By Beverly Wages
Scripture Reading: John 6:1-14, 26-27, 33-35, 47-51
This will be a familiar story to many of you. However, I pray it will be a special blessing to all of us, like all of the Word is each time we study, regardless how much we have heard or read it before. I hope you will read the above Scriptures even before you read this lesson. Perhaps later, you can read the entire chapter of John 6, even though it is long.
This account of the Lord feeding the five thousand people, with what started as a very small lunch, is very clear in the first part of our Scripture reading. However, many times today, as it was to the people then, too many will miss the real lesson.
This certainly was a miracle, and could only be done by the Lord; however, He wanted to use it to teach a very important lesson to all that were there (and to us today). Therefore we see in verses 26-27, that the Lord somewhat rebuked the people. He wasn’t correcting them for following Him, but rather pointed out to them that they were following Him for the wrong reason. They only had in mind the way He had increased the food and fed them. In verse 35 He began to teach them the real lesson from this experience.
“And Jesus said unto them, I am the Bread of Life; he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)
This, then, is the real lesson from this Bible account of Christ feeding the five thousand. It was wonderful to see the miracle of increasing the food; it was wonderful that the hungry people could be fed; and it was wonderful there was such an abundance as to have more left over than when He started. However, we must not miss the real teaching here. Christ was and is the Bread of Life. We need the admonition that He gave to the people in verse 27. Here He is telling them that they should not spend all their time and thoughts on the literal bread, or on material things; but rather to seek the spiritual things.
When Christ tells us that He is the Bread of Life, He is speaking of spiritual things. Just as our bodies would become ill without natural food, so our spiritual life will be sickly and weak without the spiritual food. He is our Bread of Life as far as salvation is concerned. He is our Bread of Life as far as our spiritual growth is concerned. Jeremiah said, in Jeremiah 15:16, “Thy words were found and I did eat them …” The Word of Truth becomes this spiritual food for our souls.
If you haven’t received Christ as your Saviour, remember He tells us in verses 47 and 48 that He is that “Bread of Life,” and all who believe on Him have everlasting life. Won’t you receive, by faith, His gift of everlasting life, and then feed upon His Word so that you can grow to be a strong, believing Christian?