Jesus, The Bread of Life
Since the beginnng when God created mankind, he made them vegetarians. He gave them all fruit bearing trees to eat from (except one) and the seeds from the grasses of the field, which they would harvest and make bread from. So bread has always been in man’s diet. For most of man’s history they lived under agricultural societies and its main product was bread. Bread would sustain them through good times and bad times, through times of plenty and times of famine. You have to admit that just the thought of homemade bread can get your mouth watering as you imagine its smell and taste, it is the original comfort food. Bread sustained their lives, and they were dependent on it. When Moses led Israel out of Egypt and through the wilderness, God provided them with a special, never before seen bread, a bread from heaven. This bread was a test to them to see if they would be obedient to him.
Exo 16:4, Then Yahweh said to Moses, “Behold, I will rain bread from the sky for you, and the people shall go out and gather a day’s portion every day, that I may test them, whether they will walk in my law, or not.”
The people gathered it and said, “What is it.” Which in Hebrew is “manna”, so that’s what they called it. So for forty years they ate manna from heaven. But by Numbers 11:6, they were complaining about it saying,
“Now our appetite is gone and there is nothing at all to look at except this manna.”
The people started loathing the bread from heaven. In Dt. 8:2-3 Moses had to explain to the people why they had to eat this bread for so long.
"You shall remember all the way which the LORD your God has led you in the wilderness these forty years, that He might humble you, testing you, to know what was in your heart, whether you would keep His commandments or not. He humbled you and let you be hungry, and fed you with manna which you did not know, nor did your fathers know, that He might make you understand that man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD."
While fasting for forty days in the desert, going without bread and being very hungry, Jesus quoted part of this verse when Satan tempted him to turn stones into bread to eat, he said,
“Man does not live on bread alone but on every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.”
In our Wednesday bible study we are about to go over one of the “I Am” statements that Jesus uses for himself to discribe part of his role and nature in God’s scheme of redemption.
In the gospel of John, 6:35 Jesus says, “I am the bread of life.” He tells his people that he is the bread that comes down from heaven and that they needed to eat this bread to have eternal life. So we have our daily bread sustaining the physical body for life in this life on earth, and God’s word through Jesus sustaing our souls for daily life in this life and for the next life in heaven as well.
Don’t you think that mankind today is being tested the same way Israel was tested in the desert, to see if we would follow his instructions in regard to the bread he gives us. Brothers and sisters, there is a difference as to how much of the bread we can eat that Jesus gives us than what the Israelis were aloud to eat. Jesus didn’t set a limit as to how much of the bread he offers that we can gather, in fact, dare I say, that we’ve been invited to an unlimited buffet! So savor God’s word daily and share it with others, and enjoy the bread; the body of the Lord weekly with the saints. Isn’t it fitting that Jesus was born in Bethlehem, the house of bread?