I Am: The Bread of Life • Devotion #4: The Need

An interesting exchange takes place in John chapter 6 between Jesus and “the crowd” of people that followed Him from Capernaum. The previous day a large crowd, we are told there were 5,000 men, had followed Jesus, and was listening to Him teach. When it came time to eat, there was no food except five small loaves of bread and two fish. Miraculously Jesus feeds the large crowd with twelve basketfuls left over. The next day the crowd appears again looking for more miracles and maybe another meal. 

In John 6:26, we read, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves.”  

While they were concerned with a daily provision of bread, Jesus offered them a lifetime supply. Curious, they asked, “What must we do to have this amazing bread?” Jesus said, there is no work, you only have to believe, which the crowd responded with asking for another miracle. God provided what was called “manna” when the Israelites were in the wilderness (Exodus chapter 16) as if that was greater than feeding over 10,000. Jesus responded saying manna was a gift from God that gave daily provision, but His bread was a gift from Heaven that gave life. 

John 6:32-33 continues, “Jesus then said to them, ‘Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father 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.’”

Still thinking that Jesus was talking about bread, the crowd asked for this bread Jesus was talking about. 

Finally, in verses 35-36, we read, “Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.’”

Jesus’ message is simple, He does not ask us to do anything more than believe that He is who He said He was, and that it is only through Him that we can have eternal life. As the Bread of Life, Jesus provides what we all want, what we all need, and what we all can have. However, too often we complicate things because we put what we think we need ahead of what Jesus knows we need.

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