You are no doubt referring to John 6:35 where Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (NKJV). In order to understand the meaning of this statement, we need to know what preceded it. Jesus had fed 5,000 men with “five barley loaves and two small fish” (verse 9) by miraculously multiplying the bread and the fish. On the next day He used this miracle to teach men a wonderful spiritual truth; that He was the “bread of life” that came down from heaven to give them “eternal life.” Let’s read verses 26-32:

“Jesus answered them and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.’ Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.’ Therefore they said to Him, ‘What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will you do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world’.”

Jesus knew that men were only concerned about “the food which perishes”; that is, literal bread that could meet their immediate physical needs. So, He exhorts them to “labor…for the food which endures to everlasting life.” He had been sent from heaven by His Father to give His life at the cross so that men could have eternal life. In that sense He refers to Himself as “the bread of life.” As usual, those who heard Him didn’t understand the spiritual significance of His words so they asked Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?” They failed to realize that God was offering mankind eternal life as a GIFT and that one can’t work for it. Faith alone enables man to receive it and thus Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” Their reaction to this is most revealing, for they ask Him to perform a miracle and then they would believe. This is astonishing, for had they forgotten that the day before He had fed 5,000 men with a handful of loaves and a few fishes? Then they refer to Moses giving them manna, as if to say, “If you will cause bread to fall from heaven we will believe in you.” Jesus replied by teaching them that Moses didn’t give them “the true bread from heaven,” for the manna, like the bread they had eaten the day before, was merely bread that could sustain their physical life here on earth. He then reveals to them that He is “the bread of God…who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” They needed “eternal life” and He came down from heaven to give “life to the world.” He explained exactly what this means in verse 51, “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”

Has my reader “eaten of this bread?” When you eat literal bread you chew it, swallow it and digest it. It is assimilated and it sustains your life by giving you the needed nutrients your body needs. To eat of “the bread of life” is to believe with all your heart that Jesus came from heaven to give His flesh (His “life”) on the cross for you. By believing on Him you are appropriating His death and you then receive eternal life (see verses 53-58). His promise to those who believe is most precious, “He who comes to Me shall never hunger.” To “come” is to “believe” and once you do you will have found “the bread that truly satisfies!” (241.9) (DO)