Why Did Jesus Say, "I Am the Bread of Life"?
"Jesus meant that if you believe in Him, you will not be hungry spiritually!" says Megan, age 11.
Everyone loves good food, though many of us would do better if we loved it less. It's so easy to indulge the appetite of our stomachs while neglecting the hunger for reality in our souls. When we settle for the spiritual cotton candy of the entertainment world, we find ourselves feeling empty and restless.
A modern version of Jesus' statement "Man cannot live by bread alone" might be "Man cannot live by TV alone." The average American consumes more than four hours of television every day. It's unrealistic to expect one meal of spiritual steak and eggs on Sunday morning to offset 28 hours of spiritual junk food throughout the week.
"You will never go hungry" is what Jesus meant, says Kristen, 6. "Jesus gave food to everybody," adds Austin, 7. The day before Jesus said, "I am the bread of life," he multiplied five loaves of bread and two fish to feed 5,000 people. The next day, some of these people looked for Jesus.
"Do not labor for the food which perishes," Jesus told them, "but for the food which endures to everlasting life." (John 6:27)
Some of Jesus’ disciples thought they had to earn what Jesus wanted them to receive as a gift by faith alone. "What shall we do that we may work the works of God?" they asked.
"This is the work of God that you believe in Him whom He sent," Jesus replied.
They were eager to receive more bread to fill their stomachs and took offense when Jesus said, "The bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world." (John 6:51)
"How can this man give us his flesh to eat?" they asked among themselves. Later, they said, "This is a hard saying; who can understand it?" and many walked off. (John 6:60, 66)
Jesus never read "How to Win Friends and Influence People." In fact, so many people left that Jesus asked his 12 disciples, "Do you also want to go away?"
The Apostle Peter's immortal response was: "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life."
Every day, many voices beckon. Only one has the words of life. "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." (Matthew 4:4)
"I think that Jesus meant that He was the life and that the only way to get to heaven and to have eternal life is through Him," says Amanda, 11. "You have to have food to live, and you have to have Jesus to have eternal life."
Bread, at the time of Jesus' ministry, was the essential food for sustaining life. The white goo we call bread probably couldn't sustain a rat. If you've ever traveled to Eastern Europe, you know about real bread.
For those weary of eating spiritual junk food, try starting your day by feasting on Jesus, the Bread of Life.
"The source of life is Jesus, the Christ," says Dana, 10.
Think about this: People often think of eternal life only as living forever, but it's more than that. Eternal life is a person.
Memorize this truth: "And this is eternal life that they may know you, the only true God, and Jesus Christ whom you have sent." (John 17:3)
Ask these questions: Are you related to the source of life? Is Jesus living in you?
Carey Kinsolving is a syndicated columnist, producer, author, speaker and website developer. To see more material like this, visit www.KidsTalkAboutGod.org. The Kids Talk About God website contains free, online content for children and families. See Carey’s Kid TV Interviews. Print free lessons from the "Kids Color Me Bible" and make your own book. Let an 11-year-old girl take you on a trip around the world in the Mission Explorers Streaming Video. Print Scripture verses illustrated by child artists. Receive a complimentary, weekly e-mail subscription to our Devotional Bible Lessons.
Bible quotations in this Bible lesson are from the New King James Version.
Copyright 2013 Carey Kinsolving