Fellow Disciples of Christ
” Jesus, the Bread of Life’ (John 6:35)?”
Bread was the essential food of the ancient Israelites. Indeed, the very word “bread” could be used generically for any kind of food. Bread in the Bible functions as a social bond. The giving of bread to another is a major element of hospitality and serves as a sign of respect and concern (Gen 14:18)
In the Old Testament, bread is the symbol of fertility, and in the New Testament, bread is associated with miracles, as when Jesus fed the multitudes with loaves and fish. The symbolism here is that of God’s grace…… In Judiasm, “matzoh,”an unleavened bread, is eaten to commemorate this time of exile. “I am the Bread of Life” (John 6:35) is one of the seven “I Am” statements of Jesus. Jesus used the same phrase “I AM” in seven declarations about Himself. In all seven, He combines I AM with tremendous metaphors which express His saving relationship toward the world. All appear in the book of John.
In Mark’s gospel, we are taught that Jesus is the bread for the whole world. Not only is Jesus the giver of bread, but Jesus is the bread Himself. Luke, the only Gentile writer of the entire Bible, had something to say about bread…. The gospel writer emphasizes the spiritual significance of bread along with its physical qualities.
The New Testament uses bread as a rich theological metaphor. As God supplies bread, so he will also supply righteousness to his people (2 Cor 9:10). Above all, Jesus himself is the bread of life; he is the sustenance from God that gives eternal life (Jn 6:25-59). Christians thus partake of Christ’s body in the bread of the Lord’s Supper. In this, they remember his sacrificial death and celebrate the eternal life he supplies (Matt 26: 26-29).