Jesus Living Bread
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Jesus Living Bread 70

Five Thousand

Greek Easter Braided BreadLong before the institution in the Scriptures of Holy Communion, Jesus spoke in masked terms of his redemptive work as "the living Bread." He is recorded as saying in John 6.51, "I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever." Jesus is probably referring here to indwelling a person and his presence in them through faith rather than to any sacramental meaning found in the Communion.✞

I AM Name for God

Name of GodLater, the church added other meanings to Jesus words. The phrase, "I am the living bread" is essentially the name for God, "I am," followed by a characteristic of God, "the living bread." These words emphasize the mammoth work and purpose of Jesus who has God's power to nourish and sustain Christians. Jesus' ways are at once so wonderfully simple and yet so mysteriously complex. Not only does Jesus start us on the Christian walk by faith in him but he also brings us into the Mystical Body and becomes our daily spiritual nourishment.

Feeding of the Five Thousand

Jesus feeding the 5000The phrase, "Jesus the Living Bread" probably reminded the people who heard him of the feeding of the five thousand in Galilee in Matthew 14.19-20, "And he (Jesus) directed the people to sit down on the grass. Taking the five loaves and the two fish and looking up to heaven, he gave thanks and broke the loaves. Then he gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. They all ate and were satisfied" Some people would have remembered the miracle of the manna in the wilderness in the Old Testament writings in Exodus 16.4, "Then the Lord said to Moses, 'I will rain down bread from heaven for you. The people are to go out each day and gather enough for that day.'" This manna was a white nourishing food which was miraculously laid upon the desert floor by God each day except for the seventh day. "Manna" is also a sacrament of the spiritual food that God gives. God in his own person is the sustenance of all life.

Incarnate Creator

Modern Bread in PackageJesus the Living Bread exhibited this same provision in the feeding of the five thousand. Just as God created wheat springing from the earth and fish swimming in the sea from nothing at the Creation, so Jesus can miraculously supply both the physical and spiritual needs of his followers in the Mystical Body of Christ.

"Jesus Living Bread"
by Ron Meacock © 2017

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