"... it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven." (John 6:32-33)

So they asked him, "What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'" Jesus said to them, "Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." (John 6:30-33)

What is 'the bread of God'?

The word "bread" is being translated* from the Greek word ἄρτος (artos). According to Thayer's lexicon, this can mean "bread" but also, "food of any kind." 

Food, as we all know, gives the body sustenance. Jesus is speaking of spiritual food here. Jesus is using a metaphor. This is not physical bread made from wheat flour. The "bread of God" that Jesus is referring to is love of God. 

'The bread of God' is having a loving relationship with the Supreme Being.

The reason for this metaphor is that Jesus is teaching that love for the Supreme Being gives our spirit sustenance. Love of God is fulfilling to our soul.

Jesus used a similar metaphor when he spoke of "food" they didn't know about.

This loving relationship with God is illustrated by the life and activities of Lord Jesus. He "came down" to provide us with information about the need to love God, and how we can achieve this relationship by pleasing the Supreme Being.

And what did Jesus do to please his beloved Master and Creator, the Supreme Being?

He gave up everything. Just think about it. Jesus walked from town to town with no possessions, no home, and even though many criticized him, he never wavered in his teachings and his mission to serve the Supreme Being.

What is the 'true bread from heaven?'

Remember that Jesus is answering a question related to food. The questioning said, Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'"

Those questioning Jesus were talking about the Exodus, when Moses led the Israelites out of slavery and to Canaan. Please see below for an alternative translation* of this verse.

Thus we find that the "true bread from heaven" is the opportunity to re-connect with God, and re-develop our loving relationship with God.

Ultimately, only the Supreme Being can give us this opportunity, but He may utilize His messengers to communicate this. Through His messenger, the Supreme Being illustrates to us how we can make changes in our life in order to advance our own relationship with God. 

This is because God's messenger already has a loving service relationship with God, and can help guide us in the same direction. But it is ultimately God who gives us this opportunity. This is the meaning of "my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven."

The loving messenger of God enjoys a transcendental relationship with the Supreme Being. We may not see that relationship with the physical eyes. But we can know of it by seeing the activities of His messenger. 

Seeing those activities - seeing God's servant sacrifice his life to the Supreme Being - is the means by which we can get a glimpse of their relationship. 

This is why Jesus' crucifixion is such an important event: It is a teaching event. An event that helps us get a tiny glimpse of Jesus' love for God.

In other words, Jesus didn't just teach with words. He also taught with his actions. Through his life, we can at least partly understand what love of God is.

Jesus gave the ultimate sacrifice in the physical world: His physical body. Why? Because he would not budge or retract any of his teachings, Jesus was persecuted, tortured, and murdered because of his teachings. He teachings about love of God.

Jesus could have escaped such a fate if he wanted to. He could have run off from Jerusalem and escaped arrest. He could have mellowed out his teachings so they wouldn't inflame the high priest. Instead, he carried on in his mission to please the Supreme Being and teach us about God.

This is the stuff of love. This is the stuff of devotion and the reason why God's representative is the "bread from heaven." Because the life and teachings of God's representative reveal the intense loving relationships that exist between the Supreme Being and His devoted children who dwell in the spiritual world with Him.


*Here is the translation of this verse according to the Lost Gospels of Jesus:

“Very truly I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the food from heaven, but it is my LORD who gives you the true food from the spiritual realm. For the food of God is that which comes out of the spiritual realm and gives life to the world.” (John 6:32-33)