Tuesday of the Third Week of Easter
So they said to him, “What sign can you do, that we may see and believe in you? What can you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”John 6:30-31
The question put to Jesus by the crowd was peculiar since the sign of the multiplication of loaves and fishes took place before their very eyes. Preconceived, ingrained ideas blocked the passage to realization and understanding.
God and true religion followed a long-established script: Moses leading the Israelites out of Egypt and feeding them with “bread from heaven” (Exodus 16:4). Moshe, a heroic icon of tradition, was enshrined and venerated. Jesus was newfangled. Insofar as Jesus resembled Moses, his authority was authenticated. Few gazed upon Jesus with the freshness of a tabula rasa.
So Jesus said to them, “Amen, amen, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave the bread from heaven; my Father gives you the true bread from heaven.John 6:32
The Torah itself testifies that the LORD (Tetragrammaton) rained down bread from heaven (Exodus 16:4). Moses was his holy servant and prophet, as much in need of manna as his fellow Israelites. The claim of the new Moses was from an entirely different order of reality: Jesus is the true (aléthinon) bread from heaven (John 6:32). The Greek word aléthinos literally means “made of truth,” thus real and genuine.
For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”John 6:33
Life (zóé) includes the quickening of the spirit by the Holy Spirit to adapt the person for communion in the divine life. Zóé escapes X-rays and EEGs. The life of God surpasses mere bios or biological, earthly existence.
Zóé is what all persons intrinsically desire—to have the Light of God burn inextinguishably in the core of our being, indeed, to make us lamps in the Lamp.
So they said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.John 6:34-35
The Christ-Bread transforms flesh into himself, divinizing and transfiguring humanity in grace. A person filled with the Holy Spirit is a fruit-bearing tree:
The fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, generosity, faithfulness, gentleness, self-control.Galatians 5:22-23
A life of wholeness in God beyond hunger and satiety is a very great promise indeed. Jesus’ listeners were paying attention.