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serving jesus christ the king

September's Verse

Bread. Could you live on it?

I have a friend who lives on not very much else. I know the nutritionists among you are already coming up with all sorts of queries—where does he get his protein from? Where does he get his vitamins?

He does tend to spread the butter on good and thick. Other than that and a glass of milk, there’s not much more to his diet.

And he’s not fading away either—he’s strong, and can out-work his family on the farm.

In our modern world of multi-choice, multi-ethnic, multi-flavour foods it just seems a bit odd. Surely a person couldn’t survive on bread.

I suspect we are being overly western, and 20
th-21st century. Our surprise is perhaps more chronological snobbery than anything else. Bread has been a key dietary staple in many cultures across the world, and throughout time.

One article I read says, “Among some people, bread forms the chief article of food and often almost the entire diet, even at the present time. Bread of some description, whether in the form of loaves, biscuits, or rolls, forms part of each meal in most households. This fact proves that, with the exception of milk, it is more frequently eaten than any other food. A food so constantly used contributes very largely to the family's health if it is properly made.”

So perhaps we need to recalibrate our appreciation of the humble loaf, and all its variations.

Going back 2000 years with our better understanding of the centrality of bread, particularly its contribution to the welfare and health of the individual, we can better understand what Jesus was getting at when he said,
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry” (John 6:35).

Bread was what sustained them, bread gave life. And Jesus draws the parallel—I am the one who can sustain you, I am the one who gives life.

The Jews had been asking for a miracle—it was just after the feeding of the 5000, and in particular they wanted a repeat performance. They wanted more bread from Heaven. They were also harking back to the time in the desert when the people of Israel had been hungry and God fed them with miraculous bread. And Jesus says to them effectively “Look bread gives life, but the true bread of Heaven gives even better life. You are more hungry than you know, and I am that better bread that will satisfy your deepest hunger.”

He is. He still satisfies that deep spiritual hunger. Like bread, he seems deceptively simple, but he is deeply satisfying. And he gives a life that will cause us to live forever.

So whether you are eating plain loaf, or baguette, or naan, or soda, or wheaten, or malt bread—stop and think about there being a whole other life, and ask yourself “What is satisfying my spiritual hungers?”