And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
Jesus picked the most obvious illustration of life giving sustenance to compare our need for him. Bread. A prisoner gets bread and water, right? One could survive on that alone if need be. And Jesus wants us to know we can survive solely on him. And not just barely surviving on the minimal basics but thrive: He who comes to Me shall never hunger!
I don’t believe this passage is just a spiritual illustration. Jesus is literally all we need. He said this: But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you. (Matthew 6:33) He was previously talking about physical things like food and clothing not spiritual understanding, and that is what he means when he says “all these things shall be added to you.” These are real things we need that he promises to provide. He who comes to me shall never hunger.
Does that mean we will never see tough times or lean days? Nope. But I do believe what Paul says in 2 Corinthians 4:8-9 because our hope is in Jesus’ power... We are hard-pressed on every side, yet not crushed; we are perplexed, but not in despair; persecuted, but not forsaken; struck down, but not destroyed...
A person all on their own without Jesus is crushed when they are in hard-pressed circumstances. They despair over what they don’t understand, and those who are persecuted have no hope. We have Jesus; we have Hope!
But the world is upside-down these days, isn’t it? Will people have hope in Jesus if bread is on the junk food list? The once completely universal symbol of sustenance for every culture, bread, is now so often packed with preservatives for mass production and demonized by the health enthusiasts and fitness fanatics. But isn’t this the Enemy’s plan? Don’t recognize any bread as good and sustaining, and don’t recognize Jesus when he compares himself to it.
I believe Jesus knew what he was doing when he picked bread to illustrate his sustaining power. And Jesus knows what bread is available to me in my day and age, and I eat it with a thankful heart and think of him, for he is the One who provided it as well as provides for everything else I need!
1 Timothy 4:1-5 says,
Now the Holy Spirit tells us clearly that in the last times some will turn away from the true faith; they will follow deceptive spirits and teachings that come from demons. These people are hypocrites and liars, and their consciences are dead.
They will say it is wrong to be married and wrong to eat certain foods. But God created those foods to be eaten with thanks by faithful people who know the truth. Since everything God created is good, we should not reject any of it but receive it with thanks. For we know it is made acceptable by the word of God and prayer.
Wrong to eat certain foods... Yeah, foods that remind us of Jesus!
Dear Lord Jesus,
Thank you so much for meeting all my needs. Thank you that Psalm 37:25 says the righteous will never be forsaken, never not taken care of by YOU because we trust you for all we need. Rob’s paycheck doesn’t put food on our table, YOU do. Sometimes that paycheck gets swallowed up by other things, but our family has never gone hungry. Sometimes my life could get swallowed up by worries, but YOU keep us from being crushed, destroyed, and abandoned. You are so good to me to provide what I need physically and spiritually as I choose to spend time with you and obey what you teach. It is a much better and much more reliable system than any other exchange in the world. And thank you for bread; it’s delicious! I love you and thank you in your name according to your will. Amen.