I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. — John 6:35
I have an old beat-up and marked-up copy of Thomas Watson’s All Things for Good, which I read often. Somehow I misplaced it weeks ago and had been hoping it would turn up. I finally came across it. Watson penned this book back in 1663. It is brief but weighty and never fails to yield manna. I just took a minute or two to flip carefully through the pages that could use some Scotch tape on the binding. As I did so, I saw a verse Watson referenced that immediately struck me. The verse is Job 22:21, and Watson rendered it,
Acquaint now thyself with God, and be at peace, thereby good shall come unto thee.
I want to give you four principles that will better acquaint you with God, the Father, and His Son, the Lord Jesus Christ. These four truths will keep you going in any wilderness. They will also enable you to be at peace and thereby good shall come unto you. They have certainly had that effect on me.
1. He cares and He carries.
2. He promises and He performs.
3. He acts and He accomplishes.
4. He forgives and He forgets.
All of those principles are found in John 6. And the centerpiece verse of John 6 in my opinion is verse 35:
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst.’
In other words, Jesus is the only manna you need in any and every level of your life.
That means you can depend on Him in any crisis or emergency in every aspect of your life. Nothing is too small or insignificant for Him to take notice and be available to you. If it concerns you, it concerns Him. His eye is always upon you, and He has written your name in the palm of His hand (Isaiah 49:16).
Philip Ryken wrote,
Manna had the educational purpose of teaching them to depend of God for all their needs. Later Moses explained that although manna was a physical miracle, its purpose was to teach the spiritual lesson that God is the source of all our life. The prophet said, He humbled you, causing you to hunger and then feeding you with manna, which neither you nor your fathers had known, to teach you that man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).1
In John 6:48-50, Jesus declared again that He is the Bread of Life. He did not repeat something to fill in space. He did it for emphasis, and He did it to make a point. He wants us to understand that He is not only the Creator of life but the Sustainer of life. He is the Bread of Life — all of your life. He wants us to get this.
Here’s the passage in fuller form:
I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. And the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh. — John 6:48-51 ESV
Ryken observed the greater point:
Jesus knew that our deepest needs were not physical, but spiritual… By feeding them bread He had demonstrated that he was the new and greater Moses. But the physical bread was not important. What was important was Jesus himself, who is the source of all spiritual life… Jesus could do much more than multiply the bread. He was talking about Himself, obviously. He was the bread, the spiritual bread from Heaven that gives life to the world.2
Jesus’ words in those verses are what make it possible for our sins to be forgiven and for us to know that we have eternal life. Sometimes we are so stressed by our immediate difficult circumstances in the wilderness that we forget our time on this earth is brief. I am sure you have done this, and so have I. We get so hyper-focused on our immediate needs, emergencies, and exigencies that we completely lose sight of the big picture, which is that when we believe the good news of the gospel that Jesus came and died for us and gave His body and blood for the forgiveness of our sins, we are at that moment given eternal life. If He has given you eternal life and you are in a crisis that requires an immediate well-timed help, you can count on Him to give it to you. If He has promised to take care of you for eternity, why would He not take care of your immediate need? Why would He not give you the manna you need to sustain your life right now?
Don’t try to reason how He will send the manna. That’s a sheer waste of energy. You never can predict what He will do or how He will do it. Just tell Him about it and get yourself busy doing the next legitimate thing that needs your attention and focus. Get to work and don’t try to figure out how He will take care of you.
- Philip Graham Ryken, Exodus: Saved for God’s Glory (Wheaton, IL: Crossway, 2005), 428–29.
- Ibid., 429.
Excerpted with permission from Manna: When You’re Out of Options God Will Provide by Steve Farrar, copyright Steve Farrar.
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We can depend upon Jesus, the Bread of Life, for any and all of our needs. Nothing and no one else will satisfy. In a time of crisis that requires an immediate well-timed help, He is there. He has promised to take care of us not just for eternity, but also for our immediate needs. What are depending on Him for today? Come join the conversation on our blog. We want to hear from you! ~ Devotionals Daily
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