GodReflection: God The Nurturer
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry” (John 6:35).
One of the fun-hard jobs that came my way was when I agreed to an assignment with the directorate of a youth camp in South America. A predecessor carved the thirty-acre camp from the trees and mud in a rural Brazil setting.
Among the preparation for the arrival of campers was a lengthy to-do-list that included additional gravel to combat muddy roads, staff and camper recruitment, lesson plans, activity plans, and a bulk food purchase.
I especially enjoyed one task assigned to others during the camp session. Fresh baked bread was brought from the brick oven into the kitchen. The succulent fragrance filled the room.
A good brick oven is no less than a work of art. The skill passes through multiple generations from father to son, to son. With precision the craftsman designs the oven floor brick by brick.
The dome plaster cavity above the floor is rounded to perfection. Finally, the door is crafted to prevent the slightest amount of heat to escape.
When we caught sight of the wood made ready to fire the oven all knew we would soon be in for a treat.
Shortly, the aroma from multiple loaves of baked bread would permeate the kitchen. We were about to experience bread that satisfied—even if it was only for a day.
On two different occasions Jesus miraculously multiplied small bread loaves into a feast for thousands. The bread-signs pointed to his claim, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry” (John 6:35).
Jesus knew who he was, where he came from, and his final destiny. This reality was tied to the salvation mission of his earth-walk. As God the Son he was no less than Bread that Satisfies.
On the day after he had fed the five thousand men, plus women and children, Jesus encounters a portion of the crowd whose physical hunger had been placed on pause for twenty-four hours by yesterday’s miracle. They had yet to grasp Jesus as bread that satisfies.
What follows we recognize as his Bread of Life discourse. Let’s listen in:
“. . . you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
“. . . it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry. . . Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. I am the living bread that came down from heaven . . . whoever feeds on this bread will live forever” (John 6).
The temptation is ever before us to want a ‘handout Jesus’ to take away hunger, pain, emptiness, and the little needs of everyday life. Jesus lets me know that is not him. That is the wrong goal.
Bread that satisfies and endures is Holy Jesus sent from Holy God to feed us by Divine Sustenance, so that we can confront all trials that arise along our path. To connect to Jesus is to connect to bread that satisfies.
Like water that quenches thirst forever this Jesus-Bread not only sustains my daily walk on earth, but will continue to sustain me over my eternity.
Have you caught the aroma? What draws you to Bread that Satisfies?
Dr. Gary J. Sorrells
A GodReflection: Bread that Satisfies