The Weekly Word Lent Series - A Devotion for the Fifth Week of Lent
During the six weeks of Lent, we are offering a special devotional series on the theme of “I AM.” We invite you to set aside a few minutes each week to join us in exploring who God is and how and where He is present in our daily lives.
The Scripture for today is from John 6:32-35.
Jesus said to them, “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.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
After Jesus miraculously fed 5,000 with just five loaves of bread and two fish, the people came looking for Him to ask what God required them to do. They assumed God would have a laundry list of things for them to accomplish in His name. When Jesus responded with a simple answer – “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (John 6:29) – the people struggled to accept this truth. They wanted a sign, physical proof that what He said was true. They remembered the manna that had rained down from Heaven in Old Testament times, and they assumed Jesus would give them similar proof this time.
Instead, Jesus offered them a puzzling response: “I am the bread of life.”
Like the early followers of Jesus, most of us want tangible proof of God, too – something physical we can point to that will strengthen our faith. We want bread to fall from the sky so we can pick it up, hold it in our hands and exclaim, “Yes! Now I am fully confident in my faith in God!”
But Jesus tells His people, and us, that He offers something even better: not bread falling from the sky that will fill us up for a few hours, but the bread of life – sustenance that will fill us up for eternity. Jesus tells us, “I am the Bread you crave. I am the Bread that comes down from Heaven. But look, I stand here right before you, and you see me and still you don’t believe. I am giving you exactly what you ask for, but still, it’s not enough.”
It’s easy for us to criticize the early followers of Jesus and accuse them of not believing in Jesus, even when He stood before them. But we have the same choice to believe. Jesus invites us to read this account as it’s set before us and to believe. We already hold the physical evidence we need to strengthen our faith in our very hands: God’s Word.
Heavenly Father, I don’t need manna to fall from the sky, because I have You. Open my eyes to Your presence in my daily life. Turn me toward Your Word so that I may be sustained by Your ever-present love. Amen.