Breaking Bread

November 23, 2014

By Clark Rinehart, Pastor of Students

John 6:25-35 “The Feeding of the 5,000 by Jesus”

Jesus performs a miracle by providing food for 5,000. As a result of the crowd eating and being satisfied, the people begin to believe who Jesus says he is, the Savior of the world.

When the crowd follows Jesus the next day, asking what works they can do have their hunger satisfied, Jesus redirects their thinking from the physical toward their spiritual needs. Jesus declares Himself, the Son of Man, the true Christ, the God who is truly with us. The crowd had missed what was right in front of their eyes. Have we?

The crowd tests and provokes Jesus to see if he would provide manna to eat as God had done in the wilderness in the Exodus. Jesus, instead points them toward the New Exodus with freedom from slavery to sin in this world and the eternal life to come. Do we see that God provides not only our physical needs but our spiritual ones as well?

The crowd wants God’s physical bread from heaven (John 6:34), yet it is difficult for them to grasp that Jesus is the spiritual bread, the provider and sustainer of life.

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and who ever believes in me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35)

Do we understand that through faith in Jesus that we are truly offered the abundant life on earth and eternal life in heaven?

In her writing, Barbara Brown Taylor shows us God’s presence in ordinary things of daily life, e.g.: a stone which sparkles when light shines on it. This Thanksgiving, we are reminded to give true gratitude and worship in daily ordinary things, like bread, like our meals, because they can be used to point us to God’s truth: that He provides and cares for us with abundant life each day here on this earth, as well as eternal life in the future. Are we people who remember that God is indeed our Creator and Sustainer in all things?