So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
Yesterday, we saw that the crowds went looking for Jesus. When they finally found him, and told him that they’d been looking all over for him, Jesus told them bluntly: “You’re not looking for ME; you’re looking for what you can get out of me.” And that was true, wasn’t it. He miraculously multiplied bread to feed them; now they were looking for other miracles. They missed the point of the miracle completely: that it was a sign pointing them towards Jesus, and to eternal life.
And it wasn’t the only sign that God had given them. John’s gospel is filled with them. He began with the story of changing water into wine at the wedding feast at Cana, and ended by saying: “Jesus performed many other signs, which are not recorded in this book. But these are written that you may believe that Jesus is the Messiah, the Son of God, and that by believing you may have life in his name” (John 20:30-31). Yesterday, we looked at what this BELIEF entailed.
Today, let us look at the fruit of this belief, but let me first tell you about some other fruit: the fruit that Covid-19 is bearing. Netflix has registered over 15 million new subscribers in the first quarter of this year. Less harmless is the increase in pornographic activity, with many countries reporting as much as a 24% increase in porn searches and porn site visits. We don’t need psychology degrees to explain why this is happening. It’s a human tendency to fill ourselves up. But it’s like filling ourselves up by eating popcorn; contaminated popcorn in the second case.
Our Lord Jesus offers us an infinitely better solution. He says, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” Jesus is inviting all of us to fill ourselves with him. He’s not asking us to stop watching movies, but to spend more time with him in personal prayer, and in reading Scripture. I cannot tell you what a blessing it is to do these reflections each day, because I have to soak myself in both his word and his presence to be able to do them.
Therefore, let us accept this invitation. We may not get an opportunity like this to enter into a relationship with God again. When we do, it will change us, just like a meaningful relationship with another person changes us, only more so. I will record a guide to personal prayer this coming week to help you to get started if you don’t know how to go about connecting with God. But those who do know how to connect with him, please deepen your relationship. God is gonna need you very much in the days to come.
So, eat the bread of life. And be filled.