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"The bread of life"

From the October 1966 issue of The Christian Science Journal


Bread has always typified mankind's necessary material food. And in the Bible, bread has also been used to symbolize spiritual sustenance. Jesus said, "Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you." And he added, "I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger."John 6:27, 35; Jesus was not, of course, referring to his human selfhood as "the bread of life" but to the Christ, Truth, the spiritual idea of divine Life, which he so perfectly presented.

The Christliness which so distinguished Jesus and gave him the title of Christ was the outcome of his spiritual understanding of God, and he proved his understanding by his works. He put God, his heavenly Father, first in all his thoughts, and so he was truly holy and pure in heart. His life is our example, and we can express true sinless humanhood as he did in the degree that we realize our spiritual identity as the reflection of God. The truth of being which he preached and lived is the bread of Life, which sustained him for forty days in the wilderness. As we take this bread and eat it, we are sustained both bodily and spiritually, for the resulting Christliness which we gain is truly satisfying and nourishing.

That men have spiritual needs far transcending the material was discerned by Moses. In exhorting the Israelites to obey God's commandments, he pointed out that disobedience to God had resulted in famine and hunger and that this had come upon them so "that he might make thee know that man doth not live by bread only, but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of the Lord doth man live."Deut. 8:3; It was this passage that Jesus quoted when he was tempted in the wilderness to believe that life is dependent upon matter.

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