The House of Bread
Interesting isn’t it, that Jesus, “the bread of life” was born in Bethlehem, “the house of bread”?
This morning, as I read Our Daily Bread for my devotional time, I pondered what it might have been like in heaven on the day Jesus was born in Bethlehem. “It was what God always knew would happen…The three were one, and He agreed to allow the fracturing of His precious unity for our sake. Heaven was left empty of God the Son.”
Oh little town of Bethlehem how still we see thee lie.
How silently, how silently, the wondrous Gift is giv’n!
So God imparts to human hearts
The blessings of His heaven.
No ear may hear His coming,
But in this world of sin,
Where meek souls will receive Him still,
The dear Christ enters in.
Yesterday, I had the privilege of preaching a Christmas message in our home church at Cornerstone Assembly here in Pretoria, SA. I referred to John 6:35 which introduces the first of seven “I am’s” found in this gospel. “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
The context surrounding this verse is vital to fully appreciate and understand it. The day before, Jesus had miraculously fed five thousand men, plus women and children with only five loaves and two fishes. That evening, He withdrew to a mountain by himself, while his disciples went down to the lake. Three and a half miles into their journey, a wild storm came up on the lake and they saw Jesus approaching the boat, walking on water. The story suggests that the disciples were more terrified of seeing Jesus walk on water than they were the storm. I too would be terrified at the sight!
The next day, the same crowd who had been fed with five loaves and two fish, found Jesus on the other side of the lake. Like many of us, they were living for the day. They reminded Jesus that Moses had fed manna to their forefathers in the desert, and the day before, Jesus had fed them with five loaves. What will you feed our stomach’s today? Jesus responds with an “ouch” moment by reminding them that is was not Moses who fed their forefathers. “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, (living for the day) but for food that endures to eternal life…it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven.” OUCH!!!!
Once and a while we all need an “ouch” moment. Mine comes four days before Christmas day 2015. I will cherish every minute of the twenty-four hours of Christmas, but I do not want to just live for the day, I want to make every day a “Bread of Life” day.
Over two thousand years ago, the “Bread of Life” vacated heaven and was born into a tiny and sleepy, “House of Bread”. Jesus earthly mission began in the stillness of Bethlehem, and took Him through the violence of an old rugged cross so that today, we can open the door of our hearts and find His forgiveness of sin and peace within. What a Christmas gift!
Enjoy the Bread of Life this Christmas and every day of the new year of 2016.