Can you think of a memory from your childhood that makes you smile as you remember it? I have a few, but one that I clearly remember is walking home from elementary school with my brother. We felt tired, not physically, but emotionally and mentally drained after a day at school. We were blessed to have a mom who was always there when we came home, asking how our day went. This was a safe warm place for us. The best though was when we came home and mom had just finished baking buns. These were no ordinary buns; these were golden brown and fluffy and filled the whole house with the most incredible aroma. We would each get a bun and savor every bite. These buns didn’t need anything on them, they were so delicious and completely satisfying just as they were.

I think of that aroma and taste and the good feelings that come with the memory of those baked buns and also think of a story that happened many years ago. Jesus was teaching crowds of people - more than 5,000 of them, and they had stayed so long that they were starving. Jesus lovingly fed those crowds of people with just 2 pieces of fish and 5 small barley loaves. Somehow, I think that the miraculous loaves that Jesus blessed must have tasted even better than the buns my mom lovingly made for us. The people were totally satisfied. . . but just until they were hungry again. In John 6 it says that they searched all over for Jesus the next day. When they found Jesus this is what He said to them: 26 “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life,”

The crowds of people didn’t really want Jesus - they wanted that bread. They wanted to be filled and satisfied and thought that physical food would do it. They even reminded Him that God had fed the Israelites many years before with manna, a bread-like substance, and were hinting that this would be a good idea again. They missed the whole idea that God cares for us but actually wants a relationship with us. He wants us to have our physical needs met, but He knows we need much more than that.

Does this sound like us today? We pray when we really need something and then we let God know what we think is the best way for Him to help us. We are way more interested in the help He offers than in Jesus himself.

In John 6:35-36 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe.”

They had seen and tasted from the most amazing miracle and still did not believe Jesus was who He said He was. When the people asked what He wanted from them, Jesus’ answer was simple:

John 6:29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.”

This is exactly for us right now. Jesus still offers us Himself. He is the Bread of life who will totally satisfy us. He loved us enough to come to earth and die for us, and be our rescuer. And He asks us to receive His gift of forgiveness and believe in Him. Today when you are hungry and have a piece of toast, or eat a wrap or a bagel, think of the One called the Bread of Life who offered Himself to satisfy you fully.

-Glenda Atamanchuk