Then they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir”, they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”-John 6:30-35
In this passage we see the first of Jesus seven “I am” statements, through which Jesus revealed his relationship with us and his purpose for restoring our relationship with God. The phrase “I am” that Jesus used is the same phrase that God used when he told Moses the answer to the question that he had of who to tell the people of Israel had sent him.
Moses said to God, “Suppose I go to the Israelites and say to them, ‘The God of your fathers has sent me to you’ and they ask me, ‘What is his name?’ Then what shall I tell them?'” God said to Moses, “I AM WHO I AM. This what you are to say to the Israelites: ‘I AM has sent me to you.'”-Exodus 3:13-14 NIV
It is the phrase “I am who I am” that Israelites derived the formal name for God-Yahweh. A name that was scared and so formal that it was never spoken and was never written down. When Jesus used the phrase “I am” to describe himself he was telling the people of Israel and that he was the same as or equal to God, who had sent Moses to set their ancestors free from captivity.
In today’s passage Jesus said, “I am the bread of life.” Why would Jesus associate himself with bread? What is so important about bread? To the people of Israel and to many other ancient cultures bread was their primary source of nutrition. Bread is what gave them the strength and the nourishment to live their daily life’s. When Jesus said, “I am the bread of life”, he was saying that he because he and God are the same will be your source of strength and nourishment for your daily life. That is why he ends this statement with these words: “Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” The “bread” Jesus offers you is not one that will fill your physical hunger, but is one that will fill your spiritual hunger. Let Jesus fill that gap in your life, that you have tried to fill with everything else, so that you will never be hungry again.