“‘A loaf of bread,’ the Walrus said, ‘is what we chiefly need.’”

Lewis Carroll, Through the Looking-Glass, 1871

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They asked, “What must we do in order to accomplish what God requires?”

Jesus replied, “This is what God requires, that you believe in him whom God sent.”

They asked, “What miraculous sign will you do, that we can see and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, just as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.

John 6:28-31

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As violence deepens in Syria, suicide rates increase on college campuses, and racial tension leads to more conflict in the U.S., we have enough reasons to question whether life wins out over death in the world. The good news is that Jesus is up to the challenge.

After the crowd finds Jesus again in Capernaum, they don’t mind getting a little feisty. “What miraculous sign will you do, that we can see and believe you?,” they ask. What will you do? As any Jew would, they remind the rabbi about how God fed Israel in the desert with bread from heaven. If this Jesus had some connection with God, he would bring the same kind of life to desperate people and places, right?

Don’t be afraid to challenge Jesus. In fact, Jesus says that those who cry out for justice are the most ready for God to break in and bring new life to the world. Allow yourself to ask the tough questions of Jesus, and you might find yourself more in step with him than ever.

Blake Tommey

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Jesus, what will you do in this world where life doesn’t seem to win out over death? I need you to break in where the world and I are most desperate for healing and new life. Be bread from heaven when all else fails to bring peace and justice to those who need it most. Amen.

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“Bread of Heaven, Bread of Heaven,
Feed me till I want no more.”

From “Guide Me, O Thou Great Jehovah,” 1745, by William Williams

Blake Tommey

Blake Tommey lives in Charlottesville, Virginia and serves as director of Eunoia Christian Community, a college and young adult ministry of the Baptist General Association of Virginia. Blake is also a contributing writer for fellowship! magazine, Baptist News Global, and other faith-based publications.

Leaning on the Everlasting Arms

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