John 6:47-50 Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that a man may eat of it and not die.
When the Bible says, "with food and raiment therewith be content" it is talking about the basic stuff of life, not the extra’s - so that when the Bible speaks about food, it is not talking about a meal, but about bread and water. It is often hard for us to comprehend how prosperous we really are, for it seems that everyone around us has more than bread and water, even the prisoners receive more than this. God never did tell us to count what we don’t have, that’s the devil’s tool, it is nothing less than covetousness, which God gave 2 commandments so as to warn us of its real danger. For those who fall into covetousness, are not only tempted to further sin against neighbors who have what they want, they are also led to sin against God, for they do not honor Him, or worship him, nor do they thank or praise him…. And not only that, but they place self in the center of their world, so that all revolves around what they want, and this ‘other god’ is idolatry.
So bread and water, the necessities of life, have come to have a very important place in our Christian faith, and are fundamental components of our 2 sacraments, Baptism and the Lord’s Supper. By this God reveals to us that these sacraments are the necessities of our spiritual life. But there is more, for God reveals to us that His Word is true food, the stuff by which man can live. How do we know this?
Matthew 4:4But Jesus answered, "It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God." - but Jesus was not saying somehting new, for they are Old Testament words:
Deuteronomy 8:3 "And he humbled you and let you hunger and fed you with manna, which you did not know, nor did your fathers know; that he might make you know that man does not live by bread alone, but that man lives by everything that proceeds out of the mouth of the LORD." And so we are taught to pray:
Matthew 6:11Give us this day our daily bread;
What can our daily bread do for us? Our Old Testament Lesson reminds us how Elijah traveled 40 days and 40 nights, on that bread that God had provided… Is that a miracle, sure. But it is more than a miracle, it is a sign, it points to the wondrous strength of the grace of God, in something as simple as daily bread.
In our Gospel, Jesus reveals to us that He is the bread of life. What does this mean?
That the word and sacraments are real and necessary food.
That our souls need regular nourishment.
That daily reading and studying the Bible is more important than anything else.
For these bodies of ours will perish, and the goods of this world will perish, and knowledge will pass away. And while all the things of this world do not last, our souls are eternal. And if you can daily spend time of special diets, or on exercise of the body and mind –is it not even more important to invest in the proper care of the soul, to exercise the new life in Christ we have been given, and to feast on the grace of God that comes to us in Word and Sacrament. Shouldn’t Jesus, the bread of life, be at the center, and daily be a guide the course of your life?
Jesus is a necessity of life, not an extra….
Luke 14:15When one of those who sat at table with him heard this, he said to him, "Blessed is he who shall eat bread in the kingdom of God!"