It's Saturday night, before Thanksgiving. All-day, I have debated what dish to make for our Thanksgiving feast after church on Sunday. I have combed Pinterest, Instagram, and even my old cookbooks to find a delicious recipe to make for the festivities. Finally, there is it is homemade bread...YUMMY!!!! Little did I know that bread-making would turn into a lesson to learn.
It was not long before the house was filled with the aroma of the first fresh-baked loaves. Lauren had been peeking her head in and out of the kitchen, waiting patiently for the first piping hot buttery slice. As the first loaves come out of the oven, there she was - "can I have the first piece?" she asked. With butter? I asked. Wide-eyed, she anxiously waited as the knife sliced through the hot loaf. Now for truth-telling time - with the first bite, you could see her savor the flavors with every ounce of her senses. Her head began to nod, and then came the smile of approval. Mom, it's really good, DELICIOUS! Mission accomplished - this mom's heart was filled with joy.
As I had started the task of bread-making, the scripture in Matthew 4:4 popped into my head. Here Jesus has just completed a 40 day fast, and Satan is tempting him to turn stones into bread and satisfy his hunger. Jesus responds to Satan that "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds out of the mouth of God." I have to admit, I was a little puzzled as to why this scripture came to mind. I mean, there are so many scriptures about bread; why this one? Was God reminding me of my plans to watch what I eat? There must be a reason and more to it than just a reminder of my goals to get serious about my health.
With the next loaves in the oven to bake, I obediently sat down with my Bible and started reading Matthew 4. It wasn't long before I was led to John 6:48, and the savoring began. I am the bread of life." There it was! In Matthew, Jesus quickly reminded me that I needed to live on every word that proceeded out of the mouth of God. (Yes, it has to do with my goals for a serious physical and spiritual health journey - more on that in the next blog.) But in John, Jesus, the Word (John 1:1) reminded me that he is the Bread of Life. Jesus is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone that eats of this bread will not die. The Living Bread, if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. He is the bread that gave his flesh for the life of the world. (Paraphrased from John 6:50-51)
Oh, but there is more. To get the background of these passages, we have to look back in John chapter 6 to verses 22-40. Jesus has just fed the crowd with loaves of bread, and they have followed him to the next town. He criticized them for following him just to satisfy their physical hunger, for following him for the wrong reason. Jesus tells them that what they need is the bread of life that feeds them, feeds us today, feeds me spiritually. Jesus repeatedly showed the people that he is the bread of life that came from God in heaven to the world, bringing EVERLASTING LIFE to those that believe.
Yes, it's just that simple - BELIEVE! In verse 28, the crowd asked Jesus what they must do to work the works of God? They completely missed it!!! They had the Living Bread right in front of them and completely missed it.
We have the Living Bread right in front of us, and how often do we ignore Him? How often do we look more at the physical benefits over spiritual benefits? All too often, we ask what God wants us to do. We turn to books, podcasts, religion, and the world for the answer. Jesus gave us the answer in a straightforward statement, "...believe in Him whom He sent."
Jesus goes on in verse 29 to answer and say to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." Verse 35, Jesus said, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger..." Verse 40 "And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life and I will raise him up at the last day."
Yes, bread is needed to satisfy our physical hunger. But to satisfy our spiritual hunger, we must not miss Jesus Christ, the Living Bread. Only a relationship with Him will sustain our everlasting spiritual life. As good bread should be savored and enjoyed with every ounce of our senses, so the Word of God should be savored and wanted the same.
I am so thankful that I can invite Jesus into my daily walk to sustain my spiritual life. If you don't have this relationship with Jesus Christ, don't wait! It's time to savor the Bread of Life.