NT Connect: John 6:22-70
Weekly Reading: Exodus 16-205
Bread from Heaven
Our reading this week walks us through some of the most memorable moments of the wanderings of the Israelites in the desert: miraculous manna from heaven, water from the rock, Joshua’s defeat of the Amalekites powered by God through the raised arms of Moses, the establishment of a system of justice for the people, and finally the Ten Commandments. God was close to his chosen people, making provision for them at the proper time.
We find an excellent illustration of this truth in the appearance of thin flakes like frost on the desert floor. Manna. Manna literally means What is it? They were to gather it each morning, just enough for the day and a little extra on the sixth day to feed them on the Sabbath. For forty years, God faithfully supplied this hard to describe miracle wafer to sustain his people until they reached the promised land of Canaan.
John 6 begins with the only miracle Jesus did that is recorded in all four gospels. The feeding of the five thousand is also a demonstration of miraculous provision that caused many who ate the loaves and the fish to pursue Jesus for more food to fill them. He answered them with one of the seven “I am” statements Jesus made in the gospels. He said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jesus was the manna, the indescribable provision for their spiritual hunger come down from heaven.
Jesus is the manna for our hunger today. There are certainly deserts we must walk through on our journey to our heavenly home. Dry and desolate places that leave us wondering and wandering. Maybe you are in such a place today. Lonely. Exhausted. Depleted. Only Jesus, the bread of heaven can refresh and restore our battered souls. He is the daily provision, the daily bread that sustains us. Our task is much like the Israelites to seek him each day. He is the provision for our promised land – everlasting life in his presence in the new creation. His shed blood on the cross provided access for us into eternal life where there will be no more deserts and no more hunger. Jesus IS the manna from heaven. Jesus IS the bread of life. He is the indescribable provision for this world and the next.