Biblical Foods: Bread

Updated on November 10, 2017
Communion and Bread
Communion and Bread | Source

Bread and Communion

The very first mention of "bread," within the scriptures took place when Adam and Eve were put out of the garden of Eden.

And unto Adam he said, Because thou hast hearkened unto the voice of thy wife, and hast eaten of the tree, of which I commanded thee, saying, Thou shalt not eat of it: cursed is the ground for thy sake; in sorrow shalt thou eat of it all the days of thy life; Thorns also and thistles shall it bring forth to thee; and thou shalt eat the herb of the field; In the sweat of thy face shalt thou eat bread, till thou return unto the ground; for out of it wast thou taken: for dust thou art, and unto dust shalt thou return. Genesis 3:17-19

Before sin entered into the world, Adam and Eve had a direct relationship with God. On the day that they ate of the forbidden fruit, they "heard God walking in the garden." When God asked them "who told you that you were naked?" They heard His voice plainly and clearly.

There are consequences to disobedience, and because of this, Adam and Eve were driven out of the Garden. God told Adam that the earth would bring forth "thorns and thistle," and Adam would work the land and would eat bread by the "sweat of his brow."

After being driven out of the garden, Adam and Eve had two sons, Cain and Abel. We know that Cain slew Abel. Adam and Eve went on to have another son, and they named him Seth. Cain's genealogical line ended at the time of the great flood during the time of Noah.

Noah was a direct descendant of the bloodline of Seth. Following the destruction of every living thing by the great flood of that time, Noah's son "Japheth" carried on the "Royal Bloodline," which led to the eventual birth of Abram, later known as Abraham.

In the book of Genesis, Abraham met with the "King of Salem," and in this passage, we find the first mention of " bread and wine."

And Melchizedek king of Salem brought forth bread and wine: and he was the priest of the most high God. And he blessed him, and said, Blessed be Abram of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth: Genesis 14:18-19

This was the first holy communion that took place within the scriptures. Melchizedek "brought forth bread and wine, and blessed Abram," in the name of the most high God, possessor of heaven and earth."

The book of Hebrews in the New Testament, draws a direct correlation between Melchizedek and Jesus.

For this Melchisedec, king of Salem, priest of the most high God, who met Abraham returning from the slaughter of the kings, and blessed him; To whom also Abraham gave a tenth part of all; first being by interpretation King of righteousness, and after that also King of Salem, which is, King of peace; Without father, without mother, without descent, having neither beginning of days, nor end of life; but made like unto the Son of God; abideth a priest continually. Hebrews 7:1-3

Communion actually began before the last supper, as we see in the example above where Abram communed with Melchizedek. However, the last supper communion where Jesus gave the disciples the bread that He had broken and said, "Take and eat this, this is my body," represented a spiritual communion with Christ and actually was a significant example of going from natural to spiritual precepts. After the death, burial and resurrection of Christ, those who are in Christ have a direct line to Him as we take everything to Him in prayer, and as we prayerfully study the scriptures.

Although some religious sects believe that the bread involved with communion was the actual body of Christ, the scriptures show that it is symbolic of our personal relationship with Christ, and our communing with Him.

Communion represents the return of the original communion that Adam and Eve experienced when they talked directly with God, and heard His voice clearly.

David understood this when He said:

Stand in awe, and sin not: commune with your own heart upon your bed, and be still. Selah. Psalms 4:4

Jesus promised that He would send the Holy Spirit to lead us into all truth.

Jesus said unto them, If God were your Father, ye would love me: for I proceeded forth and came from God; neither came I of myself, but he sent me. John 8:42

But when the Comforter is come, whom I will send unto you from the Father, even the Spirit of truth, which proceedeth from the Father, he shall testify of me: John 15:26

Howbeit when he, the Spirit of truth, is come, he will guide you into all truth: for he shall not speak of himself; but whatsoever he shall hear, that shall he speak: and he will shew you things to come. John 16:13

The Spirit of Truth, proceeds directly from the Father, Just as Jesus proceeded directly from the Father.

Just before Jesus ascended into heaven, He told the disciples to abide in Jerusalem until they be "endued," with power.

And, behold, I send the promise of my Father upon you: but tarry ye in the city of Jerusalem, until ye be endued with power from on high. Luke 24:49

According to Strong's Concordance, the word "endued," in the above verse means.

    1. 1) to sink into (clothing), put on, clothe one's self.

Jesus told the disciples to tarry in Jerusalem until they be "endued with power from on high."

That is exactly what happened in the upper room on Pentecost, and this is the same for you and I. We must be baptized in the Holy Spirit in order to grow in Christ.

Give us this day our daily bread. Matthew 6:11

— Jesus

Bread in the Lord's Prayer

Once we are baptized in the Holy Spirit, the words contained within the scriptures spring to life.

There are a number of verses within the Bible that are used very often by Christians. However, being familiar with the words contained in a verse isn't the same thing as understanding its application.

When the disciples asked Jesus the manner in which they should pray, Jesus said:

But when ye pray, use not vain repetitions, as the heathen do: for they think that they shall be heard for their much speaking. Matthew 6:7

Strong's Concordance defines "repetitions," from the above verse as:

    1. 1) to stammer 2) to repeat the same things over and over, to use many idle words, to babble, prate. Some suppose the word derived from Battus, a king of Cyrene, who is said to have stuttered; others from Battus, an author of tedious and wordy poems.

Saying the Lord's prayer is not part of vain repetition. Within the prayer that Jesus told the disciples to pray, He covered everything from honoring God to receiving our "daily bread," and from "forgiving others," to being "delivered from evil."

Saying the Lord's prayer without understanding or considering exactly what it says, is vain repetition.

God's word is not like the classic movie, "The Wizard of Oz." Clicking our shoes together and repeating, "There's no place like home, there's no place like home," won't take anyone home. Following the road map that God has preserved within the written word, through "seeking, knocking and asking," in communion with Christ by the Holy Spirit, this is where we find the narrow way.

When we pray the Lord's prayer and ask for our daily bread, we are literally asking for understanding, direction, and wisdom in Christ.

When Moses led the children of Israel out of Egypt, God fed them with "manna."

And the children of Israel did eat manna forty years, until they came to a land inhabited; they did eat manna, until they came unto the borders of the land of Canaan. Exodus 16:35

According to Strong's Concordance, the word, "manna," from that very verse means:

    1. 1) manna 1a) the bread from Heaven that fed the Israelites for 40 years of wilderness wanderings 1b) means 'What is it?'

When Jesus walked this earth, He ministered to multitudes of people. The difference between the multitudes and the disciples is that the multitudes listened to Him minister and then left. The disciples very often went to Jesus and asked Him the meaning of His sayings. When they did this He answered them plainly, He gave them the real "manna from heaven."

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The Bread Of Life And The House Built Upon The Rock

In the book of John chapter 6, Jesus spoke in detail about the "manna from heaven."

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. John 6:32

The Hebrew people did eat natural manna given to them by God. They asked the question of it, "what is it," and they ate the natural manna. The manna that Jesus gives us, is spiritual manna. It comes directly from God and lights our understanding as we seek the truth in Christ.

For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world. John 6:33

Jesus referred to Himself as "the bread of life."

Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread. John 6:34

And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst. John 6:35

Why is it that when we come to Jesus we shall never hunger and never thirst?

The answer is Jesus Himself, He is the way the truth and the life and the only way to the Father. When we seek the truth in Him we will find, when we knock on His door, the door will be opened unto us. His word promises that this is the case for everyone who comes to Him.

For every one that asketh receiveth; and he that seeketh findeth; and to him that knocketh it shall be opened. Matthew 7:8

When the Jews who heard what Jesus said about His flesh and His blood, they began to murmur among themselves and bringing in questions about His birth parents and the location of His birth.

Jesus knew this and He continued by saying:

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. John 6:45

It is only in Christ that the vail is removed from our eyes. Only then can we truly see because it is Jesus who teaches us the truth as we seek out everything in Him.

But their minds were blinded: for until this day remaineth the same vail untaken away in the reading of the old testament; which vail is done away in Christ. 2 Corinthians 3:14

The only way that we can even begin to gain understanding is by Christ Jesus opening up the scriptures to us by the Holy Spirit. We can open our Bibles and read them without Him, but there is no possible way to gain a full understanding without abiding in Christ as we seek the truth in Him.

Jesus stated clearly that He is the bread of life.

I am that bread of life. John 6:48

Again, Jesus drew the comparison between the manna in the wilderness, a natural manna, to Himself, "the bread of life."

Your fathers did eat manna in the wilderness, and are dead. This is the bread which cometh down from heaven, that a man may eat thereof, and not die. John 6:49-50

I am the living bread which came down from heaven: if any man eat of this bread, he shall live for ever: and the bread that I will give is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world. John 6:51

When Jesus spoke the words contained in the above verse, many were offended. They understood His words only in the way that they were able, naturally.

The Jews therefore strove among themselves, saying, How can this man give us his flesh to eat? John 6:52

Their question was not unreasonable. The statement where Jesus said, "the bread that I give is My flesh," was likely very shocking to everyone who heard Him say it. Especially those who could only see the natural implications involved with the statement, as they lacked the ability to see beyond anything naturally tangible.

Jesus, seeing their shock, continued speaking, and offered a more brazen statement.

Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. John 6:53

He had already told them earlier in the same passage that those who are of God will come to Him.

It is written in the prophets, And they shall be all taught of God. Every man therefore that hath heard, and hath learned of the Father, cometh unto me. John 6:45

The very shock they displayed upon hearing about eating His flesh and drinking His blood, revealed those who actually did not have the ears to hear. They were not of God. A person can proclaim that they belong to God, Just as the Pharisees often did, yet their actions speak much louder than words.

He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. John 6:56

When Jesus died on the cross, He literally gave His flesh in exchange for our lives. Spiritually, He made a way that through Him we could grow in understanding as we seek the Kingdom of God and His righteousness.

The scriptures tell us that "the life is in the blood." It was an abomination to drink natural blood, in the scriptures, and the Jews knew this, yet they didn't seem to have the ability to reason within themselves.

Only be sure that thou eat not the blood: for the blood is the life; and thou mayest not eat the life with the flesh. Deuteronomy 12:23

Jesus is the truth. He gives us the true spiritual bread of heaven, Himself. He is the word of God.

In the beginning was the Word, and the Word was with God, and the Word was God. The same was in the beginning with God. All things were made by him; and without him was not any thing made that was made. In him was life; and the life was the light of men. John 1:1-4

But as many as received him, to them gave he power to become the sons of God, even to them that believe on his name: Which were born, not of blood, nor of the will of the flesh, nor of the will of man, but of God. John 1:12-13

Jesus has always been the word, even from the beginning. "In Him there is life, and "the life is in the blood." Jesus shed His blood making a way that we might have eternal life in Him, and through His flesh, the door was opened into the Holy of Holies, where we can commune with God in Christ because it has always been God's will that we seek Him with all our hearts.

As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. John 6:57

When we are communing with Christ, prayerfully seeking the truth in Him, we are supping with Him, spiritually.

Without understanding the precepts behind what Jesus said, many of the disciples went away and walked with Him no more.

They said, "this is a hard saying, who can understand it?"

Jesus responded to this by saying:

It is the spirit that quickeneth; the flesh profiteth nothing: the words that I speak unto you, they are spirit, and they are life. John 6:63

It was His very word that He was offering to them. The same word that continues on even now. Jesus said that "Heaven and earth will pass away but My word shall never pass away." When God gives eternal life, it is absolutely eternal. Jesus is the life that God gave. He gave His very own son.

From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. John 6:66

The verse above is not only shocking, the number tied to the verse also speaks volumes. The natural mind cannot receive the things of God. It's simply not possible. But in Christ, our understanding is lit like candles, and only when we grow in understanding, can we actually walk and live and have our entire being in Christ.

After many of the disciples walked away, Jesus turned to the twelve and He asked them, "Will you also go away?"

Peter responded the way that we all should:

Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? thou hast the words of eternal life. John 6:68

We've all come across scriptures that can seem offensive. Anyone who has had discussions about the scriptures with non-believers know that they bring up several biblical matters that only touch on the surface of much greater purposes. Understanding this actually involves a much larger conceptual examination that can only be found through prayerful study of the word.

As with John ch. 6, not everything on the surface is exactly as it appears to be. There's a level in Christ that takes us beyond the limitations of human reasoning. If we continue in His word.

This is precisely the reason why Jesus said,"...if you continue in My word, you are My disciples indeed, and you shall know the truth and the truth shall make you free."

As Paul stated, every new believer starts out on the milk and grows in understanding over time.

There are some biblical principles that can't be grasped until other principles are understood. God's word builds up on itself as we grow in it, and as we continue in Christ Jesus. As we grow in understanding, and in wisdom that only comes from God, each part of the building is strengthened on the sure foundation, that is Christ. As it's strengthened, more can be added. There must be structure in place in order to support the added floors.

Here are two examples of this. Jesus, speaking to the disciples said:

I have yet many things to say unto you, but ye cannot bear them now. John 16:12

The underlining structure had to be established first.

The Apostle Paul understood this precept, and told the Corinth's this:

I have fed you with milk, and not with meat: for hitherto ye were not able to bear it, neither yet now are ye able. 1 Corinthians 3:2

When we are built up in Christ Jesus, and abide in Him according to His word, we can have faith that our house is built upon the rock. When the rains come and the floods rise, and when the wind blows on that house, it will stand because it is founded on the rock. Matthew 7:24-27

It's wonderful to be edified by others. God's word tells us that "iron sharpens Iron,' and we, as brothers and sisters should sharpen one another. However, there is nothing on earth like the joy and the amazement that fills a person's heart when he or she seeks understanding directly from God in Christ Jesus. In Him we all have access to this instruction, just as the early church did. Paul taught them, but he understood that the true instruction comes from Jesus.

If so be that ye have heard him, and have been taught by him, as the truth is in Jesus: Ephesians 4:21

And ye shall seek me, and find me, when ye shall search for me with all your heart. Jeremiah 29:13

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    • Annkf profile image
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      Betty A F 5 months ago from Florida

      Your book sounds wonderful Margaret! Is it available online? I'd love to read it.

    • revmjm profile image

      Margaret Minnicks 5 months ago from Richmond, VA

      Wonderful article, Betty A F. I like reading things like that. I wrote an entire book on the eating motifs in the Bible from the eating of the forbidden fruit in the Garden of Eden in Genesis to the Marriage Supper of the Lamb in the book of Revelation.

    • Annkf profile image
      Author

      Betty A F 5 months ago from Florida

      Amen Kari!

    • k@ri profile image

      Kari Poulsen 5 months ago from Ohio

      Isn't God's word beautiful! We should long for it as we long for bread when we are hungry. :)

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