Explanation Behind Why Jesus Is The Bread Of Life

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Published by Kenneth Garcia

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Co-Founder of Biblekeeper, Author & Theologian

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We may ask, “Why is it important to believe that Jesus is the bread of life?” In John 6:35, Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” This statement highlights the truth that only through faith can we experience true satisfaction and spiritual growth in life.

Bread, along with rice, was a staple meal during biblical times, just like it is today. It was easily accessible and affordable for most people, making it an ideal symbol of Christ’s accessibility to all people, regardless of their social status or wealth.

Food is an essential part of human life. Understanding Jesus as the true bread of life can help us on our life journey and deepen our relationship with God[1]. Here, the life Jesus is referring to is not physical life but eternal life.

The Significance Of Bread In Jesus’ Time

A Symbol Of Sustenance And Nourishment

Bread, a symbol of sustenance and nourishment, played a crucial role in the daily lives of people during the time of Jesus. It is often used as a metaphor in the gospels to represent basic human needs such as food, shelter, and clothing.

While potatoes were not commonly consumed during this period, the importance of faith was paramount, with many individuals relying on their beliefs to provide them with strength and hope in difficult times.

In addition to being an essential part of everyday life, bread also had powerful symbolic value. Because it was so important for survival, it came to represent life itself. In this way, sharing bread with others became an act of love and hospitality that demonstrated care for one’s fellow humans on their journey of faith.

Used In Religious Rituals

Bread played a significant role in Jewish religious rituals during Jesus’ time. Unleavened bread, eaten during Passover, was a reminder of the liberation of the people in Israel from slavery in Egypt and a living testimony to God’s deliverance. This tradition dates back thousands of years before Christ’s birth.

In addition to being eaten during Passover, unleavened bread was also used in other Jewish ceremonies, such as the Feast of Unleavened Bread. This feast is a significant event in the life journey of Jews, where they celebrate their faith by refraining from consuming any leavened bread or keeping it in their living spaces. It is a reminder that they must shed their old flesh and embrace a new way of living.

A Metaphor For Christ’s Body

Given its importance both as a staple food and as a symbol with deep spiritual significance, it is not surprising that Jesus chose bread as a metaphor for his own body, which is living and given by God, our heavenly Father.

One notable instance occurs during the Last Supper when he broke bread with his disciples: “And he took bread, gave thanks and broke it, and gave it to them, saying, ‘This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.'” This deed encourages us to reflect on and remember the sacrifice made by Jesus for our salvation.

By using bread as a metaphor for his own body, Jesus emphasized the importance of faith in his sacrifice for eternal life as the living bread himself. Just as bread sustains physical life, so too does Christ’s sacrifice sustain spiritual life on our journey toward God’s love.

This metaphor has become so central to Christian theology that it is still celebrated today through the sacrament of communion.

Feeding The 5,000

Another significant moment involving bread in Jesus’ ministry occurred when he fed a crowd of 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and two fish. This miracle demonstrated both Jesus’ power and compassion.

Not only was he able to feed thousands with just a few loaves of bread, but he did so out of faith in God and hope for their well-being.

Jesus As The Bread Of Life: Biblical Context

John 6:35, 48–51 is a significant part of the Bible where Jesus refers to himself as the bread of life, delivering a powerful message about his divine nature as the spiritual bread. In this verse, Jesus declares that whoever embarks on a journey toward him will never go hungry or thirsty.

Jesus, the bread of life from heaven, said that eating this bread leads to eternal life. This statement emphasizes how essential it is for people to come to God through Jesus and believe in him if they want to have eternal life.

The concept of bread as a symbol of sustenance and nourishment is prevalent throughout the Bible, including in the Old Testament. In Genesis 3:19, God tells Adam that he will eat bread by the sweat of his brow after leaving Eden as a part of his journey.

Later on, when God provided manna for the Israelites in Exodus 16, it was a sign of God’s provision and care for his people, delivering a message of hope to them through John. The Israelites were instructed to gather just enough manna for their daily needs because God would provide fresh manna every morning.

Jesus uses bread as a metaphor for his body, which he offers as a sacrifice for the salvation of humanity. During the Last Supper with his disciples before his crucifixion (Matthew 26:26), Jesus spoke: “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me.” This act symbolizes how Jesus’ body was broken on behalf of all humanity so that they could be saved from sin as a part of God’s plan.

Furthermore, on our journey of faith, we partake in communion, or the Eucharist, to remember what God did for us through Christ on Calvary by taking bread and wine that represent His body and blood (1 Corinthians 11:23–24). Through this act, we reflect on our lives and ask forgiveness from him who died on the cross so we can have eternal life.

different kinds of bread

Relevance Of Jesus Being The Bread Of Life For Believers

This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.

— John 6:58

Jesus as the bread of life reminds us that God is the ultimate source of our sustenance and that we must rely on him for our every need.

Finding Spiritual Nourishment In Jesus

Just as bread provides physical sustenance, Jesus, as the bread of life, provides spiritual food and sustenance for our souls on our journey of faith. Jesus satisfies our hunger and thirst for righteousness.

Romans 14:17 teaches that the Kingdom of God transcends physical sustenance, emphasizing spiritual values over material concerns.

When we believe in Jesus and accept him as our Lord and Savior, we become filled with spiritual nourishment that cannot be found anywhere else. This nourishment gives us the strength to face life’s challenges and helps us grow closer to God.

Turning To Jesus In Times Of Need

When we embark on our spiritual journey and feel lost, we can always turn to God. Jesus, the bread of life, offers us comfort, guidance, and hope when we need them most.

By spending time in prayer and reading the Bible, we can deepen our relationship with him and find the sustenance our souls crave.

Accepting Jesus As The Source Of Eternal Life

Believing in Jesus as the bread of life means accepting him as part of our journey with God. Through his death on the cross and resurrection from the dead, he offers us salvation and forgiveness for our sins.

When we accept this gift of grace, we can have confidence that, even after death, we will live again and spend eternity with him.

Building A Personal Relationship With Jesus

Accepting Jesus as the bread of life involves building a personal relationship with him as part of our journey. This means getting to know him through prayer, reading the scriptures, attending church services, and serving others in his name.

As we grow closer to God, he becomes not just a distant figure but a friend who walks with us through every aspect of our lives.

Understanding Jesus As The Bread Of Life

Understanding Jesus as the bread of life is a crucial part of every disciple’s journey. Jesus himself represents a spiritual truth that brings blessings, love, and resurrecting hope. This life-giving food can only be found through faith in Jesus Christ.

Eating physical bread only provides temporary satisfaction but does not provide lasting fulfillment. In contrast, consuming the bread of life provides everlasting satisfaction and joy, making it an essential part of our journey as believers.

Partaking in the bread of life means living according to God’s teachings. It means loving others unconditionally as he loved us and forgiving others as he forgave us. It allows us to live with purpose and hope because we know that our ultimate destiny lies with him.

communion bread on a plate

Summary

Jesus’ words, “I am the bread of life,” emphasize his role as God’s ultimate provider of both our physical and spiritual bread.

Recognizing Jesus as the bread of life requires a deep understanding of his teachings and an acceptance of him as our Lord and Savior, as Christ’s sacrifice on the cross allows us to receive eternal life.

By the power of the Holy Spirit, may we continue on our journey, seeking God daily and trusting in his provision and guidance. Let us partake in his bread with gratitude and humility, recognizing that it is only through him that we can have true life now and forevermore.

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