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"Living in a consumer society fueled by sophisticated advertising and relative affluence, we have been given the means and the motivation to pursue countless forms of what we conclude is our own so-called Bread for Life."

–C.J. Jackson

When Jesus fed the five thousand (John  6:1-15), His intent was not only to display the miraculous power of God in turning a meager lunch into a tumultuous feast. He was also revealing to us, as He does throughout Scripture, that He alone is the Bread of Life.

It is no coincidence that this miracle takes place during Passover, reminding us that the deliverance God offers us today is much like His deliverance of the Israelites from bondage and slavery. It reminds us that God provides for us as He did for the Israelites. It also reminds us that God desires for us to worship Him, and not merely the benefits and blessings He bestows upon us.

In Exodus 16, just after God’s people are freed from enslavement, they move out into the desert. They begin complaining because of their hunger, arguing that it would have been better to remain slaves in Egypt than to starve in the place the Lord had brought them (Exodus 16:3). God miraculously provides for their physical needs by raining down bread from heaven every day.

In John, we see that Jesus’ feeding of the five thousand is another story of bread coming down from heaven. After the miracle has taken place, He alludes to the Exodus miracle when He says, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32-33).

Ultimately, Jesus refers not to the loaves of bread, but to Himself. He demands that our worship be of Him and not merely the blessings He bestows upon us. For it is only through His life, death and resurrection that we gain access to the only eternal and all-satisfying source of life – a relationship with God the Father, bread that never spoils or runs out.

When the Lord meets your needs, do you find yourself worshipping Him, or the things with which He has blessed you?

Listen to “Feeding 5,000” from March 8, 2015.