BREAD FROM HEAVEN
In John 6 we have the story of Jesus feeding the 5,000. A day later Jesus is being mobbed by a crowd demanding that this ‘magician’ do another miracle for them. They try and spiritualise their request by referring to the manna, or bread from heaven, that God had sent to feed the Israelites in the desert (Exodus 16). Jesus’ reply is blunt; that sort of bread will never satisfy you. They are looking to satisfy their natural desires, but they need to be much more concerned that they have the food that will give them eternal life.
BREAD OF LIFE
‘I am the bread of life,’ He tells them, and if you feed on me you will never hunger again (John 6: 35). What stands before them is much more than a miraculous loaf of bread but the very source of eternal life. He urges them to feed on Him, He is the living bread, sent from heaven to satisfy every need and desire of their hearts (John 6: 48-51). Every time we take the bread at the communion table we are physically sharing in His body broken for us. We remember that the Living Bread was broken so that we could have life in Him (Luke 22:19).
FEED ON HIM
Now, I love bread. It is the hardest thing for me to give up when trying to lose weight! There is nothing so tempting as a fresh loaf of crusty bread, warm from the oven. It looks good and smells wonderful, but if I just set it on the table in front of you and told you to just look and smell, that would be cruel! Bread is to be eaten. The bread of life is the same. He urges us to feed on Him, to have every spiritual and emotional need met (John 6:57). How? Well in the same way as we ingest bread, we need to take Him into ourselves. First, we invite Him to be Lord of our lives, invite Him into our hearts, and accept His gift of eternal life. But then, just as the Israelites needed daily manna, so we need to feast on Him daily, by spending time talking with Him, worshipping Him, and reading and meditating on His word. He is the only thing that can feed our spiritual lives and keep us healthy, strong and growing.
Spend time feasting on Him today.
‘Hywel has asked to be released from work duties while he is here in order to spend his time alone in prayer and fasting.’
‘Probably just thankful for a break from me,’ Philip muttered under his breath, but not so quiet that Julian did not hear it.
The abbot smiled kindly. ‘Not that, brother. I can assure you. Hywel has a very special relationship with God, and when he has been on the road and busy in the world outside of abbey walls, he finds the opportunity to take a day or two, and be in close communion with God, a necessity. He will come back to you when he has finished doing what he needs to do with God.’
THE HEALING p123
Joy Margetts is a published author and blogger. Her books are works of Christian Historical fiction. Set in medieval Wales against the backdrop of Cistercian abbey life, they tell stories of faith, hope and God’s redemptive power. Her debut novel ‘The Healing‘ was published by Instant Apostle on 19 March 2021. Joy has also self- published a short novella, ‘The Beloved‘ as both a companion to ‘The Healing‘, and as an easy to read standalone story, which is available to buy on Amazon Kindle.
‘The Pilgrim‘, her second full length novel, was published by Instant Apostle on 22 July 2022
More information on Joy, and her books can be found here www.joymargetts.com