There is nothing like the smell of fresh bread, hot from the oven, steaming as you cut a chunk off, savouring it… soft and delicious in your mouth. Bread is the stuff of life and when there’s not much else a crust of bread is a lifesaver.
My daughter made a speciality bread at the weekend, there was much eager anticipation, would it rise, what would it taste like? Actually it was delicious and we couldn’t wait for it to cool before we tried it.
There’s a great deal about bread in the Bible, it was then as now a staple element of people’s diets, all kinds, with yeast, without yeast, flat, crusty, whatever was needed. When Jesus needed to feed a crowd it was bread and fish that formed the menu. Bread was central to Jesus life, He shared it with saints and sinners, friends and enemies, broke it to share with those close to Him.
Jesus talked about bread, telling those who would listen that bread alone wasn’t enough to sustain them, they had to listen to the word of God too. He also made the claim to the shocked ears of the Pharisees that He was the Bread of Life, His radical message earned Him many enemies but many more became His followers.
41-42At this, because he said, “I am the Bread that came down from heaven,” the Jews started arguing over him: “Isn’t this the son of Joseph? Don’t we know his father? Don’t we know his mother? How can he now say, ‘I came down out of heaven’ and expect anyone to believe him?” (John 6:The Message)
For those who responded it was as good as eating fresh bread straight from the oven, steaming.. fragrant, delicious..satisfying hunger. Jesus still has the same impact today, His words still challenge, He still offers the same deliverance from hunger, the same satisfying feeling to our hungry hearts. He still longs to provide all that we need for life, soul-filling, sin-forgiving, life-affirming deep joy. “Come to Me” He says, “take and eat”
So why share this? Well telling people about Jesus has been likened to a beggar telling another beggar where they can get bread. Do you need feeding, satisfying, forgiving, setting free? My hunger has been satisfied, has yours?