Scripture: John 6:41-51
Key verse: (51) “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats of this bread will live forever; and the bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
Reflection: Light of the World. Gate for the Sheep. Good Shepherd. True Vine. In the gospel of John, Jesus uses all of these images to describe himself and his mission in the world. Each time he declares “I am …” Perhaps we are reminded of God appearing to Moses in the burning bush and responding to the question about God’s name by saying “I am who I am.” God is the ground of being. God is the one who was, and is, and is to come.
After feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish, Jesus said “I am the living bread.” Jesus was making a claim about himself as the sustenance of humanity. For many cultures, bread is central. An available, affordable staple used to scoop up meat and vegetables. Whether it’s Wonder Bread for a peanut butter and jelly sandwich, or a corn pupusa filled with beef and peppers, or a piece of naan to scoop up the curry sauce, bread is a staple and not an extra. (Except in our low-carb world of nutritional awareness, but that wasn’t true in the first century.)
Is Jesus a staple in your life or an extra? Do you trust Jesus with your entire life, all you have and all you do? Do you base all of your decisions on what it means to be a faithful disciple following Jesus? Do you depend on Jesus to guide you and do you pray that you might be more like Jesus in every way? Or do you treat Jesus like an extra? Maybe nice to have around on the edge of your life. Maybe an occasional wise teacher when you are trying to figure something out. Maybe a person to think about for an hour or two on Sunday.
Jesus said “I am the living bread.” He is the abundant bread that will nourish the world. He is the wisdom and guidance from God, a living Word full of grace and truth. He is the one who will give himself for us on the cross, his body broken and his blood poured out in unconditional love. Let us trust him with our lives.
Prayer: Dear Lord, I confess that sometimes I treat you like an extra, an afterthought, a detail. Become the center of my life. Teach me to trust in you and to follow you faithfully. Amen.
Author: Millie Snyder
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].