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In John 4:35, Jesus says “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” And later in the same chapter (v48-51), he says,
I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever.
Earlier in John’s Gospel (4:13-14), Jesus says something similar to the Samaritan woman at the well:
Everyone who drinks this water [from the well] will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst. Indeed, the water I give them will become in them a spring of water welling up to eternal life.
When we are going through stressful, difficult times, or are feeling out of sorts, we have to choose what kind of bakery we go to, to get some bread to satisfy and calm ourselves.
Sometimes, we engage in things that are psychologically and socially healthy, like meditation, going for a walk or some other kind of exercise, meeting up with a friend or resting.
But oftentimes, we engage in things that are not psychosocially healthy and that can even have harmful consequences, like going on a shopping spree, drinking too much alcohol, watching pornography, lashing out physically or verbally at our loved ones, driving too fast, using drugs, skipping work and so on. These mechanisms provide temporary relief, but leave us hungry for more, and often create more problems than we had in the first place. They do not truly satisfy our hunger. Indeed, we might end up more hungry than before, and need more of this kind of bread next time.
Jesus invites us to come to his bakery when we are hungry for something to satisfy our souls. The bread he offers is healthy, wholesome, long lasting and satisfying.
When we reach these points of difficulty in life, we have the opportunity to make a choice – to pick our bakery. Do we go to the one on the corner where we can buy the soft white bread that lasts only a moment? Or do we choose to drive a distance to get the healthy bread that lasts a long time?
Or can we choose to turn to Jesus, the master baker, to get the bread that will last for eternity, bread from heaven?