True Bread and Living Water

If you haven’t already discovered my site, this is a health blog all about improving quality of life through food choices.  Well, I’m going to start by telling you good food and clean water is not enough.  I’m sorry to disappoint you, but even the most perfect nutritional regimen and cleanest water is not enough to produce the kind of life and vitality God intended for man.  What man really needs is “true bread and living water,” the real recipe for life.  The Bible explains how to get them both.

In the beginning of John Chapter 6, a great multitude of people began following Jesus because they witnessed miracles of healing he performed on those with diseases.  The crowd had traveled so long to hear him speak that Jesus thought to feed them and asked his disciples where they could get food.  All they could muster up was 5 barley loaves and two small fish, enough for maybe 2 or 3 people at the most.  But by the power of God it was miraculously transformed into enough to feed thousands with 12 baskets of left-overs to spare.  After retreating on the sea of Galilee, the crowds sought him again on the other side and he said

John 6:26-27

...Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.

Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.

Their response to this was to ask Jesus for another sign so they could believe in him, a sign like the one Moses performed in the Old Testment record of Manna (divine bread) being given to the people of Isreal in the wilderness.

John 6:32-35

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven.

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.

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.

The people were only interested in Jesus because he filled their bellies.  Jesus pointed them away from the here and now and offered them something eternal, security for their future, on earth and beyond.

John 6:40

And this is the will of him that sent me, that every one which seeth the Son, and believeth on him, may have everlasting life: and I will raise him up at the last day.

It’s God’s will for people to have eternal spiritual life, not only physical life.  A healthy physical life is still incomplete without spiritual life from God.  

John 6:47-51

Verily, verily, I say unto you, He that believeth on me hath everlasting life.

I am that bread of life.

Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead.

This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die.

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.

In the last verse, Jesus says that the bread he will give for the life of the world is his flesh.  Not long after that he, this perfect Son of God was tortured and executed as an innocent man.  His death paid the penalty for the sin of an ungrateful world in order to provide forgiveness, reconciliation with God and eternal life for those who would recieve it.  He gave his flesh and Jesus is asking people to “eat” him.  It sounds pretty crazy and if you read the rest of the record you’ll see that it upset quite a few of his followers.  Good thing his disciples understood he was speaking figuratively, or else the last supper would have looked more like a cannibalistic tribal ceremony instead of a farewell dinner.  When you eat something you take it into your body to utilize it for nourishment, growth and/or comfort.  Jesus Christ can be all of that for us, meeting our physical, spiritual and emotional needs.  You have probably heard the expression “You are what you eat.”  Well, we can feast on Jesus until we become like him.  

You would think that after following Jesus so far and watching him perform so many miracles that his disciples wouldn’t be so quick to leave him.  But this teaching was a little to much for them...all they wanted was some more of the old bread.

John 6:66-69

From that [time] many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him.

Then said Jesus unto the twelve, Will ye also go away?

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.

And we believe and are sure that thou art that Christ, the Son of the living God.

What would you answer Jesus?  Will you also go away or will you be like Peter and say, “to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life.  And we believe and are sure that thou art the son of the living God.”

So what else could we possibly need with “the living bread”?  Well, how about some “living water” to wash it down.  Jesus is offering that on the menu as well.  In John, chapter 4, there is a story of a Samaritan women who met Jesus at the well.  He asks her for some water and she questions why he is asking her, since she is a Samaritan and he is a Jew. (Those two people groups were enemies at the time.)

John 4:10-11; 13-14

Jesus answered and said unto her, If thou knewest the gift of God, and who it is that saith to thee, Give me to drink; thou wouldest have asked of him, and he would have given thee living water.

The woman saith unto him, Sir, thou hast nothing to draw with, and the well is deep: from whence then hast thou that living water?...

Jesus answered and said unto her, Whosoever drinketh of this water shall thirst again:

But whosoever drinketh of the water that I shall give him shall never thirst; but the water that I shall give him shall be in him a well of water springing up into everlasting life.

That’s pretty cool.  Instead of having to search for outside sources of water, Jesus offers us an inside source that is always pure and never dries up, but just keeps springing up into eternal life.  What do we have to do to get it?  Just ask.  It is the gift of God.

So what is true bread and living water?  It’s fellowship with Jesus Christ and the indwelling of the gift of holy spirit.  How do you get it?  Well in the words of Jesus, “...he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.”  So come to him (read the gospel and New Testament Bible records to learn all about him, seek friends who know him already, leave behind the things that would keep you from him, and pray to know him better) and then...believe in him.  Trust who he said he was, what he said he did for us and what he promises to come.  That’s it...it’s so simple...but it is the beginning of a new life.  Once you’ve tasted this recipe for life you’ll want to share it with others.  Why go through life with standard fare when you can have the full meal deal with Christ?  With out him, you’ll only be hungering and thirsting for more.