Eat of the Bread of Life
Jesus is the Bread of Life, the One who satisfies the hunger inside us.
These are hungry days. Millions of little children are looking out of hollow eyes for sustaining food. Starvation is across the world. No one needs to convince people of its sorrow. “Bread, bread, bread,” they cry everywhere.
We have been away from home, perhaps shopping, or on a fishing trip, or maybe even at church, when we have gotten really hungry. Most of us have done that. Well, often when Jesus was teaching the people, they would have walked for miles to hear him teach and time would get away from them so that, before long, they would realize they were hungry and had not brought anything to eat. Jesus felt sorry for the people and did what he could to feed them.
In one of those stories, Matthew’s gospel tells about a crowd of people who had been with Jesus three days and had nothing left to eat. Jesus’ disciples were able to come up with seven loaves of bread and a few small fish. By breaking the seven loaves of bread and the few fish into smaller pieces, Jesus was able to see that all the people were given something to eat. The disciples saw that they had leftovers and brought the baskets back.
The men who had benefited from this miracle were so impressed that they decided they would forcibly install Jesus as their king. But Jesus wasn’t interested in starting an earthly kingdom, though there would be a time for that in the future. The food they ate could only sustain life for a short time. Therefore, our all-consuming goal in life should be to pursue that which gives eternal life.
Jesus said they only needed to believe, needed to trust in Him to be their Savior. It seemed so simple. The early followers of Jesus in this miracle learned a spiritual lesson: Jesus satisfies the spiritual hunger and spiritual searching that is inside every one of us.
All of us have an inner hunger, a hunger of the heart, to know God, to learn God’s ways, to live like God wants us to live. And Jesus is the One who satisfies that hunger as he shows us who God is, teaches us God’s ways, and instructs us on how to best live our lives. Because Jesus is the Bread of Life.
Finding Faith is written by area pastors. This week’s column comes from Pastor Sharon Weaver, certified lay minister of the People’s Church of Farrandsville, a United Methodist congregation.