A Word for Today | John 6:33
After Jesus performed the great miracle of feeding the five thousand with five loaves and two fish – one of the few miracles recorded in all four Gospels – he tied the event to a message about Himself. The people were excited because, like in the days of Moses, they had eaten bread from God. Jesus told them: “The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (Jn. 6:33). Here is an image that is filled with meaning for believers in Jesus.
First, in the same way that our bodies depend on bread, Jesus is necessary for the life of our souls. J. C. Ryle writes: “We can manage tolerably well without many things on our table, but not without bread. So it is with Christ.” I am sure that many of us have realized this necessity during the coronavirus shutdown. We have been deprived of many things. But our spirits can manage so long as we enjoy communion with our Savior.
Also like bread, Jesus is suited for everyone. Caviar is not a food that pleases all (I, for one, have never tried it.) But there is a reason restaurants place bread on every table before we even order from the menu. Whether you are young or old, well or sick, Jesus is a Savior suited for you – to forgive your sins and give you life from above. For this reason, third, like bread in the ancient world, Jesus is our daily need. It is not enough to meet with Jesus just one day of the week – our souls need Jesus like our bodies need bread to be strong and healthy.
Fourth, just as bread must be chewed and swallowed, Christians feed on Christ by faith. He said: “Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that comes from the mouth of God” (Mt. 4:4). Just as children’s hearts are fed by loving words from their parents, and as an army feeds on the brave words of its leaders, the Word of Christ feeds the soul of every man, woman, and child who believes.
Fifth, we remember how when Jesus spoke of His death for our sins, He broke bread and gave it to His disciples. Likewise, Jesus is the bread of life because He was broken on the cross for our sins. Knowing this means that you are never without God’s love and your sins will never separate you from God’s blessing. May Christ Himself sustain you during our days of trials, for He is the “bread of heaven” who “gives life to the world.”
In Christ’s Love,
 J. C. Ryle, Expository Thoughts on the Gospels: John, 3 vols. (Edinburgh: Banner of Truth, 1999), 1:370.