And his disciples answered him, From whence can a man satisfy these men with bread here in the wilderness?
No mere man could satisfy the hungry multitude. With what they had, only a few would be able to be satisfied, or else, divided amongst so many, each would only receive a meager crumb and be left hungry. But God often does what man cannot accomplish. God had provided bread in the wilderness in the form of manna for the wandering children of Israel. The story of the exodus from Egypt and God’s provision for His people was to be a constant reminder to the Jews of God’s faithfulness. Jesus had recently fed another multitude from just a few loaves in a similar situation, demonstrating His power as the Son of God to provide for our needs.
When we are tempted to trust in men for food, protection, deliverance, or anything else, let’s remind ourselves that God can provide in a way man never could. Not only that, but He desires to have that role of provider, defender, and Lord of our lives. And above all else, God provides the bread of life in the form of His Son as we wander in the wilderness of sin and darkness. He provides the “food” to satisfy the greatest hunger and longing of our souls. And isn’t it true that none can satisfy our hearts like Jesus can? Isn’t the love and grace and kindness He sheds abroad into our lives so much sweeter than what any man can offer?
Our Bread of Life will not let us go hungry physically or spiritually. When we are leaning on Him, depending on Him, trusting in Him, He promises to supply all of our needs. When our hearts are truly seeking Him, He fills every empty space. Bread is a filling and satisfying food that gives needed energy. And when we are “feasting” on Jesus, He fills our lives with His own goodness, He gives us strength to keep going, and we can find ourselves at a place of contentment.
Perhaps we’re at a place where we’ve wandered a bit away from God. Maybe we’re in a spiritual wilderness, dying of thirst and hunger. If we seek relief from anyone but Jesus, we will only be let down. Let’s not be ashamed to return to Him, no matter the weakened state we may find ourselves in—starving, wasting away—and ask Him for the nourishment we need. He will never deny His children food from His bountiful table. Let’s seek Jesus, and only Jesus, to satisfy our every longing.