We all know that two main staples in life are bread and water. Our bodies literally cannot live without water, and if we had to choose one food source to keep us alive, bread would be one of the best sources, if not the best source. When bread is mentioned in both in the Old and New Testaments, it is at critical times when the people were hungry and needed extra strength. Although the Lord knew and understood the needs of the people and had great compassion on their situations, He also wanted to make sure they knew that the true bread does not come from earth but from heaven, and it is not the earthly but only the heavenly that can fill us.
Let’s look at the three breads.
Manna. This was the substance the Lord provided to the children in Israel for 40 years as they journeyed through the wilderness on their way to the Promised Land. Exodus 16: 13-15, 17-18 says, “That evening vast numbers of quail flew in and covered the camp. And the next morning, the area around the camp was wet with dew. When the dew evaporated, a flaky substance as fine as frost blanketed the ground. The Israelites were puzzled when they saw it. ‘What is it?’ they asked each other. They had no idea what it was. Moses told them, ‘It is the food the Lord has given you to eat.’ When they measured it out, everyone had just enough. Those who gathered a lot had nothing left over, and those who gathered only a little had enough. Each family had just what it needed.”
Manna is really two Hebrew words: “mah” and “nah,” and it literally means, “What is it?” The Israelites called it manna because it did not fit into any of their preconceptions, and they had no idea what it was. God wanted the Israelites to understand that this manna was not just an earthly bread, feeding their earthly bodies, but also bread from heaven that would feed them spiritually if they opened their hearts to receive it. This manna is also the Word and Bread of God. It is the manna of His grace and the manna of His love.
Loaves. In John 6, we find where over 5,000 people followed Jesus because they had seen and heard of how He was healing so many people. These people had followed Him all day, and He could see in their faces how tired and hungry they were. He asked His disciples to feed the people. Philip’s response in verses 5 and 7 was, “Where can we buy bread to feed all these people? Even if we worked for months, we wouldn’t have enough money to feed them!”
That day, Jesus performed another miracle in front of their eyes. He took the five loaves of bread and two fish brought from a young lad, gave thanks to God and had His disciples distribute it to all the people. When Jesus instructed the disciples to take up the leftovers, scripture tells us that after the people ate as much as they wanted, the disciples picked up 12 full baskets of food. Not only did Jesus take care of the hungry people but also taught His disciples never to underestimate the power of God.
The Bread of Life. People who had stayed all night with Jesus could not find Him or His disciples on the next day. They realized that He had crossed to the other side of the lake. John 6 tells us that when they found Him, they asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But do not be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. I tell you the truth, Moses did not give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now He offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
We are living in unsettled times. The things of this world will not ever bring us peace. Jesus is the only one who brings life to this world, and when the world can never sustain us, Jesus can.
Are you hungry and thirsty? Do you need hope, peace, and life? I encourage you today to surrender to the only true Bread of Life, Jesus Christ.
If you would like me to join you in prayer please email me at firstname.lastname@example.org. I would love to pray for you!