Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” John 6:35-40
The other night, in the midst of studying for nursing school, my wife looked up from her textbook and said, "I think you have Prader-Willi syndrome." Just like that, she went back to reading without explaining what horrible disease was plaguing my body. So, I did what any semi hypochondriac would do; I headed over to WebMD to self-diagnosis myself.
A quick scan at the symptoms (and Jenn's uncontrollable laughter) made me realize she was teasing me about my insatiable appetite. For those that don't know (which I would assume is many of you), people with Prader-Willi want to eat constantly because they never feel full. I mean she's not wrong. If my career as a writer doesn't pan out, my fall back plan centers on becoming a competitive eater. I have no off switch. I can eat anyone under the table. I'm always hungry and never satisfied.
Jesus frequently spoke about a different type of hunger and thirst - a spiritual one. Satisfying our appetite with the things of this world leaves our belly growling for more. Nothing can quench our thirst or make those hunger pains disappear.
Throughout the Gospels, Jesus attempted to give His disciples, as well as the crowds that followed, a way to grasp who stood before them. Often, it came in the form of "I am..." statements. In today's passage, Jesus calls Himself "the bread of life."
Bread, you say? Now, you've got my attention. A claim like that would also perk up the ears of the Jewish crowd. He already had a captivated audience, having just pulled off a culinary miracle by feeding 5,000 people with five loaves and two fish.
To them, bread wasn't a mere side item that came out with the salad and appetizers. It served as a food staple that people lived on, a part of their diet that sustained life. Bread also played a part in their faith journey. From the time they were young, they had heard the Exodus story about their forefathers wandering in the wilderness and God daily providing them with manna.
However, unlike the manna that satisfied the Israelites for a while, Jesus says those who look to Him will never be thirsty or hungry again. This goes deeper than a mere intellectual understanding of Jesus. We can't just nibble by recognizing the truth; we have to chow down by putting what we know into practice. Fulfillment requires real faith and action.
As we continue to trust, we continue to be fed. His Word provides nourishment for our soul. The cravings for purpose, meaning, security, and contentment will dissipate. We will be beyond full.
Where are you looking to satisfy your soul apart from Christ? Is that pursuit leaving you with a full heart?
What would it look like to find your contentment in Christ in this area?
God, Thank you for your constant provision in my life. I am satisfied in You. I will fill myself up by digging into Your word and let that sustain my faith. In Your name, Jesus. Amen.