Sunday, 13 March 2011

Bread of Life

This time, we will be looking at the idea of Jesus being food to our souls.  First, we look at some verses from the Old Testament:
  • Deut 8:2-3: The LORD your God... humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your ancestors had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the LORD.
  • Psalm 36:7-9: How priceless is your unfailing love!  Both high and low among men find refuge in the shadow of your wings.  They feast on the abundance of your house.
  • Psalm 107:9: He satisfies the thirsty and fills the hungry with good things.
  • Isaiah 55:1-2: Come, all you who are thirsty, come to the waters; and you who have no money, come, buy and eat!  Come, buy wine and milk without money and without cost.  Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?  Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and you will delight in the richest of fare.
From these verses, it is clear that human beings need spiritual sustenance as well as physical.  It is also clear that our spiritual hunger can be satisfied by God alone.

Jesus quotes the above verses from Deuteronomy in Matthew 4.4.  Moreover, in John's Gospel, He says the following to the Jewish people:
  • John 6:32-52:  It is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.  For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world... I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty...  Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.  But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die.  I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.
Here, Jesus is saying that His death on the cross would provide the way for our spiritual hunger to be satisfied.  It fact, He seems to be saying more than that.  It seems that, somehow, we can actually feed on Him spiritually.  Once this is done, in some mysterious way, He actually dwells inside our spirits and souls.

I am convinced that the root of many addictions, such as addictions to alcohol, drugs or pornography, is a desperate spiritual hunger.  The wonderful truth is, if we truly come to know Jesus, and experience His mercy and grace, we will find a satisfaction beyong anything we could ever have dreamed.  This is my experience, and that of millions of other people.

To close, an encouraging verse from Revelation on the same theme:
  • Rev 2:17: To him who overcomes, I will give some of the hidden manna.

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