by Grace Hunter

Give us today our daily bread. Matthew 6:11 NIV

“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” John 6:27-29 NIV

As I read through John chapter 6, I see several themes. One of them is bread. John 6:1-15 relates the feeding of the 5000 with five barley loaves of bread and two fish. Starting in John 6:25, Jesus teaches using bread and manna as metaphors. Many in the crowd at the feeding of the 5000 wanted Jesus to explain the phenomenon of how he got to Capernaum, while others wanted Jesus to simply perform even more miracles and signs. But Jesus chose to use manna and bread to describe himself, to plainly describe God’s gift of manna, and to teach about eternal life.

Jesus made several profound “I” statements in this chapter. “I am the bread of life,” John 6:35a, “For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me,” John 6:38, “I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life,” John 6:47. 

Again Jesus says, “I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world,” John 6:48-51 NIV.

Jesus called himself the bread of life, living bread and bread that has come down from heaven. He goes on to elaborate on what is required of us in order to obtain eternal life. The crowds were primarily interested in seeing more signs and wonders, but the Pharisees understood Jesus’ references to himself — calling himself the Son of God, and as having come from heaven.

I suggest you read through the whole chapter of John 6. Look for the many references to bread. Notice what Jesus calls himself and what He says He will do on behalf of those who believe in Him. Take note of how Jesus says God draws people to Himself. When Jesus instructed His disciples to pray: “Give us today our daily bread”, I believe He is talking about our daily need for Himself, for His teaching, for His influence in our lives, in our decisions, in our attitudes. As you read through John 6, ask the Holy Spirit to teach you and reveal to you what you need to see and understand in this passage today. Then thank Him for drawing you to Himself.

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