In this post, I’m trying something new. I’ve joined with Ashley from Set My Heart on You for an online book club. The book we’re reading through is Finding I AM by Lysa TerKeurst, which looks at the different I AM sayings of Jesus in the gospel of John.
Each Wednesday for the next few weeks, I’ll be sharing my reflections on what I’ve learned from the book. This week’s chapter is about the Bread of Life.
The first study began by looking at the concept of ‘life’. What does it mean to have life? In the New Testament, there are two words used that we translate as life – bios and zoe. Bios is about our physical existence, our biological life. It’s about eating, drinking and sleeping, about work and leisure – life in the here and now. But zoe is something deeper than just physical life. This is the abundant spiritual life that the Bible speaks of in John 10:10. It’s life that rises up out of the soul and overflows into the physical.
We don’t possess zoe life naturally. Everyone has bios life, from the moment they’re born until the day they die. Zoe, however, comes only to those who know Jesus. Lysa expresses it beautifully – zoe life is all about the ‘rare vitality and fullness of soul’ that comes from having daily fellowship with Jesus. This was something that spoke right to my heart. I’ve been through a dry season in my faith, where I still believed but didn’t have the passion for God I once had. It seems recently, though, that God’s bringing me back. I’ve been so hungry for God lately, I’ve been listening to worship music, I’ve been reading and reflecting on the Bible. I want zoe life, I want that abundant, joyful fellowship with Jesus.
So often I get distracted by bios life. I’m not one of those people that gets so busy with work they’ve got no time for anything else. My problem is more with leisure – some good food, a glass of wine and tv and soon I find myself too tired to read my Bible in the evening. But we’re created for more than just bios.
This is where the Bread of Life comes in. What does it mean for Jesus to be the Bread of Life? Physical bread satisfies our hunger and meets our needs for bios life. It’s a sign of God’s provision to us – the study spoke of God providing manna to his people in the wilderness. Even if I buy bread from the shops with the money I earned, it was God who provided me with work, God who made the rain fall so the crops could grow. So when Jesus stands up and says he’s the Bread of Life – he’s telling us that he provides for us and satisfies our hunger on an even deeper level. On the zoe life level.
This study has really convicted me afresh that Jesus is able to meet my deepest needs. More than the comfortable distractions of tv and internet, more than running around trying to be a good wife and a good Christian. The Bread of Life never runs out and overflows with abundance. And it’s more than just the physical things he can provide, like a job and good friends and enough food (although he certainly does provide those things). The greatest provision is actually Jesus himself. So, in regards to practical application, I’ve renewed my commitment to having evening quiet times each day, where I can read the Bible, pray and worship God. I’m aiming to limit my tv intake to only one episode each night so I don’t get too tired. It’s about coming daily to the Bread of Life to be filled – something so precious I’ve got to guard it and make sure nothing overtakes.
This week’s Bible study has been so full and so deep. I’m really looking forward to see what I learn in next week’s study – Light of the World.
How do you see Jesus as the Bread of Life in your own life?