Links Daily Devotional

Our Sustenance

“I am the bread of life… Here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (John 6:48, 50-51, NIV)

Lee Trevino once famously said, “There are two things that won’t last long in this world, and that’s dogs chasing cars and pros putting for pars.” In other words, if a golfer wants to survive on the Tour, he’d better be making birdies.

If you asked the average person living on our planet what they need to survive, the answer would be desperate. They need clean water and a meal. Worldwide, that is far less common than we typically allow our minds to accept. Yet it is true that if the guns stop firing and a family is allowed a season of peace and a normal weather pattern, they will find a way to scratch out the necessities. They will eat and live another day.

Jesus recognized poverty. He spoke—and His disciples wrote—in regular favor of the poor. And yet Jesus also relentlessly taught that the greatest need of humanity stretched beyond a square meal and a dry bed. He taught that if a man or woman or child were to live forever, they would need a well that does not run dry and bread that sustains their souls.

Jesus was teaching in this way when we run across the account in John 6, a daunting passage when we consider the response it elicited. For by the time Jesus was done with these words—that His flesh and blood were necessary for eternal life—many had chosen to walk away from Him for good.

Their mistake, perhaps, was that they saw the onus as their own. They would have to do the eating and the drinking of this man they could not comprehend. What they missed was that Jesus was emphasizing His own coming brokenness and His own advancing bloodshed. These were what people would need if they wanted to live with the God of heaven; they are what we need now. Sharing in Jesus’ suffering is certainly our calling—but it is really His suffering and really our sustenance, the only way to lasting life. Why would we not partake in that?

Jeff Hopper

November 18, 2011

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