Sunday Reflections – Jesus the Bread of God

Sunday Reflection
Rev Dr. Vitalis Anaehobi

Sunday Reflections
Jesus the Bread of God

1. When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there,
they themselves got into boats
and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
And when they found him across the sea they said to him,
“Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered them and said,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
you are looking for me not because you saw signs
but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
Do not work for food that perishes
but for the food that endures for eternal life,
which the Son of Man will give you.
For on him the Father, God, has set his seal.”
So they said to him,
“What can we do to accomplish the works of God?”
Jesus answered and said to them,
“This is the work of God, that you believe in the one he sent.”
So they said to him,
“What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you?
What can you do?
Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written:
He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
So Jesus said to them,
“Amen, amen, I say to you,
it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven;
my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven
and gives life to the world.”
So they said to him,
“Sir, give us this bread always.”
Jesus said to them,
“I am the bread of life;
whoever comes to me will never hunger,
and whoever believes in me will never thirst” (Jn 6:24-35). Taken from today’s Sunday gospel.

2. Today’s gospel is a continuation of last sunday’s one. Last Sunday the crowd followed Jesus because of the healings that he performed and his wonderful teachings. He ended up nourishing them not only spiritually but also physically. Today they dropped their initial noble intention: hearing the word of God and being healed of their diseases and picked up a less noble idea of looking for a free food provider.

3. Jesus addressed them directly on the matter telling them that their intention was no longer noble: you are looking for me not because you want to know God. You are doing this because you want free meal which is perishable. He advised them to purify their intention and concentrate more on goods that last forever. The goods that last forever consist in knowing Jesus as the one whom God has sent and knowing God as one and only God. This knowledge is a transforming one because it reconditions the knower and changes his/her attitude to life.

4. To show that the people understood nothing of what Jesus was saying they pressed him to perform free food miracle for them: “what sign are you going to do for us to believe in you, our fathers ate manna in the desert. So give us something.’ Their minds were still stuck on material things. This provided Jesus with more opportunity to expand his teaching. He spoke to them about the bread of God that came down from heaven which gives life to the world. In this way he implicitly referred to himself as the bread of God, giver of life. But the people could still not give up the idea of free meal. They asked him to give them that very bread.

5. Jesus remained progressive but respectful in moving them from material to spiritual perspective of survival where life depends not just on physical food. He clearly declared to them that the bread is himself.”I am the bread of life. He who comes to shall never hunger. He who believes in me shall never thirst.” Food and drinks are the most basic things for physical survival. By identifying himself as that which satisfies hunger and thirst Jesus explicitly teaches that without him no one can survive. In him is life and without him one should only expect death.

6. You see how Jesus established himself as the most basic necessity for survival. Acquiring this necessity requires two things: coming to Jesus and believing in him. How firm is your trust in Providence, in God’s unfailing power to care for you because you believe in him? Hold on to Jesus. He will keep his promise of sustaining you now and forever for if you have everything without having Jesus you truly have nothing.
@ Vita, 01/08/21.,07033692005.

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