He says He is bread. He says that whoever comes to Him will never hunger, whoever believes in Him will never thirst.
Clearly, the crowd that followed Jesus understood hunger and thirst. We all do. The most well-fed among us and the malnourished both have a concept of hunger. But what does coming to Jesus and believing in Him have to do with satisfying hunger?
His claims only get stranger.
Jesus says that whoever sees Him, and believes, will live eternally. Whoever believes in Him will be resurrected from death.
Then He says that unless the people eat His flesh and drink His blood, they have no part in that eternal life, for they would have rejected the food that sustains eternal life. Eat His flesh and drink His blood…
It’s not just taboo to say such things nowadays – it was then, too. The people didn’t get it. Many of them couldn’t handle it. The crowd dwindled after these shocking words.
I don’t blame you if you are feeling uneasy about these claims, too. They’re hardly logical! When I’m hungry, I usually have a good idea of what satisfies. I don’t want to starve. I don’t even like to feel hungry for more than a few minutes. I open the cabinet or the refrigerator, and I consume whatever I’m craving. Apart from that being the privilege of wealthy societies, that isn’t what Jesus is talking about. That’s our understanding of hunger. We crave, and we seek food, or we seek Starbucks, or we seek out new clothes, or we seek sex, or whatever it is we believe will satisfy our craving. Whatever it is, we tend to diagnose the problem quickly so we don’t have to feel the lack.
But Jesus turns our self-sufficient methods of satisfying ourselves on end; He speaks of a different hunger. A deeper one – the hunger that dwells right under all the other cravings.
The people didn’t even realize they were starving for Him.
Scripture says that in Him, “we live and move and have our being.” He is the foundation of life! He is what we crave.
Jesus is the bread of life. See, and believe.