Monday 2 March 2009
Bible in a Year: Numbers 8,9; Acts 16
Bread for life
‘Father God, as I read the words spoken by your Son, may I open my mind and my heart to you. Please help my understanding today and all this week. Amen.’
Jesus answered, ‘The work God wants you to do is this: Believe the One he sent.’
John 6:29 (NCV)
In most countries of the world bread has always been an important part of people’s diet. Jesus is saying that he has the same central importance to the spiritual life as bread has to the physical: ‘I am the bread that gives life’ (v 35).
But the crowd would rather see some more miraculous signs, like the feeding of the 5,000 men (vs 1–13,30). And when Jesus talks about bread from heaven, which is better than the manna the Hebrews collected each morning while wandering in the desert with Moses (v 31; see Numbers 11:6–9), they are keen to get this free bread. Perhaps they are imagining a pleasant, lazy existence (v 34) – as we do too sometimes!
The ‘bread’ Jesus talks about involves trust in God’s word: belief in Jesus having been sent by God, and faith that what he says is true. It is easy to let Jesus’ words wash over us without thinking about them and taking them in so that they are part of us. Busy lives and little time to be quiet make meditation difficult. Perhaps taking one verse at a time would help?
Think about verse 37. How does this reassure you that we need not be shy in coming to Jesus?