Thursday, May 16, 2013

How Is Jesus the "Bread From Heaven"?

In the gospel of John, chapter 6, Jesus spoke of himself as the bread from heaven. A while back I wrote an article specifically addressing how Jesus’ words have been misinterpreted to promote an odd form of cannibalism. Recently I was remembering yet another passage, this time in the gospel of Matthew. Understanding this passage would aid those who believe God and his son (Jesus) are reasonable and intelligent beings, to see that they used illustrations to evaluate our ability to reason, draw conclusions, and act intelligently.

At Matthew 16:11,12 we read: “How is it you do not discern that I did not talk to you about loaves? But watch out for the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Then they grasped that he said to watch out, not for the leaven of the loaves, but for the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” In this illustration, Jesus draws a comparison between the teaching of the religious leaders and leaven. That is, the fermenting (corrupting) influence of their teachings. From this, reasonable and reasoning people should be able to conclude, without a lot of mental labor, that when Jesus spoke of himself as the bread from heaven, he meant that his teachings were really “the truth,” the real, pure, unadulterated, uncorrupted teachings of and from the Father.

How can teachings be compared to food and water? Jesus himself spoke of doing his Father’s work as nourishment for him. It gave Jesus such satisfaction to help others that he personally felt invigorated just as if he had eating a meal or drank refreshing water. Those that really study, apply and share what they know of scripture can likewise enjoy this satisfying feeling of having worked hard to serve God faithfully.

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