In America we have an abundant food supply. Everywhere we turn there is a fast food restaurant or convenience store selling prepared food items. Food is cheaper here on the whole than anywhere on earth. Our diets are more varied than most other countries. We simply take food for granted in most American homes. This abundance has led to an intake of many non-nutritious foods. We are an obese nation that has a high incidence of heart disease, diabetes, cancer and other food related diseases. We can and do eat what we want and too seldom eat what we need.
Jesus said in John 6:35, “I Am the bread of life.” He never said He was the steak or chocolate cake of life, but the “bread of life”. Even the poor could have bread. Jesus taught His disciples to pray, “Give us this day our daily bread.” They weren’t instructed to pray for prime rib or twice baked potatoes. They were to pray for their daily needs. That was bread.
Whole grain bread, the kind eaten by the poor in Jesus’ day, was very nutritious. It contained vitamins and minerals and other dietary benefits to enable the people to do daily hard work and suffer few food related diseases. Whole grains, like in good daily bread, are at the foundation of the food pyramid. They are considered to be essentials for a good diet. Our bodies need to eat well to be well.
Jesus, however, wasn’t giving a food promotion campaign for the whole grains council. He was revealing a deeper truth. To survive spiritually we need Him. To live well spiritually we need Him every day. He is to be the foundation of what we live on. We need the nourishment that only He can give to get through each day and through life. We can’t be healthy with just a little Jesus once in a while; we need to feast daily on Him.
Josiah Conder has given us the hymn “Bread of Heaven, On Thee We Feed” to remind us that Christ, the Living Bread, is our essential nutrient for life. “Bread of Heav’n on Thee we feed, for Thy flesh is meat indeed: ever may our souls be fed with this true and living Bread; day by day with strength supplied, through the life of Him who died.”
Daily we hear how important it is to eat the right food to have a healthy life. Jesus is the right food for a healthy Christian life. Feed on the nourishment that only Christ can give and do it every day. He is the Living Bread, the Bread of Life.