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Living Bread

A Commentary by Constance Vanides

Last year about this time I presented a story of my family’s tradition of making Vasilópita, Greek New Year’s Bread. You can still find it in the January 2006 archive of this website, or just click here: here

Though we can enjoy fresh home-made bread because it tastes so good in itself, bread in its various forms is considered a basic food source around the world and is commonly referred to as “the staff of life.”

After Jesus performed the miracle of feeding five barley loaves to five thousand people, the crowd began again to look for Him. Jesus accused them of seeking Him because they had eaten the bread and were filled. Jesus continued with the statement, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27)

Without food in the wilderness, God had fed the Hebrews with manna, rained down from heaven. (Exodus 16:4, 15) Jesus was, in effect, saying that eating physical bread would only keep them alive for a time. Still, they would eventually die. They had need of the true bread from heaven, “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” (John 6:33)

    “I am the bread of life,” Jesus announced. “He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35)

    “I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.” (John 6:51)

We know this is why Jesus allowed Himself to be crucified, giving His life for all who would receive Him, the substitutionary lamb, slain for the sins of the world!

Truly, the “Spiritual Staff of Life” is given so “...everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:40)

Jewish matzoh? Tortillas? Pumpernickel? Sour dough French? Irish soda bread? Italian? Finnish ohrarieska? Kurdish nanesill? Ethiopian injera? Vasilopita? I’ll take the Bread of Life!

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© Constance Vanides