Bread of Life
Dr. John K. Mathew
In the Antarctic summer of 1908-09, Sir Ernest Shackleton and three companions attempted to travel to the South Pole from their winter quarters. They set off with four ponies to help carry the load. Weeks later, their ponies dead, rations all but exhausted, they turned back toward their base, their goal not accomplished. Altogether they trekked 127 days.
On the return journey, as Shackleton records in " The Heart of the Antarctic", the time was spent talking about food-elaborate feasts, gourmet delights, sumptuous menus.
As they staggered along,, suffering from dysentery, not knowing whether they would survive, every waking hour was occupied with thoughts of eating.
Jesus knew about the ravage of food deprivation. Once Jesus went to a remote place with his disciples and many people gathered around him. It became so late and Jesus requested his disciples to feed them. He said, ' you give them something to eat ( Mark 6;37)
In this passage, Jesus was dealing with physical food but he was much more concerned about spiritual food. In the Gospel of John, he states it well. It reads, "My food is to do the will of Him who sent me and to finish His work" (4:34). It was a response to his disciple"s request to eat something and it happened during his conversation with the Samaritan woman at the well at Sychar in the city of Samaria. It is true that Jesus fed so many physically because he had compassion for people. So it became a habit for people to follow Jesus for food. He realized it and said, "Truly, truly I say to you, you seek me not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for that food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." ( John 6; 27).
We live in a culture where people search for infinity. But many can't find it. People are frustrated and go after false representations of God. The situation is exploited by false spirituality and human Gods. What is the answer? Jesus said, " I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me shall never hunger and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst.( John 6;35). Let Jesus be the answer for the spiritual hunger of many.