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  • Jim Etherton

Jesus: Bread or Jam?

Recently, in the services which I have led, I have been talking about the various passages in John’s gospel where Jesus says “I am …”. These have included “I am the Light of the World” and “I am the Good Shepherd”. On Harvest Sunday morning, we remembered that Jesus said “I am the Bread of Life” and thought about what that means.

At that service, the church was decorated with flowers and a variety of produce including home-grown and shop-bought fruit and vegetables together with loaves of bread, jars of jam and the like.

Reading the words of Jesus in chapter 6 of John’s Gospel, I was struck by one particular aspect of what Jesus meant when he said “I am the Bread of Life”. Bread is a staple food. People who cannot afford luxuries often rely on one staple food as the main element of their diet and cannot live without that one food. In some countries the staple food is rice or maize. For the people to whom Jesus was talking, bread was that staple food – the essential basic part of their diet.

Contrast that with jam. Jam is an added extra in our diet, it adds flavour and interest to our bread but we would not starve without it. Jam is optional while bread is essential.

In modern western society, I think that many of us think of Jesus more like jam than bread. We see him as an optional extra but far from essential. We might think of Jesus occasionally but other things in life seem far more important and take up most of our time and attention.

But the bible teaches us that knowing Jesus is the most important thing in life. He sustains us and gives us strength and wants us to know him personally. He can make a real difference to every aspect of our life if we will allow him to. But he leaves the choice up to us – Jesus does not come into our lives uninvited.

Will you let Jesus be the Bread of Life for you? If you are not sure what that means then get in touch with me or come to a service to find out a bit more.

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