Earthly Bread = Money, friends, relationships, accomplishments, material things, etc.
Bread of Life = Jesus
If you’re human then a lot of times you probably try to satisfy an inner hunger of the heart with “Earthly Bread”. You know…. relationships, accomplishments, material things etc. And if your Christian then you probably already know in your mind that “Jesus will fill your heart”. Why do so many Christians know this in their mind but fail to walk in it, or believe it in their heart? We know that Jesus will satisfy the hunger in our hearts, but we still choose to chase after the things of this world for satisfaction instead of being satisfied with Jesus. Sometimes as Christians we even try to use our faith to get more “earthly bread” to fill the place where the “Bread of Life” belongs Lets take a look at John chapter 6 where some followers of Christ had this mindset.
John 6:1,2 After this, Jesus crossed over to the far side of the Sea of Galilee, also known as the Sea of Tiberias. A huge crowd kept following him wherever he went, because they saw his miraculous signs as he healed the sick.
So here are all these people (over 5000) following Jesus because they’ve seen the miracles that He’s performed in other people’s lives. They see Jesus but they don’t know Him, they’re just following Him because maybe He could satisfy their hunger, maybe He could make them whole just like He did for other people. However, these followers of Christ think that earthly bread will satisfy them…
John 6:11,12 Then Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks to God, and distributed them to the people. Afterward he did the same with the fish. And they all ate as much as they wanted. After everyone was full, Jesus told his disciples, “Now gather the leftovers, so that nothing is wasted.”
Jesus gave the multitude of people the bread that they wanted, the “Earthly Bread”. As a matter of fact the people were actually satisfied with this earthly bread…… temporarily.
John 6:24-26 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him.25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs”
These followers of Christ, or I could even call them Christians, were chasing after Jesus because of the Earthly Bread that He could give them. And while earthly bread is necessary while living on earth (still talking about material things), it can never take the place of the bread of Life, because earthly bread only satisfies temporarily.
(John 6:27 BBE) “Let your work NOT be for the food which comes to an end (EARTHLY BREAD), but for the food which goes on for eternal life (BREAD OF LIFE), which the Son of man will give to you, for on him has God the Father put his mark.”
So according to verse 27, Jesus wants to feed these Christians with another kind of bread, other than the first kind that He fed them. Jesus wanted to feed them bread that would completely satisfy their hunger for eternity. Hold up a sec. Imagine being completely satisfied whether being rich or poor, single or married, having a PhD or a GED etc….. Yeah! That’s the kind of bread that Jesus wants to feed His followers, because earthly bread will come to an end but the bread of life will satisfy forever! These Christians that were following Jesus, however did not believe that Jesus could satisfy them with this bread of life.
(John 6:28 BBE) Then they said to Him, “how may we do the works of God?”
(Remember, Jesus told them to WORK not for food that comes to an end but for food that will last forever. Now they’re asking how to do such a thing.)
(John 6:29 NIV)Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
(So by believing in Jesus, we can partake of this Bread of Life that He offers.)
(John 6:30, 31 NIV) So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.
Jesus had just fed these same 5000 people the day before, from a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread. How quickly did these Christians forget the provisions that Jesus made the day before. Now they need more proof in order to believe that Jesus has the power to fill them with the bread of life. How often do we as Christians allow ourselves to not trust in Jesus to make us complete? And then we ask for signs that will help us believe “well God if you would just give me a job, then I will KNOW that you have the power to satisfy me.”
John6:32,33 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. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
So here Jesus explains to His followers the difference between “earthly bread” and the “Bread of Life”. FINALLY do these Christians understand. Here’s what they say…..
(John 6:34 BBE) Ah, Lord, they said, give us that bread for ever!
(John 6:35 NIV) 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 6:41 NIV) At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said,“I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
“AWWW NAWWW I thought He wuz gona give us some real bread…. how He gona say “I am the bread” what we supposed to do wit dat? How I’m gona pay my bills wit dat? How I’m go a find a spouse wit dat? How I’m gona pass my exams wit dat? Ain’t nobody got time fo dat!!!” Lol! This is what I imagine these followers of Christ grumbling when they found out that Jesus alone is the Bread of Life that will satisfy their hearts forever. How often do we as Christians today do what these followers in John ch6 did? We believe Jesus for earthly bread that will satisfy us for a little while, but do we believe Jesus to be the Bread of Life? Do we believe Jesus to be everything our heart desires? Don’t miss understand me. “Earthly Bread” is necessary when living on “earth” but it will only leave us empty if we don’t first eat the Bread of Life that Jesus offers.
(Matthew 6:33) seek ye first the kingdom of God, and his righteousness; and all these things shall be added unto you.
If we as Christians go after earthly bread without first being content with the Bread of Life then we’ll only try to fill Jesus’ place in our heart with the wrong things, and therefore never be satisfied.
Its possible to live off of the Bread of Life exclusively and be satisfied. But its impossible to be content living off of earthly bread only. In other words if you have Jesus then you have everything. Simply believe that He IS your everything.
Holy Spirit + Victory