Bread and Miracles
"While they were eating, Jesus took some bread. He thanked God for it and broke it. Then he gave it to his followers and said, "Take, eat, this is my body given to you."" Matthew 26:26
"Jesus sat down with them and took some bread. He gave thanks for the food and divided it. Then he gave it to them. And then they were allowed to recognize Jesus. But when they saw who he was, he disappeared." Luke 24: 30-31
One of my favorite little additions to George's is our Sourdough Bread selection we have on the weekends. I received my first "starter" and learned to make this bread in January of last year. And I'v been hooked ever since. And it is not the bread itself I'm so attached to, its the process. Taking a simple little mixture of sugar and water and turning it into dough to be made into delicious Bread is just amazing. My favorite step, in the 3 day process, is when the dough has risen and it's time to roll and place into loaf pans. I take the sticky, floppy dough and roll it into flour till it's a smooth, soft oval to place in a bread tin. I love this, could honestly do it all day.
When I first began to make bread on my own, It seemed as though all the biblical references for bread began to jump out at me. I began searching for them in my Bible, like lost money. And I began to hold onto them in my mind and repeat them over and over throughout the day. And when I'd be up late, alone, making bread, these verses of truth began to come to life. Every time I pressed into my dough or mixed up my next batch, I drew closer and closer to the His words.
"But Jesus answered, You give them food to eat. They said to him, "We can't buy enough bread to feed all these people! We would all have to work a month to earn enough money to buy that much bread." Jesus asked them, how many loaves of bread do you have now? Go and see..."We have five loaves and two fish." ...Jesus took the five loaves and two fish, he looked up to heaven and thanked God for the bread. He divided the bread and gave it to his followers for them to give to the people...All the people ate and were satisfied." Mark 6: 37-38, 41-42
"Jesus' followers answered, "But we are far from any towns. Where can we get enough bread to feed all these people?" Jesus asked, "How many loaves of bread do you have?" They answered, we have seven loaves...Then he took the seven loaves and gave thanks to God... All the people ate and were satisfied." Mark 8: 4-6, 8
"This was to teach you that a person does not live on bread alone but by everything the Lord says." Deuteronomy 8:3
"The people said, "Sir, give us this bread always." I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never be hungry. He who believes in me will never be thirsty." John 6: 34-35
"Just a little yeast makes the whole batch of dough rise. Take out the old yeast so that you will be a new batch of dough...For Christ, our Passover lamb was killed to cleanse us...But let us eat the bread of no yeast. This is the bread of goodness and truth." 1 Corinthians 5:6-8
Now these are not all the verses in the Bible containing bread or loaves, that would take a while...But these are my favorites. And this is why...Behind all of these verses are three common factors: 1) Intimacy 2) Thanksgiving and 3) Miracles
Intimacy: Jesus used the sharing of bread to draw near to his followers and those he was teaching. It showed his complete humanness. To want to commune with his fellow people and love them with food and fellowship. He wanted to break bread with us. To be close to us, and to share. To teach us over bread, life's lessons. How good does that make you feel? This was the son of God, stopping and being intimate with others. He took a necessity of life, the sharing of food and used it to Bless thousands of people. He loved his people. And he loves us today this same way. His drive for Intimacy with us is still very present. "Draw near to me and I will draw near to you." James 4:8. Get a loaf of bread this week and break with Jesus. Just you and him. Envision him at your table. Invite him to your table. Talk to him. He is just as present today as he was the day he fed 5,000.
Thanksgiving: Every time Jesus got his hands on some bread, he gave thanks. Every time. He was about his fathers business and he put his heavenly father first. Jesus was not going to make another move till he thanked God. Everything that we have, including bread, is a gift from the Lord. And everything should be accounted for and thanked. The small, the big, the good, the bad. Anything that comes into our hands is a blessing. Jesus knew that. He also knew it could be taken away. And he knew it wasn't meant to last. We tend to want to hold onto things. Our home, our clothes, even food. These are God's provisions, not ours. We spend so much time obtaining. And so much thought and effort. Jesus held onto nothing, he simply thanked God for it, then passed it on to someone else. Are we to do likewise??? ..."store up for yourselves treasures in Heaven." Matthew 6:20
Miracles: I love this. Miracles always precede Thanksgiving. I first learned this from Ann Voskamp in her book 1000 Gifts. Miracles still happen, just as they happened then. But our eyes are closed and we don't see them. Nor do we allow space for them to happen. After the Last Supper, Jesus was killed. But was raised to life on the third day.MIRACLE!! After thanking God for the bread, while teaching, Jesus was able to feed Thousands of people. MIRACLE!! After Jesus broke bread with his disciples after his death, only then did their eyes open and they realized it was Him!! MIRACLE. I can't get enough of this. I don't know about you, but I'll take a daily miracle...! We serve an awesome, magnificent God, whom everyday just asks that we trust it all to Him so he can preform great and lasting miracles. Ill say this, in the past couple years as I'v grown closer to Jesus, I see Miracles happen more and more often. Real ones. Big and small. Daily even. If it's in his hands and hand it over to him with Thanksgiving, Miracles are bound to happen!!
Jesus truly is the bread of Life. He is all that we need. When we stop to be close to him, to listen to him and talk to him, he will mold us and shape us and turn us into something we can share with the world. He is within each of us, meant to bless others and share Miracles on his behalf. Jesus is the ultimate Thanksgiving. He is a Miracle. And we are too!
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for sharing the bread with your people so many years ago. Thank you for being the bread of life. Thank you for the many miracles that blessed us all. Draw near to me today, so that I may draw near to you. Amen.