Posted on April 9, 2014
#49: A Feast for Your Soul
Bread. It’s in every country, on every continent, through every era, in some form or other. It’s all through the Bible, from manna (called the “grain of heaven” and “bread of angels” in Psalm 78:24-25), to the Passover’s unleavened loaves, to the raven-carried food of Elijah, to the temple’s showbread, to the Last Supper’s table. It’s the vehicle by which, each week in communion, we remember Jesus’ body sacrificed for our salvation. And it’s the centerpiece of Mark’s eighth chapter.
Welcome to Knowing Jesus, our Wednesdays In the Word study through the book of Mark. With today’s post, we’re halfway through the book, but much more than halfway through the earthly life of Jesus. We’ve watched Him in action, seen Him manage His time, observed His interaction with enemies and friends, and gathered a lot of lessons along the way. And we’re not finished! I’m glad you’re along on this journey to know—and learn to be like—Jesus.
Read Mark 8, thinking back over the past few posts: the hungry 4,000 given bread, Bethsaida’s blind man given sight, the Twelve given insight—and the stone-hearted, stubbornly-blind, sign-demanding Pharisees given nothing.
When Jesus turned a few loaves into a feast for a famished multitude, people marveled at the miracle. (Wouldn’t you love to have had a taste of the bread that passed through His hands? Panera’s best wouldn’t begin to compare!) But the wonder wasn’t really in the bread; it was in the Bread-Giver.
The apostle John recorded Jesus’ words: “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry. . . . I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever.” (Jn 6:35, 51) Though loaves might fill the stomach, the Bread of Life fills the soul. There’s no substitute. We believe it, yet we seldom offer Him real access to our emptiness or invite Him to fill us.
Here’s just one example of our malnourishment. Surveys have shown that few “Christians” read scripture. Some read devotionals, inspirational writings, or other books about scripture. But not very many open a Bible and read—let alone study or meditate on what they read, hunger to know what it means, pray about it, or act on it. What if we gave Him a real chance to speak to us, to nourish us through His Word?
Here’s a challenge. For the coming week, choose a Bible book like James, Philippians, or 1 John. Use the following five-step acrostic from the word BREAD to help you feed daily on the Word. See by the end of a week how much stronger, how empowered, you are.
• Begin with prayer, simply asking Him to feed you.
• Read a short passage of five to ten verses.
• Examine those verses for new insights or motivation.
• Act on what you find in some practical way within the next 24 hours.
• Determine one thought you can carry with you throughout the day to meditate on.
If you haven’t given Him time for a while, you’ll quickly feel the results of opening your day to Him. The Bread of Life will be happy to multiply your few loaves of minutes into an all-day feast for your soul.
© Diane McLoud 2014