In John 6,we read of Jesus feeding several thousand people with only a few loaves of bread and two fish. But to those people, this incredible miracle was not enough. After being fed, they came to Jesus demanding, “You must show us a miraculous sign if You want us to believe in You!”
And thus the debate began: Manna vs. Jesus.
The people began by harking back to Moses’s day, when God provided “bread from heaven”. Sure, Jesus provided food for them on this one occasion. But remember Moses? He fed them for almost 40 years. Furthermore, Moses fed an entire nation, but Jesus’s miracle was only for a few thousand people. And beyond all of that, Moses brought the bread down from heaven, while Jesus had to borrow a child’s lunch for His miracle. Yes, Jesus did something impressive. But compared to the manna, Jesus’s miracle certainly wasn’t that spectacular.
Jesus answered, changing the discussion entirely.
“It was my Father who sent the manna down from heaven. And now He is offering you the true bread from heaven.”
Jesus proclaimed that He was this true bread from heaven, the very Bread of Life.
“I assure you, anyone who believes in Me has eternal life. Yes, I am the bread of life! Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they all died. However, the bread from heaven gives eternal life to everyone who eats it. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven.”
Yes, God did something amazing through manna in the wilderness. But what He was now doing through His Son was more impressive. Far greater than even the manna.
So, in the battle of the breads, which is more impressive?
- Manna met a temporary need. Jesus, the Bread of Life, meets an eternal need.
- Manna sustained life. The Bread of Life gives eternal life.
- Manna was only for Israel, one nation. The Bread of Life is for the entire world.
- Manna was only for the years in the wilderness. The Bread of Life is from the beginning to the end of time.
- Manna delayed death. The Bread of Life conquered death.
- In the manna, God sent a gift. In Jesus, the Bread of life, God sent the giver of every gift.
When set side by side, there is no question. Jesus, the Bread of Life, is greater than the manna.
Many people walked away from the Bread of Life that day. They rejected Jesus and went back to laboring and spending money for bread that could not satisfy. People are still doing that today. Even though Jesus gave His life for the salvation of the world, the world still rejects Him. But God does not want “anyone to perish, but that everyone come to repentance” (2 Peter 3:9).
Jesus is the Bread of Life. Far greater than manna or any other bread, He alone gives eternal life.