There was once a time when the world knew not of its Savior. Yet there was hope because it had been foretold that a child would be born and called Emmanuel – God is with us. In Lent, we prepare for his coming anew. During this season, we discover for ourselves the call of salvation and the promise of eternal life.
The Gospels tell the story of Jesus feeding the multitude. A crowd of five thousand people following Jesus had gathered with him at a mountainside. Among then, they possessed five loaves of bread and two fish. Jesus told his disciples to settle the crowd. Then, he took the food and shared it with the crowd—all five thousand of them. When he was finished, the disciples collected the leftovers, twelve baskets full of bread. The people were amazed and thought of Jesus as a prophet.
The next day the crowd went in search of Jesus who had crossed the lake the evening before. When they found Jesus, he chastised them for seeking him out not because of the sign he had given of his divinity, but only for the purpose of being fed. He told them:
“Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.” (John 6:27)
Although they didn’t understand what he was telling them, they asked Jesus how he could fill them with this bounty. Jesus said:
“The bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33)
The people recalled that the Scriptures had told them of receiving manna from heaven. They pleaded for Jesus to give them this heavenly bread. Jesus stated:
“I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35)
Now they were confused for Jesus was just a man. How could he declare himself to be sent from heaven? In response, Jesus declared:
“I am the living bread came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.” (John 6:51)
Many could not understand Jesus’ teachings as they were too difficult to comprehend. Some even walked away from him. To those who remained, he opened his arms in an embrace of everlasting salvation:
“This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate bread and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” (John 6:58)
Jesus Christ is the bread of eternal life. To him we offer thanks always.
These Gospel stories are re-imagined in the book series:
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