“Unless you eat of the Son of Man drink his blood, you have no life in you”

Let us start with this question, who is this Jesus? Bread when we’re hungry. Who is this Jesus? Water when we’re thirsty. Who is this Jesus? Jesus heals, Jesus speaks, and Jesus feeds. It a fact that hunger is a universal experience, hence human body need food and water to survive. Food is very important in every culture. Each culture has its own favourite dish. Without proper nutrition, our body cannot survive. When we eat a balanced diet, our body obtains the fuel and nutrients it needs to accomplish various bodily tasks. In the Gospel reading from John 6, a hungry crowd followed Jesus. The good news was that within the crowd, there was someone, a kid with some loaves and a couple of fish.

The truth is that, the real and true need of the crowd was not just bread and fish – ordinary food minerals to make hormones, build bones and regulate heartbeats. To Jesus, the hunger of the crowd was deeper just as our hunger today is deeper. Jesus, the real food said, “I am the bread of life. Those who come to me will never hunger.” Jesus, the real and true food will not allow us to perish, hence he said to the disciples, “Gather up the fragments, that nothing may be lost.” Jesus is the real food with an assurance and sustenance here on earth and in heaven. Jesus is the true food, the true bread which gives life to the world. Using a Nigerian Proverb, ‘words are sweet, but they never take the place of food.’ No human reasoning or physical food will ever take the place of Jesus as the Everlasting Food. One of the problems in the church today is that the Food called Jesus is in the mouth of many preachers but not yet in their hearts. Jesus said, “This people draweth nigh unto me with their mouth, and honoureth me with their lips; but their heart is far from me” (Matt 15:8). Many today honour God with their mouths by ‘putting the commandments of men on a level with the divine requirements,’ hence ‘their whole worship was rendered vain…’ There is a serious hunger for the Food called Jesus today because of the famine of living loaves, hence many are “laying aside the commandment of God, ye hold the tradition of men …”

The tradition of men are like perishable foods. We all buy perishable foods and they all have expiring dates, Jesus, the true staple Food that never expires is the same yesterday, today and forever. Indeed, we become what we consume and what consumes us determines what we are. Jesus Christ, the true Food invites us to become a non-perishable food for the world, a living loaves called and sent not just to give perishable food to people without pointing them to the true Food, Jesus Christ. The hunger and famine of the world is not of bread but of the bread of life.

Jesus, the True Food calls for daily consumption and digestion, not just as consumers but as living loaves to the perishing world. When Jesus consumes us, we can then say with the Psalmist “For the zeal of thine house hath eaten me up; and the reproaches of them that reproached thee are fallen upon me” (Ps 69:9). The global hunger is on the rise, driven by corruption, greed, war, conflict and climate change. According to United Nation report, ‘815 million people now hungry – millions of children at risk from malnutrition.’ The reflection is that global hunger is not just physical, it is more spiritual. The church is sent to signpost people to Jesus, the true Food. The global crowd is hungry not just for the perishable food, they are hungry for Jesus Christ. In such a time with culture that seem to prefer profits rather than prophets, Jesus, the true Food summons us to push the gospel further in deeds and truth, showing the world that Christ is more than enough. The crowd in John 6 resonates with the global crowd today, looking for the messiah – ‘the “wrong” kind of Jesus, who will simply serve our programs, our desires, and our wishes.’ Beloved, the question is, are you eating the right kind of food? The right food is about what is critical for eternal life. Jesus is the source, true food for eternal life. True food is eternal. It is for anyone. Jesus said, “Whoever comes to me….,” anyone, whatever background, lifestyle, colour, and previous beliefs. Without Jesus, the true Food, this world is in chaos. The nutrient from the fruit of the Spirit is what the world need to overcome the global hunger.

Christian truth revolves round the Cross. Jesus Christ, the true Food is the gate to the narrow road to the Cross. It is a hard way.To go to heaven, make the choice of the narrow way today by repenting of your sin as you become a living loaves.