Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6:35
Food is necessary for life. It provides the nutrients to sustain and fuel our bodies. And if that’s all food did, then it would be like gasoline for our car. A necessary tool, nothing more and nothing less. But, we all know that food is much more than that. Food doesn’t just sustain us, it is also incredibly satisfying. Trust me, the empirical evidence is overwhelming—food tastes good!
In our fighter verse, Jesus says he is the bread of life. In other words, like food, Jesus sustains our lives and satisfies our lives. However, Jesus is not talking about our physical bodies, he’s talking about our souls. Just like food, the presence of Jesus is necessary to experience true life. When Jesus saw the crowds chasing after him, he had compassion on them because they were like “sheep without a shepherd” (Mark 6:34). They were spiritually lost and Jesus knew that only he could give them life.
This is a bold claim to make. Other religious leaders claimed to know the pathway to life. But, only Jesus claimed to be the pathway and the life (John 14:6). Jesus is able to give us life because of his death. Martin Luther called this the great exchange. Jesus took our sin on the cross, so that through faith in him, we receive his righteousness (2 Corinthians 5:21). Jesus gives life.
But, Jesus doesn’t just give life, he is the only one who can satisfy our lives. Like food, Jesus does more than just keep us going. The more we grow in our relationship with Jesus, the more he shows us that his life is more satisfying than wealth, power, safety, security, or whatever else we think we need most. Not only that, Jesus is able to take the emptiness, fears, and longings of our soul, and show us that he alone is capable of dealing with all of them. The more we depend on the life of Christ in us, the more he changes us with this bread of life.
Christian, feast on Jesus today. Behold him, marvel at his work on your behalf. And let that lead to greater faith and worship. This will sustain and satisfy your soul. And if you have never trusted in Jesus Christ as the bread of life, let that begin today. Acknowledge your need for him and embrace him as your Savior and King. This is what it means to truly live.