Feeding the Multitudes - May 2015 Yavoh Article

What if you had a device that could replicate food or drink for you anytime you wanted it? Let’s say you wanted a sandwich and you could go to this device, enter the code, and in moments a sandwich would present itself at the output hot and ready. Oh, and here is the good part: the device did not require you to load anything in it first or require any special power. It was completely self-contained and portable for wherever you went. Imagine the reduction in your food bill and the preparation time for meals.

I’m sure you would want to have such a device for you and your family. That same desire was expressed by the disciples when Yeshua “replicated” the fishes and the loaves to feed the multitudes.

One of the fascinating themes throughout Scripture is the reference to bread. It is a staple in the human diet in just about every culture in the world. The Appointed Times of the Lord contain elements of bread in their celebration, and the Lord climaxed His teachings at His last Passover by saying He was the bread of life. During His ministry, He wanted to teach His disciples powerful spiritual lessons, and the feeding of the multitudes had a very powerful message for the disciples and for us today.

When Yeshua took the two fish and five barley loaves to make a meal for the thousands, He was working with a standard daily meal. The fish had been caught locally, most likely from the Sea of Galilee by fishermen. The loaves of barley were probably formed by hand and baked in a rock or brick style oven.

When Yeshua took the fish and loaves to provide food for the large group, it was a most effective way of gaining the people’s attention. It was a profound miracle for them based on their daily need for food! Yeshua did other miracles that were witnessed by many: giving sight to the blind, healing the sick, causing the lame to walk, cleansing lepers, etc. He ministered to many individual needs. But the multiplication of food was compelling for everyone. Everyone experienced eating the food without cost or the need for preparation. It is then even more significant that Yeshua used this miracle (the feeding of the multitudes) to teach some profound lessons that affected everyone, just as food does.

Let’s examine Yeshua’s miracle of multiplying food and understand what profound things He taught. He did the miracle twice, even drawing a comparison to the two feedings in teaching His disciples. It is referred to as the feeding of the 5,000 and the 4,000. All four Gospels address this subject.

The first time Yeshua fed the multitudes it was a group of five thousand. The traditionally recognized place is called today Tabgha along the northwest shore of the Sea of Galilee. The Greeks had a different name for the place. They called it Heptapegon, which means “seven springs.” If you walked north from there several miles you would come to the city of Capernaum, the home of Peter and where Yeshua based His ministry in the Galilee. If you looked south you would see the large Roman city of Tiberius, a place that most Israelites avoided. If you followed the plain away from the sea you came to a village called Magdala. Mary, one of Yeshua’s staunchest female followers, was from there. We know her as Mary (the) Magdalene. If you walked up in elevation from Tabgha you were on what we call today the Mount of Beatitudes where, it is said, Yeshua taught the “sermon on the mount.” This entire area was traveled extensively and was a green and pleasant area. It is also said that Matthew the tax collector worked there collecting taxes from travelers in the Galilee area before he began to follow Yeshua. It was an ideal location for Yeshua to teach — the people could rest and there was plenty of fresh water.

Let’s begin first with Matthew’s sharing of the miracle. This whole event came on the heels of hearing that John the Baptist had been beheaded. Yeshua went away from the people in a boat alone, possibly to mourn the loss of His cousin John.

Now when Yeshua heard about John [the death of John], He withdrew from there in a boat to a secluded place by Himself; and when the people heard of this, they followed Him on foot from the cities. Matthew 14:13

This is a rather interesting scene. Yeshua is in a boat and a multitude of people are tracking him along the shore (apparently the disciples were in the boat as well according to the Gospel of Mark).

When He went ashore, He saw a large crowd, and felt compassion for them and healed their sick. When it was evening, the disciples came to Him, and said, “This place is desolate and the hour is already late; so send the crowds away, that they may go into the villages and buy food for themselves.” Matthew 14:14-15

The Biblical term “evening” can include the late afternoon leading into the night time, but it had become quite late in the day, and this was the time when food would be prepared for the evening meal. It was logical for the disciples to conclude that the day’s activities needed to come to a close since the need for daily food would take precedence over everything else. But Yeshua turned the tables (excuse the pun) on the disciples and suggested something that had never been considered.

But Yeshua said to them, “They do not need to go away; you give them something to eat!” They said to Him, “We have here only five loaves and two fish.” Matthew 14:16-17

I can only imagine how perplexing this event would have been to the disciples. They have pledged themselves to follow Yeshua and His instruction only to be given an impossible task—feeding a multitude of hungry people. The Gospels of Mark and John give us a little more insight into this discussion.

But He answered them, “You give them something to eat!” And they said to Him, “Shall we go and spend two hundred denarii on bread and give them something to eat?” And He said to them, “How many loaves do you have? Go look!” And when they found out, they said, “Five, and two fish.” Mark 6:37-38

Therefore Yeshua, lifting up His eyes and seeing that a large crowd was coming to Him, said to Philip, “Where are we to buy bread so that these may eat?” This He was saying to test him; for He Himself knew what He was intending to do. Philip answered Him, “Two hundred denarii worth of bread is not sufficient for them, for everyone to receive a little.” One of His disciples, Andrew, Simon Peter's brother, said to Him, “There is a lad here who has five barley loaves and two fish, but what are these for so many people?” John 6:5-9

There is no question that this is a teaching moment for the disciples. First, the people needed food at the conclusion of the day. The first thought of the disciples is that ministry must stop to allow the people to go take care of themselves. But Yeshua confronted them with the idea that they needed to solve the food problem (a common problem for everyone). They then considered their resources (money). This was the money given to them from their ministry activities. But the amount did not address the size of the problem. Besides, where is the bakery that is ready for an order of bread to satisfy everyone at that time of day? One denarius could buy daily food for one man. They could feed approximately 200 but the need was for at least 5,000. Andrew had found a young boy with his food of two fish and five barley loaves. It was even less than what their money could do.

Remember, this event was shortly before Passover. Only the barley has been harvested at this point in the season, thus the reason for the barley loaves instead of wheat loaves.

Let us stop and think for moment. The disciples were facing an overwhelming need, but they had forgotten something. The Living God was right there with them, the Creator of all things! They had witnessed Yeshua make wine out of water. Could He transform foods as well? Apparently, the thought never crossed their minds. Many times in our own daily lives we forget Who is walking with us. Many times the “daily needs and routine” trump our spirituality and seem perplexed by relatively minor things. Yeshua wanted to change the thinking in His disciples on these matters, not to yet the mundane daily things trump the spiritual.

Yeshua then instructed them to bring the available food and have the people be seated and readied to eat.

And He said, “Bring them here to Me.” Ordering the people to sit down on the grass, He took the five loaves and the two fish, and looking up toward heaven, He blessed the food, and breaking the loaves He gave them to the disciples, and the disciples gave to the crowds, Matthew 14:18-19

The people were directed to sit in groups of fifties before Yeshua multiplied the food. This is an interesting detail given by Luke in his Gospel.

(For there were about five thousand men.) And He said to His disciples, “Have them sit down to eat in groups of about fifty each.” Luke 9:14

Consider this question for a moment. Let’s say you have food for 5,000 men and others joining them (the number could have been more than double the 5,000) and you want to give them the food. Do they line up? How do you organize them to distribute the food in a timely and safe manner? Answer: have them be seated in manageable groups and take the food to the groups. This method would be orderly, ensuring everyone is served in a timely manner.

As a former logistics engineer, this is why I believe there is truth in this testimony. Anyone fabricating this story would not have known this or its importance in the story. It is another reason why I see and value the wisdom of our Master to follow His instructions at all times.

And they all ate and were satisfied. They picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, twelve full baskets. There were about five thousand men who ate, besides women and children. Matthew 14:20-21

At the conclusion of the meal, they gathered what remained.

And they picked up twelve full baskets of the broken pieces, and also of the fish. Mark 6:43

At the conclusion of this gathering, Yeshua immediately sent the disciples in the boat north to Bethsaida. I believe that the disciples took the baskets of leftovers with them (otherwise why had He instructed them to gather it up?). He dismissed the multitude, sending them to their homes while He went toward the mountain. That night, a storm came up on the Sea of Galilee (the disciples were in the boat alone trying to make it to the northern point) and this is when Yeshua came walking on the water to them. We will pick up that story shortly, but let us look at the second feeding of the multitudes that Yeshua did first.

Yeshua found Himself again teaching near the Sea of Galilee from a mountain. We do not know what time frame this was, but it was some time after the feeding of the 5,000—most likely several months have passed. This time, the multitude came to Him and remained with Him for three days as He healed the crippled, gave sight to the blind, and gave speech to the dumb. He also taught them extensively. At the end of the three days, Yeshua did not to send them away without food.

And Yeshua called His disciples to Him, and said, “I feel compassion for the people, because they have remained with Me now three days and have nothing to eat; and I do not want to send them away hungry, for they might faint on the way.” The disciples said to Him, “Where would we get so many loaves in this desolate place to satisfy such a large crowd?” And Yeshua said to them, “How many loaves do you have?” And they said, “Seven, and a few small fish.” Matthew 15:32-34

Since the disciples had been through this scenario before, they simply followed the Master’s instructions.

And He directed the people to sit down on the ground; and He took the seven loaves and the fish; and giving thanks, He broke them and started giving them to the disciples, and the disciples gave them to the people. And they all ate, and were satisfied, and they picked up what was left over of the broken pieces, seven large baskets full. And those who ate were four thousand men, besides women and children. Matthew 15:35-38

With the exception of the number of starting loaves and ending baskets, the miracles were essentially repeated. And as He did the previous time, He dismissed the crowd and went by boat to a place called by Mark Dalmanutha, a disputed location by some archeologists until the famous Sea of Galilee boat was found at Nof Ginnosar (an Israeli kibbutz). It too is in the region of Magadan as Matthew recorded.

About four thousand were there; and He sent them away. And immediately He entered the boat with His disciples, and came to the district of Dalmanutha. Mark 8:9-10

It is clear that there were two feedings of the multitudes, the five thousand first and then the four thousand. It is also clear that the Messiah was careful with these miracles, only performing them twice. In fact, after the feeding of the five thousand, it seemed like He would not do it again based on what followed the first feeding. Let’s examine a bit more what happened after the first feeding of the 5,000.

If you will recall, the Messiah dismissed the people and sent the disciples with the twelve baskets north in the boat. Their destination was Bethsaida at the northern tip of the sea.

Immediately He made the disciples get into the boat and go ahead of Him to the other side, while He sent the crowds away. Matthew 14:22

This is rather curious. Why did Yeshua send the disciples and boat away so suddenly while He dismissed the people? The answer will become clear shortly. I believe that the people were more interested in the leftover twelve baskets of bread fragments.

After He had sent the crowds away, He went up to the mountain by Himself to pray; and when it was evening, He was there alone. Matthew 14:23

Yeshua actually ran resistance to keep the people from besieging the boat and the disciples. Yeshua knew the hearts of the people; they were going to want to see this miracle again and again. Yeshua understood that the people would make the physical food their priority (the physical and not the spiritual).

However, a storm came up that night and the disciples sailing north were in fear for their lives. This is the night that Yeshua walked out onto the water to join them in the storm. This event is also part of the teaching lesson for the disciples.

But the boat was already a long distance from the land, battered by the waves; for the wind was contrary. And in the fourth watch of the night He came to them, walking on the sea. When the disciples saw Him walking on the sea, they were terrified, and said, “It is a ghost!” And they cried out in fear. But immediately Yeshua spoke to them, saying, “Take courage, it is I; do not be afraid.” Matthew 14:24-27

Mark’s Gospel gives us essentially the same story but offers some other information.

Seeing them straining at the oars, for the wind was against them, at about the fourth watch of the night, He came to them, walking on the sea; and He intended to pass by them. Mark 6:48

The wind of the storm would have kept them from deploying the sail so they were forced to manually use the oars to propel themselves in the water. What happened next was Peter’s attempt to walk on the water himself. Yeshua had to assist him back to the boat. As He entered the boat Yeshua commanded the storm to be still and immediately the winds and sea became calm. The disciples were in awe of what had happened.

And those who were in the boat worshiped Him, saying, “You are certainly God’s Son!” Matthew 14:33

They may have remembered when Yeshua calmed an earlier storm on a previous trip when He was asleep in the boat, as told in Matthew’s Gospel.

He said to them, “Why are you afraid, you men of little faith?" Then He got up and rebuked the winds and the sea; and it became perfectly calm. The men were amazed, and said, “What kind of a man is this, that even the winds and the sea obey Him?” Matthew 8:26-27

Or maybe this Scripture came to mind for them.

Who has ascended into heaven and descended? Who has gathered the wind in His fists? Who has wrapped the waters in His garment? Who has established all the ends of the earth? What is His name or His son's name? Surely you know! Proverbs 30:4

If you and I had been there, I’m certain that we would have had the same reaction of awe. However, let’s step back for the moment. We know that many of the disciples were fishermen. When the Gospel says that they were in fear for their lives, it was no small thing. As they were trying to row to any piece of land, they were probably struggling to operate the oars and work in a coordinated fashion as they had to clamor over those twelve baskets of bread in the boat. Did it cross their minds that the Messiah who created bread that day would NOT allow them to drown that night transporting it? It does not appear so. Yeshua walking on water to them and calming the wind was like the final point for the events of that day. They did not make it to Bethsaida that night; they were forced to seek port in Capernaum halfway to their goal.

Let’s examine the day’s lesson for the disciples. First, they faced a common problem for each and every day. What are we going to eat? Secondly, they faced an acute problem thrust upon them in the course of their daily routine. Both times, uncertainty disabled their problem-solving and they were perplexed. The simple lesson for the disciples was to stop and consider God’s presence in their lives, His resources, and His pledge to assist them. They had but to ask for His help and His provision to overcome their disabling fears. This is the most basic of spiritual lessons for all believers. We cannot live our lives autonomous and separate from God; even the daily routine requires His assistance. When crisis strikes, we must learn to immediately seek the Lord for the solution. This is how we live a successful spiritual life.

On a personal note, I was confronted by my own father when he saw my zeal to follow the Lord as a young man of 20 years. He said to me, “You can’t eat the Bible.” For him, the mundane (eating bread) was a greater priority than the spiritual. I remember how God answered him using my mouth (the Spirit of God did the speaking).

“Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeded out of the mouth of the Lord.” My father never questioned me again about my faith. Back to our story…

The next day, the testimony of Yeshua feeding the multitudes spread throughout the region, and an even greater assembly of folks from the surrounding area of Tabgha gathered. They had seen Yeshua go one way, but the boat with the bread went a different way. Therefore the new multitude began traveling north and using boats to “chase down” the disciples with the bread.

John records that the traveling multitude came to Capernaum and discovered the disciples (with the bread) and Yeshua there as well.

There came other small boats from Tiberias near to the place where they ate the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that Yeshua was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum, seeking Yeshua. And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You get here?" John 6:23-25

John shares with us the noble reason of seeking Yeshua out in coming to Capernaum, but it was not as noble as they had stated. They had seen Yeshua go a different direction; He did not go toward Capernaum nor was He in the boat with the disciples. Yet they claimed that they were seeking Yeshua. They were in fact chasing the boat with the bread. Yeshua addresses this immediately.

Yeshua answered them and said, "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves, and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal." John 6:26-27

Yeshua is teaching the lesson of seeking the spiritual more than the mundane (temporal). He was trying to explain that the spiritual was a completely different kind of bread, far more valuable than the simple bread that had been gathered in baskets. They responded to His “better bread” not understanding what He meant.

They said therefore to Him, "Lord, always give us this bread." John 6:34

The lesson of the bread was not about the abundance of bread. The lesson was about life, and specifically eternal life. Yeshua then taught this.

Yeshua said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day." John 6:35-40

The ability to see heavenly or spiritual things in earthly or natural things is the sign. Yeshua was using the need for bread to show them their need for God. He fed the multitude as a sign for them to grasp the spiritual implications, but many of them couldn’t translate the sign into spiritual truth. They were natural men only seeking the natural. Even the religious men among them didn’t seem to grasp the concept He was sharing.

Therefore the Jews were grumbling about Him, because He said, “I am the bread that came down out of heaven.” They were saying, "Is not this Yeshua, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does He now say, 'I have come down out of heaven'?" Yeshua answered and said to them, "Do not grumble among yourselves. No one can come to Me, unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up on the last day. It is written in the prophets, 'And they shall all be taught of God.' Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father, comes to Me. Not that any man has seen the Father, except the One who is from God; He has seen the Father. Truly, truly, I say to you, he who believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I will give for the life of the world is My flesh." John 6:41-51

The bread they ate the day before was provided by Yeshua. They saw it and ate it. The bread (manna) given in the wilderness was seen and eaten by their fathers. It was also given by God to them. Yet they struggled to see the comparison, that the two signs were the same. Moses had been sent to them bearing signs (proofs) that he had been sent. Yeshua had been sent by the Father to them. They were beholding Him. He, too, came bearing signs. Why was it then strange that He should compare Himself to the bread so that they would believe that He had been sent? But they failed to grasp the comparison and again found themselves struggling with the natural things.

Then the Jews [the religious leaders] began to argue with one another, saying, "How can this man give us His flesh to eat?" So Yeshua said to them, "Truly, truly, I say to you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day. For My flesh is true food, and My blood is true drink. He who eats My flesh and drinks My blood abides in Me, and I in him. As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who eats Me, he also will live because of Me. This is the bread which came down out of heaven; not as the fathers ate, and died, he who eats this bread shall live forever." These things He said in the synagogue, as He taught in Capernaum. John 6:52-59

Yeshua’s words seem stern and direct. I believe they were pointed directly at the religious leaders who could not or refused to receive the instruction. Obviously, Yeshua was not speaking of literally eating flesh and blood. Instead, He was speaking of the parallel with the manna in the wilderness and the feeding of the multitudes. Both the manna and the bread came from the same source—God. And He was testifying to the fact that He Himself was sent from God.

Now aside from the religious leaders who struggled with the comparisons, how did the multitude of people handle this instruction? How did the disciples deal with this subject as well? Apparently, they didn’t deal with it well at all. The large gathering of the people looking for the bread dwindled significantly.

Therefore many of His disciples, when they heard this said, "This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?" But Yeshua, conscious that His disciples grumbled at this, said to them, "Does this cause you to stumble? What then if you should behold the Son of Man ascending where He was before? It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing; the words that I have spoken to you are spirit and are life. But there are some of you who do not believe." For Yeshua knew from the beginning who they were who did not believe, and who it was that would betray Him. And He was saying, "For this reason I have said to you, that no one can come to Me, unless it has been granted him from the Father." As a result of this many of His disciples withdrew, and were not walking with Him anymore. John 6:60-66

The crowd did dwindle, but many in the area of Galilee still sought out Yeshua and His teaching. This may be the reason the next feeding of the multitude was a smaller group of four thousand.

There are many profound things to be learned from the miracle and Yeshua’s teaching about it. First, people don’t believe in God just because their physical needs are met. Belief is a spiritual thing that goes well beyond the natural. One must see and taste the bread but even more see and believe the spiritual, which is unseen but more powerful.

Did the disciples believe what Yeshua had said? Just hanging out with Yeshua did not mean that they believed Him. Yeshua asked them if they wanted to leave.

So Yeshua said to the twelve, “You do not want to go away also, do you?” Simon Peter answered Him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that You are the Holy One of God.” Yeshua answered them, “Did I Myself not choose you, the twelve, and yet one of you is a devil?” Now He meant Judas the son of Simon Iscariot, for he, one of the twelve, was going to betray Him. After these things Yeshua was walking in Galilee; for He was unwilling to walk in Judea, because the Jews were seeking to kill Him. John 6:67-7:1

Isn’t that interesting!? The miracle of feeding the multitude and the teaching that went with it is the core teaching that turned the religious Jews to hate Yeshua and seek His life. Apparently, the miracle was too great for them. The teaching was too profound; Yeshua’s words were too much to bear.

Why is there a reference to Judas at this point? The apostle John makes this point very directly. When the religious leaders made the decision in their hearts to get rid of Yeshua, it came at this lesson (the mundane versus the spiritual)—the feeding of the multitudes. But to carry out the plan of eliminating Yeshua would require someone on the “inside.” The Bible records that Judas became the “inside guy” for them to bring about Yeshua’s death. John’s Gospel clearly shows us that Yeshua understood what was happening and the future that would follow.

The conflict with the religious Jews was now set and there was no going back. The battle was on now with the devil himself. The religious Jews hated Yeshua. The betrayer was in place among the twelve. It was only now a waiting game for the right time before the devil and the hatred of Yeshua would result in His death. Yeshua knew the time was coming soon as well. You can sense that “His time” would be a future Passover in Jerusalem.

But before that time came and after the two feedings, Yeshua had another lesson for His disciples and us to learn. It was the review and comparison of the two miracles feedings.

It is almost funny how the teaching came about. Here is Yeshua and His disciples traveling and teaching when suddenly they discovered they lack enough provisions. They didn’t have any bread!

And the disciples came to the other side of the sea, but they had forgotten to bring bread. And Yeshua said to them, “Watch out and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” They began to discuss among themselves, saying, “He said that because we did not bring any bread.” Matthew 16:5-7

Again, the disciples were not grasping what Yeshua was saying. They think the issue is natural bread again. Consider this: If they needed bread that badly, couldn’t Yeshua just provide it Himself? Answer: Yes. Yeshua is talking about something more important than simple bread. Yeshua then reminds them of when He made bread.

But Yeshua, aware of this, said, "You men of little faith, why do you discuss among yourselves that you have no bread? Do you not yet understand or remember the five loaves of the five thousand, and how many baskets full you picked up? Or the seven loaves of the four thousand, and how many large baskets full you picked up?” Matthew 16:8-10

Yeshua then followed His question directing them to compare the teachings of the Pharisees and Sadducees (the religious Jews) to His teaching.

“How is it that you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread? But beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees.” Then they understood that He did not say to beware of the leaven of bread, but of the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees. Matthew 16:11-12

The disciples made the comparison, but did we make the comparison? Let us reason this out. Yeshua took five loaves, fed five thousand, and yielded a surplus of twelve baskets of bread fragments. The next time He took seven loaves, fed four thousand, and yielded seven baskets. How is the teaching of the Pharisees and Sadducees compared to the teaching of Yeshua?

To explain, the Pharisees preferred their precepts and traditions (the number seven) to the teaching of Moses and the Torah (the number five). The Pharisees (and Judaism today) teach the seven laws of Noah for the world; they don’t believe the Torah (the five books of Moses) is for the whole world. What is the end result for the teaching the seven laws of Noah? A divided kingdom (one set of rules for the Jews and another set for the non-Jews). Welcome to the religious world of today! Welcome to the disaster we live in today.

But Yeshua's teaching was the whole Law of God (the imagery of the five loaves) for all people to form one kingdom. That kingdom is called “Israel” symbolized by the twelve tribes of Israel (the twelve baskets). Welcome to the teaching of the Messianic movement! Do we not teach the Torah for all just as Moses stated and Yeshua taught?

But have we learned the lesson about the bread? Why does God keeping using the bread at the very core of our spiritual instruction? Consider this: Why was Joseph’s Egyptian name “the bread man of life?” Why the twelve loaves of Showbread to symbolize all of the tribes in the tabernacle and temple? Why the “bread of haste” at Passover? Why is the Afikoman (the broken bread) the best part of the meal? Why the Feast of Unleavened Bread? Why the waving of the sheaves of grain at the Feast of First Fruits? Why the counting of the Omer of seven Sabbaths and the fiftieth day (a daily measure of grain to make bread). Why the waving of two loaves at the Feast of Weeks? And finally, why the reminder of how our ancestors ate “bread from heaven” (manna) in the wilderness when we keep the Feast of Tabernacles?

The next time you pull out a piece of bread or fix yourself a fish sandwich, remember, it is not about the natural. It is about the true bread from heaven that has given us life!