JESUS AND MANNA
Jesus said to them, “The bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.” They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life.” John 6:33-35
Jesus revealed Himself as the bread of life which comes down out of heaven. That can be a confusing metaphor if it weren’t linked to the manna the children Israel ate while in the wilderness. The latter was an event His crowd knew well. It was part of their heritage and each generation passed on the miracle story to their children.
If Jesus is the bread, how do I eat of Him? I internalize the parameters of the manna story.
1.) God sent the manna. Moses didn’t. Moses’ prayers were just the catalyst for God to move. Just as God sent manna to sustain physical life, God sent Jesus to birth and sustain spiritual life.
2.) Manna was to be gathered in the morning, enough for that day. Jesus, my daily bread, must be consumed at the beginning of each day. My experience of Him is a daily feast. Yesterday’s meal was for yesterday. Today, I need a new promise and new experience of Him.
3.) Manna had a short shelf life. It would rot if it were more than a day old. Spiritual bread is for today. “Give us this day our daily bread,” Jesus prayed. Consuming words of scripture provides grace for a daily provision. If I obsess about tomorrow’s stress, I will not find grace for that today. I am to live in the moment and if this moment is overwhelming, I can go to my prayer closet and cry out. God’s grace floods over me according to my present need. I can’t hoard that for tomorrow’s worries however. I must take every anxious thought captive and trust that tomorrow’s manna will be sufficient.
God’s people took daily manna for granted. They got tired of it and longed for meat, other breads, fruit, nuts, and herbs. This led to grumbling. God’s daily provision became so commonplace that the miracle of the manna was lost to them.
God’s daily provision of spiritual food can also bring a yawn if I’m not careful. I am not entitled to be fed. I have not earned the right for the Spirit to dwell in my spirit. God does not have to open my eyes each day to the poignancy of His Word. If I can see it, eat of it, live on it, it is all a gift. His mercies are new every morning and if He were not a God who keeps promises, He could easily withdraw it all. Instantly, I would languish in a wilderness void of insight and personal strength. Today, I consume the Bread of heaven and fall on my knees in gratitude for the privilege of doing so.
I hold a personal communion service today. I eat of you, drink of you, and remember the miracle of your coming and the greater miracle of your death so I could live. In Jesus’ name, Amen