For the proclamation of the Gospel and the edification of the Body of Christ
Bread and water
God’s answer to man’s necessity is usually as simple as bread and water. If God’s answer for the fundamental problems of man had been to go search for it in heaven or to the abyss, this would have been far from the common man’s reach. Yet, the answer is so close and accessible like bread and water.
Bread and water suggest the two basic needs of man; the need for drink and food. All of creation shows that God feeds and nourishes his creatures. God would tell Job long ago: "Who provides food for the raven, when its young ones cry to God, and wander about for lack of food?" (Job 38:41). And when Israel was taken out of Egypt, God provided them with bread and water in the desert when they had nothing to eat. The bread comes down from heaven and water springs from the rock (Ex. 16 and 17). God, which cares for his minor creatures, will not disregard his greater ones.
God does all of this in his care for his creatures and man, but there is greater meaning to all of this. The material need for bread and the need for water-being real in themselves- represents a greater need of every human soul: the need of God. It is a cry out of thirst and hunger that surges from the deepest part of the human soul and can not be satisfied, thus, man is also lost and wondering.
What does God do to supply that need? He sends his beloved son Jesus Christ with the task –speaking metaphorically– of converting himself into bread and water. That is why Jesus said, when speaking to the Samaritan women: “If you knew the gift of God, and who it is who says to you, ‘Give Me a drink,’ you would have asked Him, and He would have given you living water” (John 4:10). And also: “If anyone thirsts, let him come to Me and drink. He who believes in Me, as the Scripture has said, out of his heart will flow rivers of living water” (John 7:37-38). He spoke this referring to the Holy Spirit that had not yet been given.
In another opportunity, the Lord said: “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven… I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:32, 35). Here the Lord makes it clear that Moses gift was not the true and definite one.
In the desert God provided his people with bread first and then with water; thus, making it known that Jesus had to give himself first and then the Holy Spirit. The Spirit was sent after the Lord was exalted at the right hand of God. But when we read the gospel of John we find the water first and then the bread. Why? Because the Lord Jesus Christ gives the Holy Spirit the honor. Therefore, when God gives testimony in the desert, he exalts Jesus and when Jesus gives testimony in the gospel of John, he honors the Holy Spirit. This is how things work in the deity; each one given the other the honor.
The way God satisfies the need of men is wonderful. He has satisfied their need with himself. Jesus is the bread of God and he is who gives the blessed water of God. Blessed be His name!