No other food gets more mentioned in scriptures than bread. It was mentioned 330 times. The other food that came close was corn which was mentioned 94 times. Bread was also the first food mentioned in the bible. God used it when he cursed man and said from the "sweat of thy face you will eat bread". The bread here was used to signify daily food, or wages or earnings (Genesis 3:19). In Matthew 4:3 Satan tempt Jesus and asked him to "turn stone to bread".
‘And when the tempter came to him, he said, If thou be the Son of God, command that these stones be made bread. 4 But he answered and said, It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God’
Sometimes the dearth of bread in any society is often the first sign of famine and recession!(Genesis 41:54).
‘54 And the seven years of dearth began to come, according as Joseph had said: and the dearth was in all lands; but in all the land of Egypt there was bread.’ Egypt was not part of the dearth that took over the world because it still has a supply of bread.
Where there is a dearth of spiritual bread there is an abundance of spiritual poverty. The word of God declared in John 6:35, 41,48,51 that he was the bread of life. The basic essential food for the SUPERNATURAL living! Yet they could not understand because their focus was on the physical and not the spiritual.
‘And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst…The Jews then murmured at him, because he said, I am the bread which came down from heaven. 42 And they said, Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? how is it then that he saith, I came down from heaven?...48 I am that bread of life. Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.’(John 6:35,41-42,48-51)
Three truths contrast the physical and the spiritual here.
- • The physical will perish but the spiritual will endure. Jesus told them in John 6:27, 49-51 that the bread he offers is for life eternal. ‘Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. 50 This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. 51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever. The physical bread offers temporal value but the spiritual bread offers eternal value!
- •The physical focuses on what we can do, while the spiritual focus on what God has already done for us. They asked Jesus what we should do to work the works of God. But Jesus turned their attention to what God has already done - he came down to earth in bodily form in order to give life. He gives his flesh in order to provide life. Being right with God begins with recognizing what he has done for us. This is how we come to salvation!
- •The physical focuses on what we can get the spiritual focuses on who we can become
The crowd follows because they wanted bread and what other miracles he can show them but Jesus wanted them to focus on becoming more and more like him. The irony is when we focus on becoming more like Jesus rather than trying to get something from God we end up receiving far more than we could ever ask for or imagine!
These and many truths Jesus was trying to pass across from this passage. One more truth: actually a repetition of the theme of this write up.
The answer to our spiritual hunger is to pursue a person, not a solution. Satisfying our spiritual hunger requires a spiritual remedy. And that remedy is not some program but a person - that of Jesus!
Cece Winans wrote this song, "Bread of heaven fill me till I want no more, here is my cup fill it up and make me whole". You want to make that song your song and your prayer today!