Jesus Is The Bread of Life
In our image-rich world of #hashtags and sound bytes, does God use a marketing strategy to spread the gospel?
Lately I’ve been learning about marketing techniques to get a message across in today’s hyper-marketed culture and it has led me to wonder if maybe John 1:14 whispers God’s Divine marketing strategy to us:
“The Word became flesh and made His dwelling among us.”
If God does have a marketing strategy, I’d say it’s been the same for two thousand years: to deposit His Message inside a human life where it can be lived out and the world can interact with the Message of the gospel through humble, human lives.
Jesus didn’t just come to
share the message;
He came to be the Message.
Christ is the image-bearer of God, the company logo, the brand story. He is the living, breathing, moving, talking image of an invisible God. Jesus Christ is God incarnate: God clothed in human flesh. The book of John shows us this.
The intangible became tangible.
The abstract became concrete.
And suddenly people could see and experience and interact with the heart of God, in human form.
In today’s digital age of icons and graphics, videos and jpegs, insta-photos and info-graphics, how do people see and hear and know and interact with a God they aren’t even sure is real?
Because, guess what?
Now it’s our turn.
We are called to be God incarnate;
The #imagebearers of Christ.
God has clothed His Message in human flesh, first in Christ, now in us. The gospel message walks around with human feet, on streets of everyday dust and mire. And so this has become our mission: not to just SAY the words of the gospel, but to BE the words of the gospel.
We are His #imagebearers
We’ve become the Message of God …with skin on.
We can reach out and touch those who ache for hope, for meaning, for truth. We can smile and cry and open our hearts about what He’s done in us. We can hug and hold those who desperately need God to become real to them.
Our world is famished for something that deeply satisfies and we have the Bread of Life to pass into the crowd.
“Then Jesus declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in my will never be thirsty.'” (John 6:35)
When the doubters and haters from His hometown heard Jesus say this, they grumbled in the synagogue. This was Jesus the carpenter’s son! The same ordinary kid they’d grown up with! What business did He have making such claims?
Do you ever feel too ordinary to be Jesus to your world; or too common to be God incarnate? Even Jesus faced this criticism. But Jesus’ response has always been:
“I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the desert yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die… .” John 6:48-51
Maybe it’s precisely the ordinary, the everyday, that opens the doors to the extraordinary. Manna was a daily miracle collected from the dirty ground. Could it be that God has chosen the common to be transformed into the holy? Like us. Jesus is the Bread of Life, our everyday sustenance, broken to make us whole.
Jesus, the Bread of Life, was broken so a broken world could be made whole.
I think brokenness doesn’t hold us back from being God incarnate. I think brokenness positions us to be God incarnate. God used Jesus’ brokenness to heal the world. Is it possible He somehow uses our brokenness to do the same?
I recently read a Facebook post of a large church polling their congregation about the favorite part of a special service. The dedicated staff had gone to great lengths to produce this service with intention. Music, art and drama were woven together to create a beautiful worship experience. It was extraordinary! But what 85% of the respondents said they appreciated most was simply the raw testimony of a recent widower. He had poured out his shattered heart just before leading the congregation in a song of praise celebrating the faithfulness of God.
Maybe what people connect to most is our fragile humanness.
People don’t need a perfect version of our lives, they need the real, human, broken truth: cracks and all. Because that’s how His LIGHT streams through. When the pieces of our lives our pieced back together in God’s hands, we become a beautiful picture of God’s faithfulness. And in a life restored by God, transparency can be a beautiful gift.
In the height of the Renaissance, the cathedrals of Europe were built as monuments of beauty to the majesty of God. Elaborate and breath-taking stained glass windows stood guard over rows of creaking benches, streaming colorful light down into the hearts of men, as the saints pictured on them whispered the Sacred Story of the gospel. Today, we are the cathedrals and stained glass windows letting the light stream through to reveal the Sacred Story of the gospel to our world.
Our broken world needs to know what a broken Christ does for a broken humanity.
So like a little child sharing the loaves in his lunch, all we have to do is share what God has given us. Because, really, He has given us the fullness of Christ. There is nothing more satisfying.
May you be consumed with Him and deeply full. In Jesus’ name, Amen.