I am the Living Bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. (John 6:51 KJV)
Nutritionists and dieticians have varying views concerning bread and grains in our diets. One school of thought says that a diet of fruit, vegetables and grains, when joined with other daily disciplines, is the best recipe for good health and weight control. Other camps declare whole grains to be a villainous ogre which cultivates belly fat. Still others think, “All foods in moderation” is best. Yet all agree that food is necessary and that physical exercise is essential for overall good health of the human body.
With proper nutrition, regular exercise and the right amount of sleep we can achieve our peak physical strength and prowess. Without food and exercise, the body will become malnourished and enervated.
Jesus used this common knowledge to reveal the only source of spiritual sustenance: Himself. He adjures us to espouse the urgency of feeding on Him. When under-nourished, our spirits will become weak, while losing their ability to ward off spiritual ailments. Slothfulness in spiritual disciplines (exercise), weakens our resistance to temptation. Robbing our souls of regular Bible Study sets the stage for our faith to falter. When we don’t remain in constant communication and fellowship with God, we may find ourselves in unfamiliar territory with no map-quest or google. We can get lost quickly when we lose sight of our shepherd. The enemy likes it when we become arrogant and view ourselves as spiritual giants, thinking we can make it on our own.
Jesus is our bread for the soul. The ancient power-grains of Jesus’ day had a superior quantity of vital nutrients: Complex carbohydrates chock full of branch chain amino acids (proteins) for good muscle development. It was the staple food of that era, the main source of life giving nourishment. This is the bread Jesus compared Himself to. He’s saying, I am essential to your life. “Without me you can do nothing!” And, “I am the vine and you are the branches.” We draw our life from His.
As a Christian Minister I can get so embroiled in serving others, making certain they are fed spiritually, that I neglect to feed my own spirit. That’s when it becomes requisite to visit our quiet place—spend some intimate, one-on-one time with Jesus. We come away much stronger than we came, at peace, with clear purpose and direction. Jesus is our sole source of every spiritual nutrient.
Just a few meals, will not carry our bodies for the rest of our lives. Likewise we must feed our spirits on a daily basis, exercising our faith, to keep it strong and healthy.
Lord Jesus, help us to remember the importance of remaining in your word, feeding on you daily. May we perpetually submit to doing things your way, following you, rather than our own agendas. Grant us a strong faith and eyes to see you, Amen.