'I Am the Bread of Life' Meaning and Scripture | Short Sermon Series
The idea of bread as a symbol of God's provision and life was a well-developed concept in the Old Testament. Early on, when God established the wilderness tabernacle for worship among the people of Israel, he gave instructions to build a table called "the table of the showbread."
This presentation of the bread symbolized God's eternal, covenant relationship with his people and his constant care and provision for the tribes of Israel, represented by the twelve loaves of bread. When Jesus preached his sermon about being the Bread of Life, discerning Jews in the crowd would have connected the dots to this long-practiced aspect of their worship.
The crowds still saw Jesus merely as someone who could meet their physical needs. So, Jesus responded with this powerful and profound truth: "I am the bread of life that came down from heaven" (John 6:41). Christ explained that anyone who came to him in saving faith would never be hungry or thirsty again. God would not reject them, for it was his will that all should come to faith in him (verses 37-40).
The Bread of Life that Jesus embodies will never perish, spoil, or run out. But like manna in the wilderness, the life-sustaining bread of Jesus is meant to be received by his followers daily. In the New Testament, Jesus taught his disciples to pray, "Give us this day our daily bread." (Matthew 6:11, ESV)
We can trust God to take care of our everyday needs. Jesus said:
"Look at the birds. They don't plant or harvest or store food in barns, for your heavenly Father feeds them. And aren't you far more valuable to him than they are? Can all your worries add a single moment to your life? And why worry about your clothing? Look at the lilies of the field and how they grow. They don't work or make their clothing, yet Solomon in all his glory was not dressed as beautifully as they are. And if God cares so wonderfully for wildflowers that are here today and thrown into the fire tomorrow, he will certainly care for you." (Matthew 6:26–30, NLT)
Part of feeding on our daily bread means spending time each day in the Word of God. According to Scripture, the Word of the Lord is more important than food to sustain our daily existence:
Yes, he humbled you by letting you go hungry and then feeding you with manna, a food previously unknown to you and your ancestors. He did it to teach you that people do not live by bread alone; rather, we live by every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD. (Deuteronomy 8:3, NLT)
Devotion Article adapted from "'I Am the Bread of Life' Meaning and Scripture" by Mary Fairchild, learnreligions.com