One of my favorite parts of the Christmas season is the week my wife bakes fresh bread as a gift to our neighbors and friends.

Throughout the year, she’ll bake a few loaves or a batch of rolls here and there as we have guests or special occasions. She starts from scratch, with yeast and warm water; later adding flour and a host of other ingredients. My favorites are her banana bread and her cranberry nut bread. And just before Christmas, she makes A LOT. Loaves for neighbors, loaves for friends, and some for us to enjoy at home.

When she is baking bread, the entire house is filled with the aroma. It’s like a special holiday just for your nose. I’ve literally had times where I just stop what I’m doing and take a two-minute break simply to enjoy the smell of the baking bread.

Delivering the bread is the best part. Neighbors who know us know what’s coming, and look forward to it with joy and anticipation. I love seeing the smile appear on their face when I announce, “We made you some homemade banana bread for Christmas.” One of our neighbors likes the banana bread so much that he HIDES the loaf from his family until he can get the first piece! I’m still not convinced he actually shares it afterwards!! (Yes, I’m talking about you, Mario. 🙂)

When I share today’s verse, you’re going to wonder initially what it has to do with bread. Here it is:

This verse come from the sixth chapter of the Gospel of John. Earlier in the chapter, John talks about one of the times Jesus made bread for His neighbors and friends. Over five thousand of them!!!!! And, unlike my wife, when Jesus makes bread, He just MAKES the bread!! He speaks it into existence, no oven needed.

His bread must have been pretty good, because the next day the crowds are searching for Him looking for more. Truth be told, Jesus had so much more He wanted to give them — peace, forgiveness, grace, eternal life; but they came looking for manna. In case you don’t know the story, manana is the bread that God provided for the people of Israel every single day as they wandered in the desert for forty years. The crowds asked Jesus to give them bread, like Moses did.

Jesus tells them they are looking at the gift and missing the giver. He says, “It wasn’t Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father.” He’s basically telling them not to confuse the waiter and the chef. Since they are so focused on receiving the “bread of heaven” Jesus tells them the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world. This sounds like a good deal to the assembled crowd; free bread is ALWAYS a good deal, right? So they tell Jesus, “Sir, give us this bread always.”

They’re telling Him, “Hey Jesus, if you’re going to be our bread man, we want bread every day; just like the folk in the desert got it.” And THAT’s when Jesus connected the dots for them.

He said to them, “I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. Whoever comes to Me shall not hunger.” If they are looking for bread that satisfies, they’ve found it. Then Jesus makes one of the most incredible promises I’ve ever read ….


First of all, God the Father is giving Jesus, the bread of heaven, as a gift. Just like my wife and I, He’s going to people’s doors and knocking on them. Thanks to the verse in the book of Revelation that says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock,” I’ve seen plenty of depictions of Jesus knocking on a door. Haven’t seen one yet where He’s holding a loaf of bread while He knocks. But Jesus is the gift of the Father to a world in need of a savior.

But don’t miss the OTHER gift that the Father has in mind. Jesus referred to, “Those the Father has given Me.” He was talking about you. God the Father wants to give YOU to Jesus. You’re a gift to Him.

Now you may think to yourself, “Well I’M NOT A VERY GOOD GIFT!” You may recall the times you’ve failed, the sins you’ve chosen to commit, the people you’ve hurt and the terrible ways you’ve behaved. You may be able to think of a thousand and one reasons why you should NOT be a gift to the most holy person to ever walk the face of the planet. And yet, you are!

And that is where the SECOND part of the verse, the most amazing part of the promise, comes into play.


No one who comes to Jesus is ever turned away. No one has ever heard Him say, “I would have welcomed you, except for this ONE BIG SIN you committed.” No, not at all. Even with all the times you’ve failed, the sins you’ve chosen to commit, the people you’ve hurt and the terrible ways you’ve behaved. Even if there are HUNDREDS OF THOUSANDS of reasons why the most holy person to ever walk the face of the planet should NOT receive you. His promise is as simple as it is profound — I WILL NEVER REJECT THEM.

Now there are only four words left to examine in today’s verse — WILL COME TO ME.

You are the one invited to come receive Jesus, the bread of heaven. He’s a better gift than the best loaf my wife ever made, better than the most wonderful bread you’ve ever smelled. Jesus, the bread of heaven, is waiting for you to come. He promises never to reject you.


Are you hungry yet?

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