Lent Devotional March 30, 2014
27 "Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal." 28 Then they said to him, "What must we do to perform the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent." 30 So they said to him, "What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" 32 Then Jesus said to them, "Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 They said to him, "Sir, give us this bread always."
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38 for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day."
Once again, we turn to John. As we have noticed each Sunday, the tone and style of John are completely different from those we’ve encountered in Mark.
Here, Jesus makes a comparison that sends us back to Exodus, reminding us of God’s provision to Israel in the wilderness. The story Jesus chooses is one of salvation at a moment of desperation. The people had left their homes to find themselves starving in the wilderness. The manna saved their lives. Jesus is calling to mind a time when God brought life from the jaws of death. Jesus also talks about bread and life, both sending us back just a few days and forward to the Last Supper, and also to Easter Sunday. Once again, we are given this moment of refuge in the midst of our preparation that provides a glimpse of what is coming.
Message provided by the Miller Summer Youth Institute.