It must have been confusing hearing Jesus say:  “I am the Bread of life.”  It is understandable that the listeners asked:  “What is this man getting into?  Surely, someone’s got to have a clue to what he’s saying.”  But Jesus tapped something in them.  He tapped a memory that was intertwined in the very fibre of Judaic history.  Didn’t we hear them say:  “What sign will you yourself do to make us believe in you? Our fathers ate manna in the dessert.”  To appreciate their question we need to realise that the Jews were alluding to the miracle of the desert where God sent a liberator in the person of Moses.  Through Moses’ intercession, God sent bread from heaven and to memorialise that event, they kept some of the manna and placed them before the Ark of the Covenant.  Now, here was Jesus miraculously feeding them just like Moses did.  They were under Roman oppression and they saw in Jesus a political messiah who would satisfy their poverty. After all, didn’t Moses free them from Egypt? Surely, Jesus was their new Moses!  Fair enough expectations if you ask me but when Jesus demurred, they started to question him and press him on.  When he said he’s the bread of life, they started to query his sanity.  Jesus saw through them.  He saw their hunger for freedom that’s why he tapped the memory of Moses but the hunger that Jesus saw was not the hunger that they were willing to admit.  They were willing to admit that they needed their physical bread and the bread of freedom from Roman occupation but they wouldn’t admit that they needed the bread of life—the bread of liberation from sin and the death it brings.  They had their expectations but their expectations of Jesus were not high enough.  No wonder they didn’t have a clue.  Jesus wanted to fill the hunger that wouldn’t go away even after they have eaten their fill and after they have their own government.  Our hearts may be similar to that of the people of Jesus’ time.  Sure, we may believe that God would provide our needs, take care of us, even do some miracles for us once in a while but deep down we doubt that God could truly make us holy, could truly make our life like his, could truly be bread for the incessant hunger that expresses itself in broken relationships, in our addictions, in our depression, in our wounds and in our life of sin.  “I am the Bread of Life.”  He’s waiting for us to partake of him.

Bread from Heaven, Jesus it is you.  I want to partake of the life that you offer—that abundant life—your very life.  Let me look beyond what I think you could manage and look to your nail-scarred hand that would provide for me much more than I can hope for or imagine. Amen.

Is there an area/situation in your life that you already threw into the “too hard basket?”  Honestly talk to Jesus about it in your prayer time.