PARABLES DAY 5 - 8 May 2018

Ben Fourie

“For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” John 6:33

Bread has been one of the most important sources of food for many ages. About 8 000 B.C. a kind of unleavened bread made from ground grain was baked on hot stones. Many stories were written about bread and even a beautiful song called Panis Angelicus, “Bread of the Angels.” This formed part of a much larger song written by Thomas Aquinas with these unforgettable words, ”May the bread of angels becomes bread for all people … the body of the Lord will nourish the poor, the servile and the humble”. In the Old Testament bread played a vital role in the lives of Israel. After they arrived in the Promised Land, the people of God were instructed to set aside seven days in a specific month to eat only unleavened bread as a reminder of their deliverance from slavery in Egypt. In the New Testament there are also many references to bread and even the birthplace of Jesus is called Bethlehem – house of bread.

In the Gospel according to John none of the stories are called parables but many of the stories in John are used like parables to help people understand what Jesus was doing. What we read about in John chapter 6 happened shortly after the miraculous feeding of about five thousand people with only five loaves of barley bread. People heard about this and flocked to Jesus. Jesus was not impressed by this new crowd whom He saw not as people who was astonished by a miracle, but people who only came to see if there would be some bread to be had for free again.

He then spoke the unforgettable words in verse 35: “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.” When someone is dying from hunger and thirst, bread and water will literally be the difference between life and death. In the same way Jesus as the bread and water of life is literally the difference between heaven and hell.

Prayer: Thank you for your body that was broken for my sins.  Amen

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