On Sunday evenings, our house often is filled with the chatter and laughter of college students. I enjoy having a houseful of young adults over. However, they usually show up just about the time I am finally sitting down, and they arrive hungry. I am not sure why this is; I fed them last Sunday, and the one before that. But ultimately, I know it doesn’t matter how many Sundays I feed them, they will be hungry again.
I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
We know that our physical bodies need filling daily; we cannot eat enough today to last forever. But Jesus declares, “I am the bread of life, he who comes to me will never go hungry.” Jesus is the only spiritual food that we will ever need. Partaking of Him ensures we will never grow hungry again.
Food is anticipated, enjoyed. Food leaves us content and satisfied. Imagine being fully satisfied all the time—to never have your stomach growl or have pangs of hunger that won’t go away. So many people go through life spiritually hungry. They try to get full by working hard volunteering in programs, giving money to the poor, through filling their minds with lots of knowledge or being the best singer on the worship team. But nothing, except Jesus, ultimately fills our need. Jesus is our only source for spiritual food that truly satisfies.
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 easy for me to think, “If I lead the Bible Study really well, God will be pleased with me.” “If I remember every new person’s name at church, surely that will profit me.” Even though the things we do may be really good works, if I think they will earn me eternal life, I am working for food that spoils. Jesus is the only way to eternal life, but this living bread is not just a benefit to us in eternity.
Do you wake up each morning anticipating this living bread? Do you savor and enjoy Him? Are you discontent thinking that your life is lacking, or do you draw your mind and heart back to the fullness Jesus gives? We must partake in the bread that Jesus offers by accepting it and then allowing the bread to be digested into our bodies.
Our forefathers ate manna and died, but he who feeds on this bread will live forever.
How do we feed on this bread? The Heidelberg catechism says, "What is it then to eat the crucified body of Christ and to drink His shed blood?” " It is not only to embrace with a believing heart all the sufferings and death of Christ, and thereby to receive pardon of sin and eternal life; but also, besides that, to become more and more united to His sacred body, by the Holy Spirit who dwells at once both in Christ and in us ; so that we, though Christ is in heaven and we on earth, are, notwithstanding, flesh of His flesh, and bone of His bones; and we live and are governed forever by one Spirit."