Multiplying Bread & Wine

With the wedding just a few weeks away, I keep claiming the promises of  John 2 & John 6 and praying, “Lord, please bless our marriage ceremony and reception by multiplying and transforming our humble provisions into satisfying  and sufficient testaments of Your glory.”

After all, His first miracle was transforming water into wine at a marriage feast.  And one of His best-known miracles was the feeding of the 5,000 with the 5 loaves and 2 fish.

But what do these two miracles really mean?  Are they about how God provides for our needs?  Are they proofs of His divinity?  Do they illustrate principles of personal ministry and service? (In John 2, the servants obeyed Jesus and filled the waterpots and took the cups to thirsty guests; in John 6, the disciples obeyed Jesus and took the bread and fish to the hungry multitude)

They’re so much more than that.  While both passages provide a plethora of significant insights about Jesus, His ministry, our mission, etc., they serve primarily to foreshadow the central theme of Scriptures – the redemption plan of the restoration of the image of God  in human beings.

In John 2, Jesus transforms water from Jewish purification jars into (unfermented) wine that “revealed his glory” (v 11).  A cross-reference to John 12 reveals what it means to reveal His glory; ‘The hour has come for the Son of Man to be glorified.  Very truly I tell you, unless a kernel of wheat falls to the ground and dies, it remains only a single seed. But if it dies, it produces many seeds… Now my soul is troubled, and what shall I say? ‘Father, save me from this hour’? No, it was for this very reason I came to this hour. Father, glorify your name! … And I, when I am lifted up from the earth, will draw all people to myself.’  He said this to show the kind of death He was going to die” (v 23-33).

In John 6, after multiplying the bread, Jesus says, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world” (v51).

And during the Last Supper with His disciples, Jesus tied the two together: “While they were eating, Jesus took bread, and when He had given thanks, he broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body.’ Then He took a cup, and when He had given thanks, He broke it and gave it to His disciples, saying, ‘Take it; this is my body… This is my blood of the covenant, which is poured out for many.'” (Mark 12:22-24)

What does Jesus want us to understand?  That to eat “His flesh” and to drink “His blood” means to believe and accept that He died for me – personally.  That my sins killed Him on the cross.  That He willingly gave His life for me, so that I can live eternally and be daily transformed and redeemed into who He created me to be – His child.

To keep His sacrifice fresh in our minds, to have fresh, unspoiled bread and wine, we must daily eat His Word and ask His Spirit to multiply His work in us, so that our spiritual hunger and thirst can be satisfied – and overflow so that we can share the good news with others.

Father God, thank You for pouring our Your life for me on the cross.  I humbly accept Your gift of eternal life and ask that You would help me keep connected with You daily, so that I can reveal Your glory to the world.  In Jesus’ name I pray, Amen.

I texted you today and challenged you to study John 6 on your own – share what you learned here! 🙂

One thought on “Multiplying Bread & Wine

  1. I think Jesus used such a good analogy here – eating his “flesh” and drinking his “blood” for accepting the truth of the gospel. This message of God’s love is the longing of the human heart. When Jesus says “I am the bread that came down out of heaven” (v. 41), and “I am the bread of life” (v. 48), it resonates with the hungry people who had been previously satisfied by the miracle of the loaves and fish. The food analogy resonates still with us today. When you’re hungry, food sounds so good and tastes even better. That is why Jesus is called the Desire of Ages!

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