Then said they to him, Lord, ever more give us this bread.…
1. Every living thing is a feeding thing. That it feeds is the test and signal that it lives.
2. Moreover, every living thing, whatever it may be, whether lowest in the scale of existence, or highest, must have food appropriate to itself, or it cannot live. There is a pathetic story which comes to us from the earlier explorations of the vast island of Australia. In the central deserts of that island there grows a strange plant called the nardoo, bearing leaves like clover. The Englishmen Burk and Wells, who were making these explorations, in the failure of other food, followed the example of the natives, and began to eat the leaves and roots of this plant named nardoo. It seemed to satisfy them; it seemed to fill them with a pleasant sense of comfort and repletion. But they grew weaker every day, and more emaciated; they were not hungry, for the plant seemed to satisfy the calling of hunger. But all the effects of an unfilled hunger began to appear in them; their flesh wasted from their bones, their strength leaked till they scarcely had the energy of an infant; they could not crawl on in their journey more than a mile or two a day. At last one of them perished of star- vation; the other was rescued in the last extremity of it. On analysis, it was discovered that the bread made of this plant lacked an element essential to the sustenance of a European. And so, even though they seemed fed, the explorers wasted away, and one of them died, because they were feeding on a sustenance in. appropriate.
3. Now all this is true of man's higher and moral nature. The mistake men are constantly making is, that they seek to feed their higher nature upon wrong food, which may satisfy for the time, but in the long run cannot keep back the pangs of a noble spiritual hunger.
4. This is what Christ came into the world to be to men — the appropriate, satisfying, sustaining, upbuilding food for their highest nature.
(1) Christ, the Bread of Life, feeds and fills the human hunger for Divine sympathy.
(2) Divine forgiveness.
(3) Divine helping.Lessons:
1. Do not refuse the Bread of Life because there are some things in Him you cannot understand, any more than you refuse the bread upon your tables, though there are mysteries in it that no science can explain.
2. See the adaptation to our needs of the great truth of our Lord's Divine-human nature. He could not be the Bread of Life to us did He not possess such a nature.
3. Learn the essential meaning of religion. The essential meaning of my physical life is, that I come into contact with food. The essential meaning of my religious life is, that I as really and as utterly come into the Food of my spiritual nature — Christ.
(W. Hoyt, D. D.)
Parallel VersesKJV: Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.