Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” 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. John 6:32-35 NIV
The Jews were referring to the manna which the Israelites ate during their sojourn in the wilderness. They hadn’t taken enough food to eat in the wilderness and God gave them manna to eat each day. This was God’s miraculous provision for them after leading them out of Egypt and prior to them entering the promised Land. God had sustained them on their pilgrimage.
We too are pilgrims in a barren land and the food of this world doesn’t satisfy the soul that truly hungers after God. Such a hunger can only be satisfied by the bread of heaven. That bread which doesn’t nourish the body, but nourishes the soul so that we’ll never hunger. Jesus said that man shall not live on bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God. (Matthew 4: 4)
The bread of heaven is used synonymously with the Word of God. The Word which sustains our inner being day by day to eternal life. Jesus didn’t come to give us the Word of God apart from himself. He is the Word of God that became flesh. He didn’t come to give us the bread of life apart from himself. He is the bread of life. Our nourishment is found in partaking of his life. The bread of the world is eaten and passes through us, sustaining our physical bodies in this world, but cannot sustain us for what lies beyond. The bread of life sustains us both on our pilgrimage and beyond into eternity.
Give us our daily bread is part of the prayer that Jesus taught his disciples to pray. Only the hungry will eat of the bread of life daily. When we eat too much of the yeast of this world it leaves us with no appetite for the bread of life. How hungry are you for the bread of life? Do you come to him daily to eat of him to be nourished by him? Does he invigorate you? Does he leave you satisfied that you desire none other?