In the Lord’s Prayer, which Jesus taught, we read that God the Father has the true bread. “…it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven” (John 6:32). This is equivalent to say that the bread that Jehovah gave in the desert was some false bread. “Then Jehovah said to Moses, ‘Behold, I will rain bread from heaven for you’” (Ex. 16:4). Why would Jesus say that, positioning himself against Jehovah? Because manna, the bread that Jehovah gave for forty years in the desert was material, and Jesus’ bread is spiritual. Continuing in the sixth chapter of Matthew, where we find the Lord’s Prayer, Jesus exhorts the disciples by saying that they should not seek the material bread, as the Father knows all our physical and material needs, and finishes his speech by saying, “But seek first His kingdom and His righteousness; and all these things shall be added to you” (Matt. 6:33). Jesus is teaching that, if men want to have eternal life, their priority should be the spiritual bread, and not material things. “For what will a man be profited if he gains the whole world, and forfeits his soul?” (Matt. 16:26).
Let us say that the need of the Christian may be rice and beans. The hungry Christian asks God for a piece of bread, or for a fish, or an egg, but the Father in heaven gives him the Holy Spirit (Luke 11:9-13). The Christian then complains saying, “—I asked for a piece of bread, or fish, or an egg; I did not ask for the Holy Spirit, because I am hungry!” But God has to be in agreement with the Sermon on the Mount. He says, there, not to seek those things. Whoever decides to do it, tempts God, and this is what the devil wants. The devil was who offered the material bread to Jesus (Luke 4:1-4). And Paul says: “And in the same way the Spirit also helps our weaknesses; for we do not know how to pray as we should, but the Spirit Himself interceded for us with groanings too deep for words” (Rom. 8:26).
Men seek the material things of this world, including the daily bread, but it is the devil that gives these things. “And he led Him up and showed Him all the kingdoms of the world in a moment of time. And the devil said to Him, ‘I will give You all this domain and its glory; for it has been handed over to me, and I give it to whomever I wish. Therefore if You worship before me, it shall all be Yours” (Luke 4:5-7). The Christian, blinded by physical hunger, does not understand that the daily bread that Jesus tells us to seek is the spiritual bread, in order that our souls may not go to the hands of Satan.
Obviously the Father does not let us die of hunger, but we must know that Jesus, his Son, did not have a place to live. “And Jesus said to him, ‘The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of Man has nowhere to lay His head’” (Matt. 8:20). The Father has but one bread for all men. Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread which comes down out of heaven, so that one may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down out of heaven…” (John 6:48-51). The Father does not have two kinds of bread to give. He has only one. Christians want the Father to give them the two kinds of bread, but he has only one, that is Jesus Christ, which is for everyone — good and bad, righteous and unrighteous, friend and enemy, faithful and unfaithful, wise and ignorant. God cannot be unfair. If the Father gave the material bread, all Christians would be millionaires, but Jesus says that earthly wealth, to God, is poverty, in Luke 12:16-21.
In the Old Testament, there were many kinds of bread given by the same God. “O Jehovah God of hosts, how long wilt Thou be angry with the prayer of Thy people? Thou hast fed them with the bread of tears” (Ps. 80:4,5). “For I have eaten ashes like bread, and mingled my drink with weeping, because of Thine indignation and Thy wrath; for Thou hast lifted me up and cast me away” (Ps. 102:9,10). “Although Jehovah has given you bread of privation and water of oppression…” (Is. 30:20). David was a man who ate bread of privation all of his life, and he expressed himself in the lament, “I am weary with my sighing; every night I make my bead swim, I dissolve my couch with my tears” (Ps. 6:6). “O Jehovah, rebuke me not in Thy wrath; and chasten me not in Thy burning anger. For Thine arrows have sunk deep into me, and Thy hand has pressed down on me” (Ps. 38:1,2). “…therefore thus says Jehovah of hosts, the God of Israel, ‘Behold, I will feed them, this people, with wormwood and give the poisoned water to drink” (Jer. 9:15). Wormwood has the taste of bile, or worse. Jehovah, though, made even worse bread than the ones mentioned above. “For a cup is in the hand of Jehovah, and the wine foams; it is well mixed, and He pours out of this; surely all the wicked of the earth must drain and drink down its dregs” (Ps. 75:8). Jehovah gave this bread of dregs to his people to eat. “Rouse yourself! Rouse yourself! Arise, O Jerusalem, you who have drunk from Jehovah’s hand the cup of His anger; the chalice of reeling you have drained to the dregs” (Is. 51:17).
Jehovah wished to force the prophet Ezekiel to eat cakes made of human dung for 390 days (Ezek. 4:5-15). Jehovah has a preference for the grotesque things. He has in his right hand a cup of vomit to give (Hab. 2:16). Jehovah has yet a more abominable bread to give to his children, and it is not for the bad ones, but to the good ones. “The hands of compassionate women boiled their own children; they became food for them because of the destruction of the daughter of my people” (Lam. 4:10). So that no one may think that this was a chance happening, it is well to say that Jehovah had planned this curse in his law (Deut. 28:53-57).
Jeremiah understood the project of Jehovah and declares, “Jehovah has done what He purposed; He has accomplished His word which He commanded from days of old. He has thrown down without sparing, and He has caused the enemy to rejoice over you” (Lam. 2:17).
None of the bread of the vast menu of Jehovah foreshadows Christ, the true bread of life and the only bread of the Father: Bread of love, Bread of forgiveness, Bread of peace, Bread of the Holy Spirit and of truth. That is, Jesus is the Bread who has all the spiritual flavors.
By Pastor Olavo Silveira Pereira