Commands of Jesus for His Bride According to the Gospel of John: the Bread of Life

Jun 18, 2024 | by Captain Kristin Coriston

Captain Kristin Coriston

Corps Officer

Midland, Texas

Scripture: John 6:22-41

          The story of the Israelite’s Exodus is one of my 5-year-old son’s favorites. He simply cannot get over the miraculous way God used the plagues to move Pharaoh’s heart, the pillar and cloud for direction and protection, and the miracle of the Red Sea. It is a story almost too wonderful to comprehend. The next part of the story of the Israelites complaints, their wandering in the desert, their desire to return to Egypt, is far more difficult to understand for him. Being honest, it is for me, too. That is, until I look at my own life and actions. I find myself constantly asking things like, “What were the Israelites thinking?” or “How could they treat God that way?” In my own hubris, I have even thought of how I would never have done such things when the miracle of God’s great rescue was still so near.

A Sign?

          In John 6, we find Jesus teaching and preaching to the crowds and then miraculously feeding more than 5,000 people. Jesus draws Himself away to rest, but the next day, the crowds find Him again. Jesus exposes their true thoughts and desires, and He tells them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (vs. 26) The people following Jesus so ardently were not really interested in anything more than a free meal. He chastises them and tells them that spiritual food is what is important and that He is the very one to give it to them. They ridiculously ask Him for a sign that He really is the Messiah and bring up how God fed the Israelites in the desert, as if Jesus healing people and multiplying a small boy’s five loaves and two fish weren’t adequate signs.

The Bread of Life

          Jesus rocks their world by declaring Himself the “bread of life” (v. 35) and preaches to them of salvation through Him. The people are not happy about this and complain. They don’t get it. They do not get Jesus. Sadly, the Jewish people show their mentality has not changed much since their days in the desert. Even though the miraculous had just been done, the people are only focused on their immediate needs. Just as in Exodus, the people asked for God to take care of their needs, but when they received His ultimate provision in the Bread of Life, they rejected it.

          I was convicted of doing the same thing recently. I’d just given birth to our second child, and in the post-partum haze, I felt lonely, tired, and overwhelmed. Things were not going well, and I questioned God. So, I asked for Him to provide what I needed; I was desperate. I wanted answers or for things to change somehow. I wanted things to get back to normal, for me to feel like myself. Instead, God gave me quiet time when my son was sleeping to meet with Him. I was looking for my physical needs to be met, but God gave me Himself. At first, I was upset. I couldn’t see what He was doing or why He was not answering me in the way I wanted. Then, I realized I was rejecting His direct provision – Himself! He patiently and lovingly spoke to me through His Word that He was what I needed. I met with Him and was given peace. My situation did not change, but I did.

Something Else

          What the Israelites were prone to do in Exodus and in John 6 – complain, ask God for something else, long for a different answer – highlights the nature of sin. We tend to look for every answer and every provision outside of Christ, forgetting or willfully ignoring that Christ is the provision. Sometimes we pretend we are looking for real spiritual provision from Christ Himself when what we really attempt to do is wield God as a tool to give us what we want. We have all been guilty of attempting to manipulate God. We just don’t ever confess it out loud because it is utterly ridiculous and shameful. Yet, if we are truthful with ourselves, we can all admit that we are at times like the Israelites. We easily and quickly say we’d rather be back in “Egypt” when what we really mean is “God if you don’t give me what I think I need, then I’ll just keep down this path of sin I’m already on.” Ouch. When I tend to be critical of the Israelites in their wandering days, I know that is when I need to deeply examine my own heart. How have I rejected the manna from heaven? In what ways do I continue to look for help from God outside of God Himself? 

          Our busyness and lack of devotion to God is extremely detrimental to us recognizing and being in communion with the Bread of Life. In Jesus’ day, bread made up about 70% of a Jewish person’s daily food. What Jesus is saying is that He is essential – He is not only the one that saves and rescues us from our sin, but He is what daily sustains us. If we look outside of Him for provision, even to His gifts and the good things He gives us, we will not be sustained; we will eventually starve because those things cannot give us peace, fill us with joy, satisfy our souls, or lead us away from our sin. Only the Bread of Life can do that. In his book, The Pursuit of God, A.W. Tozer says, “The world is perishing for lack of the knowledge of God and the Church is famishing for want of His Presence. The instant cure of most of our religious ills would be to enter the Presence in spiritual experience, to become suddenly aware that we are in God and that God is in us. This would lift us out of our pitiful narrowness and cause our hearts to be enlarged. This would burn away the impurities from our lives as the bugs and fungi were burned away by the fire that dwelt in the bush” (pg. 39). Jesus tells us in John 6:35 that if we come to Him, we will never hunger or thirst again! What a beautiful life of abundance we have in Jesus!

          The challenge for you and I is to examine how we are partaking of Him daily. Are we going to Him, seeking His very presence to fill and satisfy our every longing? Or are we just going to Him, expecting a free meal?

Our Corporate Prayer

Dear Lord, we confess that we sometimes rather be fed with spiritual junk food than with the Bread of Life. We want "something more" that really is something less. Help us to remember that You are our sustenance, You are our source, You are our all-in-all. In Jesus' name. Amen.

Our Worldwide Prayer Meeting
Indonesia Territory

Thinking It Through

Why do you think we sometimes become bored with what is best? The Children of Israel complained about the manna. After Jesus fed the 5,000, the multitude wanted Him to do more. When do we stop being grateful and start being demanding?

Notable Quotables

Bread of Life? Jesus lived up to the title. But an unopened loaf does a person no good. Have you received the bread? Have you received God's forgiveness? -  Max Lucado


The Fountainview Academy shares with us a most appropriate hymn for this devotion, "Break Thou the Bread of Life."


We would appreciate any feedback and/or suggestions on how to improve these devotionals. Please email comments to: or by going to our website:
We would love to hear from you.

Lt. Colonel Allen Satterlee
Territorial Spiritual Life Development Officer/THQ Chaplain
USA Southern Territory







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