I remember growing up; my parents would prepare fresh bread every morning for us as children to have for breakfast and to sell in the shop. The bread was so good that my family and I recently reminisced about it. I had a longing to have this bread again because when I was young, I could never get enough of it, and if it were possible, I would take a plane to get this bread because it was that good. I have tried recreating it, but it never came close to my mother’s bread.
Jesus performed another one of His amazing miracles (John 6) and the crowd returned the next day for more. He had fed 5000 people with five barley loaves and two fish and even had leftovers. The crowd was enthralled; they even followed Him in their boats across the lake. One would think that with their desired determination they were following Him to receive the Word and see more miracles but instead, they had misplaced priorities and carnal pursuits. They wanted to have their physical appetites satisfied. Jesus said to them:
“I tell you the truth, you want to be with Me because I fed you not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given Me the seal of approval.”(John 6:26-27)
The non-perishable Bread of Life
The crowd had missed the meaning of the miracle and was being led by their stomachs and seeking out perishable things like food when Jesus was wanting to fill them spiritually – with the non-perishable Bread of Life: eternal life.
How often do we do that? I sometimes struggle with fasting where rather than focusing on God, I would begin the fast with the good intentions of receiving a Word from God, yet during the day my mind would wander to food. It can also be a challenge when I have to prepare meals for my children while I’m fasting. Has anyone else faced that challenge? Yet I have not given up trying for I can do everything through Christ who gives me strength (Philippians 4:13).
Why are you following Jesus? Is it the eternal life He guarantees you or are you seeking for the perishable items? Know this, Jesus encouraged His followers to spend their energy seeking the eternal life that He can give for our Father has given Him the seal of approval, this is guaranteed! You will not be disappointed.
Matthew 4 talks about when Jesus was led by the Holy Spirit into the wilderness and was tempted by the devil after He had fasted 40 days and 40 nights. The devil challenged Jesus’ identity and dared him to turn the stones into bread to satisfy His hunger, Jesus told him, “It is written: ‘Man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God’ (Matthew 4:4).
You will not be disappointed
I remember hearing a famous preacher saying that the devil was testing Jesus who is the Bread of Life by tempting Him to turn stones into bread to save His life. How ironic! The devil was fighting and still is fighting a losing battle.
Just like as in Biblical times, people are still yet to be convinced of the Bread of Life in found in Jesus. People seem to be more concerned with the perishable – everything in the world – the lust of the flesh, the lust of the eyes, and the pride of life which comes not from the Father but from the world (1 John 2:16).
How is this relevant today in our walk with Christ in the Spirit? Very relevant! Let us hunger for the Bread of Life, not the bread that fills our stomach and quenches our physical appetite. Let us desire that spiritual food of God, the Living Word, the Bread Of Life for we will receive eternal life as we believe in Him. We will always be tested, sometimes every day, and we must be led by the Spirit, we must know the Word, we must seek after the non-perishable things of God, eternal life.
The Living Word
What can we learn from John 6:26-27? Jesus walked the earth telling and proclaiming the truth. He wants us to not be concerned; “do not worry or be anxious about perishable things like food for this same God who takes care of us will supply all our needs from His glorious riches, which have been given to us in Christ Jesus” (Philippians 4:19).
The same God takes care of the birds and clothes the lilies of the field, how much more will He take care of us? We are encouraged to work to not let these perishable things dominate our thoughts like an unbeliever. But to have faith. Believe that God keeps His promises and He will do what He said He will do. “But seek, labor for on purpose, as we have been raised to a new life in Christ, set your sights on the realities of Heaven, where Christ sits in the place of honour at God’s right hand.” (Matthew 6:25-34) “Think about the things of Heaven, not the things of earth” (Colossians 3:1-2). I pray that this will awaken your desire for the Bread Of Life.