When I first considered starting a blog (two or three years ago), I thought about calling it “Basic Bread,” because at the time I was really focused on bread – in a lot of ways. I decided against that title because I didn’t want to be bound by trying to feed my mass of 5 or 6 readers some deep spiritual insight on a regular basis. Not that I think I’ve got any deep insight – just a few interesting musings (well, interesting to me anyway).
But, I’m thinking about bread again. I’ve always been a food lover – I’m (almost) ashamed to say that I live to eat, but I’m trying really hard to learn to eat to live. As much as I enjoy food, bread was never high on my list of goodies to seek out. It was always just a bland, tasteless filler. Debbie, on the other hand, loves bread. And a couple of years ago I caught on.
I don’t know exactly when it happened, but at some point I connected John 6:32-35 with physical bread on my table.
Jesus therefore said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” They said therefore to Him, “Lord, evermore give us this bread.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life…”
Jesus is compared to lots of things in the Bible (my other favorite is light). Why bread? And then it occurred to me that despite the vast differences in foods across time and cultures, there is one constant among every culture that has ever existed. Bread. The most basic food of all cultures. You might think fresh fruit or vegetables are more basic because we can just pick them and eat them as-is – as He gave them to us, with no preparation. But, there is no fruit or vegetable that is common to EVERY culture since the creation. EVERYBODY eats bread.
So what better way for Jesus to define himself – as the most basic element of our subsistence and survival. In that same verse, he also mentions that living in Him will satisfy your thirst, too. He will fill our most basic need.
And now I’ve added a good, hearty artisan loaf of bread to the (long) list of foods I enjoy – particularly when I think about Him while I’m eating it.