Saturday, February 17, 2018

Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent--Bread of Life

artwork by Krista Hamrick

John 6:48:

NASB: I am the bread of life.Amplified: I am the Bread of Life [the Living Bread which gives and sustains life].

Expanded Bible: I am the ·bread that gives life [bread of life].

Living Bible: Yes, I am the Bread of Life!

The Voice: I am the bread that gives life.

Bread was the primary food of people in Bible times. It was made from a variety of grains, often mixed with lentils or beans. The “loaves” were baked flat, about a half inch thick. In the Bible, bread is symbolic as the sustainer of physical life.

Theologian Haddon W. Robinson writes: “Years ago my wife and I took our children to an amusement park in Texas. By day’s end, Vicki and Torrey were tired and hungry. As we were leaving, we passed a concession stand and Vicki asked for some cotton candy. I told her we would get some real food in a few minutes, but she wouldn’t hear of it. So I decided to invest $1.50 to teach her a lesson. Vicki got the cotton candy she begged for. But as she bit into it, she discovered there was nothing to it. Finally she handed it back to me and said, “Daddy, it’s not real!” She knew she was hungry, and she learned that cotton candy promises something it can’t deliver. There is a deep hunger within all of us. Sigmund Freud believed people are hungry for love. Karl Jung insisted that we crave security. Alfred Adler maintained that significance is what we are after. But Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life” John 6:48. Jesus was saying that if we want the deepest hunger of our life satisfied, we need to go to Him to be filled. He knew that our hunger and thirst are really for Him. Don’t settle for spiritual cotton candy when Christ can fill the emptiness in your life. Only the Bread of Life can satisfy our spiritual hunger.”

Pastor John MacArthur states: “I want to draw your attention to John 6:32-59 where our Lord gives this great sermon on, I Am the Bread of Life. He repeats that several times. “I am the Bread of Life.” It is interesting to note also that the word “Bethlehem” in Hebrew means “house of bread.” This sermon is a shocking day toward the end of the Galilean ministry of Jesus as He taught the Jewish people in the synagogue at Capernaum. The most compelling statement around which all of this is built is the repeated statement, “I am the Bread of life.”  That’s His claim, verse 32, verse 33, verse 48. This is the first of seven “I AMs” in the Gospel of John, in which our Lord takes the verb “to be” in Hebrew, the name of God who is the “I AM that I AM,” and applies it to Himself and adds a metaphor. “I am the Bread of life. I am the Good Shepherd. I am the Vine. I am the Way. I am the Truth. I am the Life. I am the Resurrection and the Life.”  All of those I AMs are efforts on the part of our Lord to make clear that He is one in the same as God. This is the first of those seven I AMs, in which He takes the name of God, and in this case applies as He does on several of those occasions, a metaphor to explain something about His nature and His work.  Now, you have to understand how monumental this sermon was given in the Capernaum synagogue.  He’s talking to Jewish people, and He presents this powerful claim that He has come down from heaven.  Jesus is saying, “I AM the means by which eternal life can become yours.” To say that He is bread is to use really a metonym for food, nourishing food that gives life and sustenance. Bread, then, was simply a word that encompassed all nutritious food.  Jesus is saying that, “I am your food. I am your true soul food.” Eating is necessary. Eating is in response to hunger. Eating is personal and eating is transformational. If you don’t eat physically, you will die. If you eat, the food you take in transforms you, and that’s what Christ does. We are praying for those who have come, looked, or are looking, but haven’t believed, received, eaten, accepting Christ, not only as the bread that nourishes the soul, but the blood that cleanses the soul.”

Theologian Richard L. Pratt, Jr. writes, “In chapter 6, John employs a chiastic structure (a writing style that uses a unique repetition pattern for clarification and emphasis) focusing upon unbelief…”
A. I am the bread of life (6:35)
B. whoever believes (6:35)

C. seen (6:36)

D. All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never cast out (6:37)

E. sent me…raise it up on the last day…I will raise him up on the last day (6:38-40)

F. grumbled (6:41)

G. Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How does he now say, I have come down from heaven (6:42)

F. grumble (6:43)

E. sent me…I will raise him up on the last day (6:44)

D. And they will all be taught by God. Everyone who has heard and learned from the Father comes to me (6:45)

C. seen…seen (6:46)

B. whoever believes (6:47)

A. I am the bread of life (6:48)

Jesus is the Bread of Life, the Light of the World, our Counselor, our Good Shepherd. Prayerfully studying and meditating on the character traits and names of God is one of the most faith-building, encouraging things you can do for your spiritual life. It will dispel your anxiety and boost your faith. It will enable you to trust God more. Knowing the true character of God will renew and transform your mind with the truth, dissolve doubt, and breathe life into your soul. Saying aloud the attributes of the Lord and thinking about how you’ve experienced different aspects of His character can be a powerful act of worship. Ask God to reveal Himself to you in greater clarity than you’ve ever experienced before.

Lord Jesus, my Bread of Life, thank You that You have put within each of us a spiritual hunger that only You can fill. Cause me to hunger and thirst for You and Your life today. I want to join You in what You are doing to rescue those who are perishing, to feed those who are hungry and thirsty with your Bread of Life and Living Water. Help me to hear and obey when You call on me. Empower me to be Your hands and Your feet in the place where I live. In Jesus’ mighty Name Above All Names—Bread of Life, we pray, amen.

Look Up—meditate on John 6:48

Look In
—as you meditate on John 6:48 pray to see how you might apply it to your life.

Look Out—as you meditate on John 6:48 pray to see how you might apply it to your relationships with others.

* If you liked this post, you'll love this page -- Name Above All Names: Devotions for Lent

* If you liked this post, you’ll love this book – Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ

How this book came to be...

Krista Hamrick’s beautiful original art print, Name Above All Names Alphabet, has so inspired me. Each of the 26 individual Names she has identified are so special, as Krista has intricately painted, almost like stained glass windows, each one with its Scripture reference. Krista has said, “This is probably the painting that I have most enjoyed researching, designing, redesigning and painting. Beth Willis Miller has expanded upon each name with devotional word studies. By knowing, believing and trusting who God says He is, we can be confident in who He has created us to be.” I so agree with Krista! 

My heart has been drawn to do a word study for each of the names included in her art print. Krista and I felt led to publish our Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ available now on Amazon as a softcover book and as a Kindle book at this link.
Combining the beauty of Krista's artistic excellence with these word study devotionals is perfect for individual quiet reflection or small group Bible studies focusing on the Name Above All Names—Jesus Christ—and His attributes and characteristics.

Review by Michele Morin: “The infinite variety in nature, the curious complexity of human behavior, the synchronicity of multiple systems in our own anatomy — and in the solar system — all point, through general revelation, to the nature of God: multi-faceted, magnificent, and yet mysterious. Special revelation in Scripture picks up where creation leaves off, and Beth Willis Miller has teamed up with artist Krista Hamrick to focus on twenty-six pieces of evidence in Name Above All Names Devotional: Focusing on 26 Alphabetical Names of Christ. The result is an alphabetical collection that resembles a twenty-six sided gem, each facet reflecting a slightly different hue of the nature of God the Son. From Alpha and Omega to King of Zion, each devotional highlights the Scriptural basis for the name in multiple translations and then provides commentary on the verses. Beth applies the truth and then invites her readers to join her in a prayer that turns the truth into a paean of praise. No mere academic exercise, the point of Name Above All Names Devotional is threefold:

Look up – Meditate on the name and what it reveals about the character of God.

Look in – I am propelled to ask galvanizing questions about my discoveries: “Because God is ___________________, I should therefore _______________.”

Look out – Let the nature of God impact on every relationship, for your good, and for His glory.

With full-color art work and space for notes, Name Above All Names Devotional is a treasure for devotional reading, a resource for serious study, and a thoughtful and inspiring gift for loved ones.” (review by Michele Morin)Weekly LinkUps…


  1. Thank you for another beautiful piece of encouragement. This is a call I need to remember daily: "Don’t settle for spiritual cotton candy when Christ can fill the emptiness in your life."

    LORD forgive me for feasting on the foods of pride and shame and fear above the truth of Your Holy Word. For choosing cotton candy above YOU. Yes, keep growing a hunger and thirst in me for Your Word that I might continue to return and rest in YOU. Amen.

    1. Amen, Anna! I so agree with you...“as the deer pants for the water”...I especially like the closing phrase of your prayer... “that I might continue to return and REST in YOU!” Many blessings to you ❤️

  2. Replies
    1. Elizabeth, thank you so much for stopping by and leaving such a positive comment! Many blessings to you ❤️

  3. God is surely answering your prayer, dear friend, as you surely are delivering His life-giving bread to hungry, hurting hearts. I will never forget how you were there, such an angel of mercy, to Zach and me when we needed it most. May Jesus bless you abundantly today!

    1. Cheryl, what a joy it was to “break bread” with you and Zach while we were visiting Helen in December. It was a wonderful blessing from the Lord to have such a divine appointment to share God’s Word and pray with you both during that difficult time. Many blessings to you ❤️


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