MICHELE HUEY'S 'GOD, ME & A CUP OF TEA:' Eating the Bread of Life
Special-Tea: John 6:25–59
I have treasured the words of His mouth more than my daily bread. — Job 23:12 (NIV)
“I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never go hungry.” — Jesus, as quoted in John 6:35 (NIV)
My late father-in-law used to say a meal wasn’t complete without bread.
I, myself, have always loved bread — fresh out of the oven, toasted, stuffed with potatoes and cheese, smeared with spicy tomato sauce and piled high with cheese and pepperoni and occasionally a variety of vegetables, such as black olives and green peppers.
Bread has been a staple since man first figured out what to do with wheat. It has been called “the staff of life,” the mainstay of man’s diet.
Bread is mentioned all through the Bible: from Abraham serving bread to three heavenly visitors, to his descendants strapping on their kneading bowls at the start of the exodus from Egypt; from God providing bread from heaven (manna) while they trekked the wilderness to the Promised Land, to feeding bread baked on a hot stone to the depressed prophet Elijah centuries later as he fled the murderous Jezebel; from Jesus multiplying a few loaves to feed a crowd that numbered in the thousands, to Him breaking bread at the last supper and telling His disciples, “This is My body, broken for you,” and then breaking bread after accompanying two dejected, puzzled disciples to Emmaus after His resurrection. Bread is mentioned as early as Genesis 3:19.
Bread provides our bodies with needed fiber and vitamin B, which is essential to our digestive system and helps our bodies to use energy. So why does bread get such a bad rap these days?
A loaf of bread made today with refined, “enriched” flour and loaded with preservatives to give it a longer shelf life is nothing like the bread our ancestors ate. We’ve so filled our stomachs with non-nutritional carbohydrates that adding bread to our daily diet overloads our systems. Low-carb diets abound in which bread is a forbidden food.
And so what was once the staff of life becomes a banned substance because we’ve developed cravings for sugars and starches that add the pounds. And because we’ve become such a sedentary society. In biblical times, most people walked wherever they wanted to go. They worked in the fields, raising crops or animals. They lived physically demanding lives. No motorized wheels to help them get around (or wheels on the bottom of desk chairs).
“Why spend money on what is not bread, and your labor on what does not satisfy?” God admonishes us through the prophet Isaiah. “Listen, listen to me, and eat what is good, and your soul will delight in the richest of fare” (Isaiah 55:2).
The richest of fare: God Himself. Jesus said He is the Bread of Life. He provides us with what we need to live healthy spiritual lives, now and for all eternity.
His Word is bread to the spiritually hungry.
“Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God,” Jesus told His tempter in Matthew 4:4, quoting the Old Testament (Deuteronomy 8:3).
God’s Word is our daily bread. Jesus is the Staff of Life. Tell me, do you include Bread in your daily diet? Make me hungry for You, O Lord. Amen.