Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.
Hands down, my favorite smell is fresh bread baking in an oven.
That smell itself is a gift; but, then, cut that fresh bread and slather it with butter (or divinity, as we call it in the Forrest household), and, yes, I believe it is divine.
I could write a whole page extolling the virtues of this very healthy, complete food, when made with the right kind of whole grains.
However, that is not my purpose.
When I think of bread and Jesus, my mind wanders to His first great temptation as His 40 days of fasting in the wilderness are coming to a close.
Jesus was hungry.
Satan came to tempt Him.
Don’t you know when He pointed at the stones and invited Jesus to turn them to bread, the temptation came complete with the smell of freshly baked bread wafting across Jesus’ nose?
Satan attempted a brilliant power play – “Come on, Jesus, this is no big deal. We both know you can do this with a snap of the fingers.”
However, THIS was a big deal for Jesus.
THIS temptation wasn’t just about the “lusts of the flesh” – the desire for food.
THIS temptation was all about following God’s will.
Later, Jesus was overheard saying, “My food is to do the will of Him who sent me.”
The wilderness wasn’t just about temptation.
The wilderness was also for preparation.
Preparation for the fulfillment of God’s will.
By saying “no” to bread-eating, Jesus was saying “yes” to bread-being.
Without no-saying, there could be no cross.
Without no-saying, Jesus couldn’t be my source of sustenance.
By turning down turning stones to bread, Jesus chose MY NEED OVER HIS NEED...all because HE LOVED ME WITH SUCH GREAT LOVE!
His hunger needs came second to my hunger needs.
His “no” on that day allowed Him to say “yes” to me on another day.
On November 22, 1970, I ate of the bread of life, and I am still full.
I am still sustained.
In fact, I am more than satisfied in Jesus.
Which leads to this one other thought that crossed my mind:
Jesus’ “no” affected my entire future.
It affects each day as I awake...
As I partake of my daily bread...This question looms:
Whose hunger am I thinking of ahead of my own?
How might some of my “yeses” possibly affect the tomorrow of someone else?
How do I consciously bring THE BREAD OF LIFE to others as the answer to their deep HUNGER.
Our world is in a crisis of spiritual famine.
Folks are dying of starvation all around us.
Metaphorically, I have the BREAD OF LIFE baking in my oven consistently...fresh, nourishing, life-saving!
It can change everything for one of those in need.
Will I just keep it for myself?
Selfishly, hang on to it just for me?
Stick it in my freezer and hoard it?
Just as Jesus took the small measure of bread from the young man on the hillside near Jerusalem and broke it, gave it, and gathered up more....there is more than enough Jesus, THE BREAD OF LIFE, to be shared around the world.
Sharing our Bread changes everything!
How about you?
It’s just a thought...