Bread of Life
Updated: Aug 31
If you've been in my yoga classes, you know I spend the first 3-5 minutes teaching breath practice or what we refer to in yoga as pranayama in Sanskript. Breath is an amazing gift of God to manage stressful situations beyond our control, and to train our minds to focus in the midst of a multi-tasking world.
I occasionally reference the rule of 3's (see below) in my Yoga Classes to help participants understand the nourishing importance of our breath. As a believer, I'm fascinated by the spiritual aspects of breath, for instance God formed us in His image and "breathed" life into us. (Genesis 2:7)
Today I'd like to focus on what we need much more than anything mentioned in the rule of 3's- Jesus. In the Biblical book of John (Chapter 6) Jesus says He is the Bread of Life. I haven't spent much time studying this topic in the past- maybe because until I studied it recently, I thought it was merely a phrase. In reality, Jesus spends about 37 verses on the subject (John 6:22-59)
Jesus says "I am the Bread" more than once during His teaching here, clearly a concept He'd like us to wrap our head around so here we go! Let's start by seeing what happened BEFORE the story.
On the previous day- Jesus fed a crowd of 5000, in addition to healing and ministering to a crowd all day and into the evening - a crowd that had walked to a very desolate place to be with Jesus. This story happens on the following morning. Now mind you - Jesus had sent the crowds away the previous evening, but we find in this story that at least some of the people were affected enough to stay- even with no place to eat breakfast. Jesus had gone across the Lake to Capernaam, and once the crowd woke up and realized this they followed.
Here's the first thing that caught my attention- just yesterday these people walked to a desolate place to check out Jesus and scored a front row seat to one of the most famous miracles of Jesus, the feeding of the five thousand. Not to mention the healings that were performed all that day. So what do they ask the following morning in verse 30? "Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you”... Ummm what?!? Suddenly the miracle of multiplying bread which got their attention so completely that they stayed overnight in the middle of nowhere now wasn't enough to warrant their faith? All they really wanted right now was bread- physical bread; but Jesus had come to offer them so much more, a "food" that never perishes. He came to be so much more to us than a meal ticket.
To their credit- the crowd seems to know their history. They let Jesus know that their ancestors were given manna in the wilderness, and that it fell from heaven. Kind of sounds like a jab at Jesus though "Hey, teacher, giving miracle bread isn't new- and it was done daily for our ancestors. So if you don't give us the bread we want again today, right now.... our way.... well maybe you aren't as special as we thought you were.
Jesus continues to draw their attention away from their desire for physical bread to the eternal Bread in front of them. He reminds them in this passage that yes, their ancestors ate bread in the Wilderness- and died (vs 49). He shared that He was offering Himself as the Living Bread that came down from Heaven.
Down from heaven? The unbelief spreads through the crowd. "Is this not Jesus, the Son of Joseph?"
These people have the same choice that we have today. Have you ever thought that maybe that if only you'd lived during the earthly ministry of Jesus, surely you'd have believed? Not so. The people of that time were tempted and swayed by the lure of unbelief just as we are today. Jesus spent a lot of time teaching here delivering a messages such as the following: • I am the bread of life, whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst • Whoever comes to me I will never cast out • For I have come down from heaven not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. • For this is the will of My father, , that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I w
ill raise Him on the last day •Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father who comes to me • Whoever believes has eternal life • Do not work for the food that perishes, but for food that endures to eternal life which the Son of Man will give to you
If you aren't familiar with the idea of "Eternal Life"- this is not in the physical sense, no one is disputing that there will be a funeral and your body will lie in a casket to decay or or as ashes in an urn. We are not our physical bodies- we have a soul. We live within our body, but it's only a shell- it isn't who we are. And our soul has an opportunity for everlasting life with God when we seek Jesus as our personal Bread of Life. What we need more than anything in the Rule of 3's.
I think the heart of this story is actually found most clearly in verse 28. The people ask what they should do, to be doing the works of God. Jesus provides a very clear and direct answer, and the rest of the chapter is spent explaining & expanding this point, using their physical hunger for bread to repeatedly make His point. So, how did Jesus answer? "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent"
As the empty grocery stores remind us of our need for bread, I pray you will not neglect to seek the Bread of Life. May you draw close to Jesus today.
March 24, 2020
The Rule of 3's According to Wikipedia: Normally, the rule of threescontains the following: You can survive threeminutes without breathable air (unconsciousness generally occurs), or in icy water. You can survive threehours in a harsh environment (extreme heat or cold).