“25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
This is one of the great passages in John’s gospel. Here, we are given insight into the various and personal ways God meets people’s needs.
In the wilderness, the people were physically exhausted, hungry, and thirsty. What they needed to revive their spirits and trust of God was physical nourishment. Nothing else mattered until that basic need was met. God gave the Israelites bread or manna to satisfy the needs of the body.
For the Jews in John’s day, physical hunger was not the issue. Their exhaustion was a spiritual one. Under the oppressive rule of the Romans they had prayed to God for deliverance. Many generations had died with that unfulfilled prayer on their lips. Like one’s inability to walk another mile when one’s legs are too heavy to move from fatigue and a lack of nourishment, the Jews were struggling to find the spiritual energy to pray or even to trust in God.
In Jesus, God gave them (and all of us) “bread” to satisfy the needs of worn and weary souls. This “bread,” like the manna in the wilderness, was a direct gift from God. What we must never forget is that what God so graciously gives will always be exactly what God’s people need .
Be a blessing to someone today!