Hungry for Bread

John 6:35 – “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again. (HCSB)

When I was a newlywed, my grandmother’s house was on my way home from work so I would stop by everyday. I loved the days when the aroma of freshly baked bread would wrap around me as I walked through the door. Ma’s hot bread would be the main dinner entrée at our house that night, served only with a side of butter. My mind can still see the butter sliding across the hot slices (aka hunks) of deliciousness. My memory still feels the texture as I take bite after luscious bite, the full tummy that craves just one more slice, the disappointment in realizing that last morsel was the final morsel. In John 6:35, Jesus is talking to a crowd of Jewish people who knew all about the importance of bread, especially in their religious culture. The Jews were to eat unleavened bread not only during the Passover feast but also for the next seven days as a reminder of leaving Egypt. In Exodus 16:4 God promised that He would “rain down bread from heaven” for the people to gather and eat. I would leave a meal of my grandmother’s bread so full I could barely move, but the next day would find me hungry again. Jesus says to come to Him and never be hungry or thirsty again, but He isn’t talking about physical hunger and thirst but rather spiritual hunger and thirst. No matter how much we eat or how hard we work, the spiritual hunger and thirst within us will never be satisfied, but Jesus satisfies our hunger and thirst to be righteous in the sight of God. Just as bread gives nourishment and strength to our physical bodies, He gives nourishment and strength to our souls and gives us eternal life. In Matthew 5:6 Jesus calls those who hunger and thirst for righteousness “blessed” and promises satisfaction. Lord, I crave Your spiritual nourishment. The world offers me crumbs but You give me true bread. I want to feed on Your words because You alone are the son of God and my living bread.  May I join the Psalmist in proclaiming “Oh, taste and see that the Lord is good!” (ESV)

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