Part IV of our series on Sharing Your Bread
One of the key points we addressed in the last post, related to the Work of Mercy of Sharing Your Bread, is that we should work for food that “endures unto eternal life” which means using our meals for more than just feeding our bodies.
And from where does this food come? John 6:27 says this:
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
This is a reversal of the curse of Genesis 3:19, which is the consequence of human sin:
“By the sweat of your brow you will eat your food until you return to the ground, since from it you were taken; for dust you are and to dust you will return.”
Instead, what Jesus offers us is the invitation of Isaiah 55:1-3 (notice the word “buy” here, which is the word Jesus uses in John 6:5, “Where shall we buy bread?”):
1 “Come, everyone who thirsts,
come to the waters;
and he who has no money,
come, buy and eat!
Come, buy wine and milk
without money and without price.
2 Why do you spend your money for that which is not bread,
and your labor for that which does not satisfy?
Listen diligently to me, and eat what is good,
and delight yourselves in rich food.
3 Incline your ear, and come to me;
hear, that your soul may live;
and I will make with you an everlasting covenant,
my steadfast, sure love for David.
This means that we no longer work to make money to take care of our bodies! Instead, we work as our reasonable worship, and we trust him to provide food not only for our bodies but for our souls and spirits as well.
There is another verse in Scripture that makes the very same point as John 6:27, and that is Matthew 6:33:
But seek first his kingdom and his righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well.
This is why the main question related to the Work of Mercy of sharing your bread is not “With whom” or “How much do I spend?” but “From where?” From where does your physical food come?
Through Scripture we know that all food comes as a gift from God. As it says in James 1:17:
Every good and perfect gift is from above, coming down from the Father of the heavenly lights, who does not change like shifting shadows.
Does your food come from your own work? If so, it will spoil. If it comes from your own work and points to your own work (e.g., “I spent half a month’s wages on this meal!”) and it is used only to fuel your own work and the work of the others who eat it, then that food will spoil.
That is not why God gave food. God gave food for fellowship with him—fellowship in body, soul, and spirit.
So when we receive all food—meals, snacks, everything—as fellowship gifts given by the Son of Man, when we receive it as bread crumbs that lead us back to fellowship with God and then with God’s people, when we invest it in fellowship that strengthens body, soul, and spirit, then that physical food will endure to eternal life. It comes from heaven and it returns to heaven—God’s provision becoming our worship.
Eating is designed to be a form of worship.
Now let me ask you a question: Do you think you can eat a meal like that alone?
Do you think if you gulp down a Power Bar for lunch in front of your computer that that meal will strengthen body, soul, and spirit and endure to eternal life, spilling out into fellowship with the heavenly Father and all God’s people?