Our human eyes need to open up to the glorious Kingdom of God, and metaphors, as they are widely used in the Scripture, are necessary for us to see differently because the Kingdom of God requires new eyes to see. And in our desire to better understand the Word of God, we also need metaphors to get a glimpse of what Jesus sees. As such, by proclaiming Himself the Bread of Life, He wants us to recognize how bread represents His all-satisfying and perpetually nourishing love for everyone.
Those who don’t understand their significance are slowly dying. But where do we look for our significance? This yearning leaves us starved, and over time, dead. The enemy comes to kill and destroy, as it’s written in John 10:10. One of the devil’s strategies is to make us focus on ourselves and rely on our strength to find importance—self-focus and self-importance that ultimately leave us hungry for more.
Let’s consider for a moment the Israelites, who were oppressed and overlooked. They’re seeking not only freedom from tyranny, but they’re also seeking a place of restoration, a place of honor and importance before God. Jesus sparked hope in what He did and what He said during His time with the Israelites. In John 6:14, the people even exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”
They were hungry physically because they’ve been following Him, listening to Him, and hoping to get close to Him. But we can see here that it’s more than just physical hunger. In John 6:26-27, Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.
The True Bread of Life
Jesus says His bread is doing the work the Father sent Him to do. By using the metaphor of bread, He tells us that we should open our eyes to the way of the Kingdom of God because the Son of Man gives us this bread for our nourishment.
Jesus will never leave us hungry, and He will always satisfy us.
In John 6:28-29, as people gather and ask God how to be a part of the work of the Kingdom, Jesus replied, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” God the Father offers us the true bread from heaven, the One who gives life to the world. Jesus is basically saying, “I am the Bread. I give life so no one will be hungry again.” And reading how the crowd responded—“give us that bread every day.”—we can learn that this is what they are hungering for, the true bread of life.
All other sources of significance and power would only make us continue to look and seek. But Jesus provides us reasons to stop looking for by giving us a confirmation of our place in God. That’s why we no longer hunger for all other sources of significance.
What an amazing proclamation when He said in verse 35, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Jesus worked so hard during His time here on earth to ensure that not one person will be left on their own searching for significance. Jesus already secured our place of importance. That is the food that sustains us.