By Cameron Vickrey
Jesus had just gotten through feeding the five thousand with 5 loaves and 2 fish. The disciples had been looking for him the next day, hoping for more miraculous food. They remembered that in the wilderness with Moses, God provided manna from heaven. Naturally, they assumed this is the next installment of God’s miraculous provision of bread for the people that follow God’s prophet. But Jesus clarifies that this is not the same thing. The sustenance he provides is not just to fill them until the next mealtime. In verse 26-27 he says “You are looking for me…because you ate your fill of the loaves. 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.”
I think we love the idea of being provided for. To have our nourishment rain down from heaven, or multiply out of a small bit of food sounds really great. As someone in a phase of life where I am feeding five mouths, 3 times a day (plus snacks), every day without end, I relish the chance to go back to my own mother’s house and be fed for a while. Being provided for is a gift, it is restful. And isn’t rest what we are seeking in this season?
But Jesus says no… don’t seek temporary provision from me. What Jesus brings is more than that. He doesn’t just bring bread to us, he is the bread of life. “For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Jesus brings us so much more than our next meal. He brings us life!
In a season so focused on celebrating through food, let’s pause to be grateful for the gift that the bread of God brings to us. Life bread, bread that sustains us for eternity. I will gladly rest in that this Christmas.