By Rev. Stout
Church and Christian
Reformed Church, Hull
“I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to me will never be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35)
I don’t remember ever being hungry.At 5’9” & 230, it’s easy to see I haven’t missed many meals. Oh,there have been nights when I arrived home from work, tossed my jacket and briefcase down and declared, “I’m starving when’s dinner?” But really hungry, in the Darfur, Bangladesh, or Haiti sense of hungry; no I haven’t really ever been hungry.
However, I have been thirsty. I went to high school and played football in Central Florida, and the heat and humidity of August two-a-days drained every ounce of fluid out of your body. At the end ofa4p.m.practice,believe me, you were thirsty. After practice, a bunch of us would pile into cars and head to the neighborhood Tasty Freeze for lime slushy. Limeade over crushed ice that was so cold it made your teeth hurt, but we were so thirsty it mattered not. The larger and colder the better; anything to quench that thirst.
Of course, the hunger and thirst that Jesus is talking about here is spiritual, and only those who have been truly physically hungry or thirsty can imagine the spiritual emptiness and craving that He will fill. The word here that sincerely impacts me is “Never.” There is something deeply satisfying about “Never.” From everlasting to everlasting, Jesus fills our greatest longings, our emptiness of soul is satisfied, and we will never suffer the pangs of hunger again. He fed thousands with loaves and fishes,but He promises to fill the hearts of generations with the bread of life. Jesus said He came that we should have life and have it abundantly,and it is His bread that gives us that abundant life.
I am reminded of the scene in “Gone With the Wind” where Scarlett O’Hara is standing on a hill with the devastation of war all around her, and she says, “I’ll never be hungry again.” Of course, Scarlett was talking about her own strength and prowess, not the power of Jesus Christ. In contrast, look at verse 40 in John 6. “For My Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”