
Thursday: John 6:11
And Jesus took the loaves, and when He had given thanks He distributed them to the disciples, and the disciples to those sitting down; and likewise of the fish, as much as they wanted.
Friday: Jeremiah 29:13
And you will seek Me and find Me, when you search for Me with all your heart.
Saturday: Psalm 106:14-15
But lusted exceedingly in the wilderness, And tested God in the desert. And He gave them their request, But sent leanness into their soul.
Sunday: Matthew 4:4
But He answered and said, “It is written, ‘Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
All scriptures are quoted from the New King James Version (NKJV).
By Pastor Timothy O’Connell