Wednesday, May 4, 2011

"Pass the Bread (of Life) Please"

Go to fullsize imageLuke 2:15  "Let us now go even unto Bethlehem and see this thing which is come to pass, which the Lord hath made known unto us." 

When Micah, the Old Testament prophet, foretold the birth of Jesus in Bethlehem, he emphasized its lack of significance to the world.   "But thou, Bethlehem, Ephrata, though thou be little among the thousands of Judah, yet out of thee shall come forth unto me that is to be ruler in Israel: whose goings forth have been from old, from everlasting."  Micah 5:2

Jesus was not born in Jerusalem, nor in Rome, nor in Athens or Alexandria.   He was not born in any political, cultural, educational, or socially significant city of the day. He was born in Bethlehem, and the literal meaning of that city means "THE HOUSE OF BREAD."

"The House of Bread" is interesting...since Jesus said, "I am the bread of life:   he that cometh to me shall never hunger." John 6:35    

I can't help but think of chapter six of the book of John when reading this.  Jesus is a grown man and has just performed the miracle of feeding the five thousand with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish.   He leaves the area but the crowd of people follow Him.   

At first you might think that the people were interested in spiritual things, after all, they were seeking after Jesus.  But Jesus knows the heart of man and puts His finger on the problem... 

John 6:26,27  "Jesus replied, "The truth is, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you saw the miraculous sign.  But you shouldn't be so concerned about perishable things like food.  Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that I, the Son of Man, can give you.  For God the Father has sent me for that very purpose."

Instead of being interested in spiritual things, they were concerned about "perishable things like food", they weren't interested in feeding their soul.  They are missing the whole point of why God the Father had sent Jesus.

People today are still doing the same thing.  God sent His Son to provide the true bread from heaven, the Bread that satisfies and gives eternal life....and instead of being interested in spiritual things of God...They are concerned on what to eat, what to wear, getting a bigger house, a better job.  Many are eating the wrong kind of bread, looking to only satisfy their physical needs.  This isn't the purpose for which Jesus was sent and it's not the purpose for which we were created for either.

The people asked:  "What does God want us to do?"  Jesus told them, "this is what God wants you to do:  Believe in the one He has sent."  

Jesus said, "I assure you, anyone who believes in me already has eternal life.  Yes, I am the bread of life!  You ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died.  However, the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it.  I am the living bread that came down out of heaven.  Anyone who eats this bread will live forever; this bread is my flesh, offered so the world may live."   John 6:47-51

The crowd argued and was offended because of what Jesus said and they walked away.  Jesus turned to the disciples and asked "You don't want to leave too, do you?" And I love what Simon Peter said, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:67-69

Peter understood what the crowds had missed. The Apostles weren’t there for fish sandwiches, or to start a Jewish revolt against Rome, or to find a new list of rules to keep, or to get in on a Jesus pep rally, or to hold a big miracle crusade. They were there because they believed and knew that Jesus was the Holy One of God --- the Messiah --- the Bread of Life. All they needed was what they already had --- Jesus himself.

Is He all you need? Is he YOUR Bread of Life? If you had been there the day Jesus preached the Bread of Life sermon would you have walked away, or would you have echoed Peter’s words, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.  We believe and know that you are the Holy one of God.”

Satisfied in Him,