Bread, according to Google, is “food made of flour, water, and yeast or another leavening agent, mixed together and baked.”[1]

Almost every human who has ever lived has at some point of time tasted bread. So important to life and so common to mankind is bread that it is an ever-present staple at mealtime.

Bread can often refer to physical food in general or even to that which one needs or uses to procure food – such as “money.” Bread and water are the two basic and irreducible substances needed for the sustaining of life. Without one or the other, life eventually ceases. Overtime, bread has come to represent “food” that sustains life.

Bread is so necessary to life that men have gone to amazing lengths to procure it – entire armies have marched in its strength and died in its protection.

But for most of us in the modern age, bread has lost its primary place in our lives. It has become a side dish that precedes the main course or at times accompanies it as a supplemental item gracing our table. We toast it and cover it with butter or jam. We dip it in oil and vinegar.

But we would not usually see bread as central to our lives or to our meals. We have lost the sense of the essentiality of bread to life.

No one in Jesus’ day would have viewed bread in this way. It was central and essential for life.

And it is in this sense that Jesus identifies Himself as the bread which gives life and sustains the life it has produced.

John 6:22-35 is an incredible revelation that Jesus makes to spiritually famished people.

Earlier in the chapter, Jesus has multiplied bread enough for 5,000 people. And not just a crust or a crumb or two – each person had enough. More than enough to eat until they could eat no more. So much bread that when it was all said and done, the disciples picked up twelve baskets of leftover pieces of the loaves that had been broken by hungry hands.

In this context – bread that had fed and satisfied an immense and hungry crowd – Jesus announced that He was the bread that came down from Heaven to be broken so hungry souls could be filled, and famished, dying people could live!

Jesus Himself is that bread. He is not the dispenser of a bread that can satisfy – He Himself is the bread. Apart from Him, there is no life. However, He is not some Heavenly side dish to be enjoyed with the main course – He is the main course!

He is our food – a food from God that can do much more than the bread Moses called down from Heaven. That bread from Heaven – as sweet and amazing as it was and as nourishing as its effect was – could in the end only sustain life. It had to be consumed repeatedly or one would hunger again.

Jesus is an entirely different sort of bread come down from Heaven. A better bread than Moses’ manna.

Jesus imparts life. He sustains life. And He alone makes life sweet.

There is an astonishing strength that springs from this bread. Its sustaining power is matchless, and it is sweeter than the richest food known to man.

So eat this bread – freely. Enjoy it daily. Eat till you are fully satisfied. And go, live in the strength it supplies.

[1] If you Google “bread,” you will find this definition.

Sam Horn

Posted by Sam Horn

Dr. Sam Horn is the EVP for enrollment and ministerial advancement at Bob Jones University in Greenville, SC. Prior to BJU, Sam served at Central Baptist Theological Seminary, Northland International University, and various churches in Minnesota, Wisconsin, South Carolina, and Tennessee. Sam and his wife, Beth, have two children - one is married and one is in high school.