Theology | 68 comments | 4 min read

The Significance of Bread in the Bible

Connecting the Old and New Testaments

Mar 9, 2024

BSF Staff

From the Editorial Team

The Bible tells us a single story, weaving together threads from the Old and New Testaments. Discover how the Old Testament points to Jesus from our study of John’s Gospel: The Truth.

The account of God’s “bread from heaven,” or “manna,” appears first in Exodus 16 and is remembered throughout Israel’s history as evidence of God’s power and love.

The book of Exodus opens with God’s people, the Israelites, trapped in backbreaking slavery to Egypt. Through a series of powerful signs, God empowered Moses to free the people and lead them out of Egypt toward a land that God promised to their ancestor, Abraham (Exodus 6:1-13).

But the path to the promised land was through the desert. The people became hungry. They wondered if God saved them only to let them starve! But God heard them. He told their leader, Moses, “I will rain bread from heaven for you” (Exodus 16:4a). The bread in the morning appeared for 40 years until the people reached the promised land and ate its food for the first time (Joshua 5:12).

Whether rescuing them from slavery or hunger, God continued to provide for His people.

Bread of Life

Thousands of years later, God again had compassion for a crowd of hungry people. As Jesus stood before a crowd that numbered in the thousands, struggling to reach Him for healing and straining to hear His teaching, He prayed over a small collection of bread, miraculously multiplying it to feed every person in the crowd (John 6:10-11).  

Then the people remembered the bread from heaven (John 6:31)—the manna God gave their ancestors. Was Jesus a prophet like Moses?

Jesus reminded them that Moses did not give them bread; God did! In the past, God provided for His people physically with manna. But this bread only offered temporary life. Jesus, the bread of heaven, was pointing toward something better in His offer of eternal life. 

Jesus explained, “I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever” (John 6:48-51a).

Those who ate the manna in the wilderness or the miraculous loaves in Israel would eventually die. The physical provision was temporary. They needed more. They needed eternal provision. They needed “bread” that would give them life forever. Jesus proclaimed Himself to be that bread!

Bread Broken for Us

Jesus came down from heaven to be life for us. Yet something even more miraculous happened—the “bread of life” was “broken” for us.

Before His death, during the last meal with His disciples, Jesus took bread, broke it, and passed it around to them, saying, “This is my body given for you; do this in remembrance of me” (Luke 22:19b).

Sound familiar? The same God who provided bread from heaven is offering us life today!

Will you trust God to provide satisfaction for your deepest spiritual needs? Will you accept this new life that Jesus offers?

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Discover Truth through John’s Gospel

How has John’s Gospel: The Truth changed you?

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68 Comments

  1. The book of John has a great impact of my life l see Jesus well focused on God’s purpose of sending Him to the world Jesus goal was to finish the work of redemption to mankind He persuaded and lead those who was close to Him to bring back to repentance like Peter, Judas Iskariote and Pilate with great love
    This is a lesson to me not to give up easily to bring people to Jesus up to the end my life and remain focused even in suffering

    Reply
  2. Through studying John Chapter 18 this year, I further realised that all circumstances are under God’s control, bringing glory to God and goodness to all. Being a saved sinner, I am encouraged by such truth to serve God and others, and to cherish fellowship with God and His people because I trust that God will help me no matter what the circumstances.

    Reply
    • I have seen how Jesus loved His own till the end even when He knew he will be betrayed and denied, he humbled himself and washed his disciples feed.

      I have learned to love even those that i feel they don’t deserved my love because is a command Jesus gave and that is what makes us His disciples.

      Reply
  3. It is Amazing how the study of the Gospel of John just draws one Closer to Jesus. The understanding of His Love for us is just drawn closer to our hearts. Thank you Jesus.

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  4. I have especially enjoyed John during this Easter Season! Remembering again all that He willingly gave up for me is very humbling.

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  5. I learned so much about the Holy Spirit, and He has been and will be a constant presence in my life. I have studied John all my life but this study has been an eye opener!

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  6. The Gospel of John has deepened my understanding of who Jesus the Messiah is and how He tried to communicate the Relationship between the Father,Himself and Us. The Climax came in John17.

    Reply
    • As Jesus accepted the cup from His Father I must surrender my life to God.

      Reply
  7. God has blessed me weekly through walking through the Book of St. John! I experience some- thing equal to what we are studying!

    This is my first year as an Online GL and it’s been a challenge but God has helped me persevere through and over all obstacles.

    I thank God through it all that so far last year and this year I have perfect attendance!

    I want to grow in my prayer life because I loved the connection Mary chose being at his feet opposite to Martha just being busy (pray for me)!

    Reply
  8. Hello, I signed up for the study of John but my mom passed on August 26th and I have been grieving, but I’m feeling better now. Can I join an online BSF study of John, this late in the study?

    Reply
  9. I am enjoying the Gospel of John this year. It has been more meaningful to me. Jesus is the true Bread of Life.

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  10. I have really enjoyed the sessions I could attend. I get a lot of spiritual support from the ladies in the discussion group.

    Reply
  11. To me it has revealed the work of the Holy Spirit more clearly and am certain of going through this life while working handy with the Spirit of truth so that l may fulfill the purpose God has created me for.

    Thanks to BSF.

    Reply
  12. I love the study of John with BSF this year, and the extras our leader offers us through you.

    Jesus is the true Manna of God. Hallelujah 🙏✝️🙏

    Reply
  13. Through the book of John reveals the definition of Jesus’ name, it’s empowering who am looking at daily and activated my faith He the only can given new life, rescue when am in tribulation and bless am whole again. I love you Jesus

    Reply
  14. BSF has transformed by life. Lessons, especially the Book of John, have helped me to understand God’s word. I have learnt how to pray and trust God when I get challenges. However, I am work in progress trying to live l Jesus’s character. I still need God’s grace.

    Reply
  15. How important the love of Jesus And how much I want my family to know how wonderful knowing Jesus makes life so much better . I have time when I am down, we all do. But what important is Jesus did not leave us alone. He left us a helper in the Holy Spirit

    Reply
  16. In Jesus, the true nature of God is revealed through the “Thread” – what God did in the Old Testament, how He connected with His people, reiterated through all the I AM statements revealing His very purpose and love for the humankind. Makes me wonder how much revelation John had in writing this Gospel and the God-given knowledge to connect with the Old Testament!!

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  17. John reminds us on the fact that Jesus gave His all for our sinful lives. Oh how do we imagine His love. As hard as we try, Christ reminds us that His being & blessings are an unearned gift. It is ours forever, no body can take from us. As we put our faith & trust in Him , serving Him that He may be glorified as is His Father in heaven.
    Oh for the wisdom, faith & courage as we serve our Savior all the days of our life.

    Reply
  18. The gospel of John is the most compelling and powerful book in the Bible. BSF has done an excellent job with the interpretation and gathering of like minds to understand it.
    Thank you BSF

    Reply
  19. I loved the writing on “The Thread.” Yes, Jesus can be traced from the Old Testament to the New Testament because the Bible is one long love story. It lets us know that God has never given up on humanity and that He loves us and continues to give us the opportunity to know Him. This study of the gospel of John has done just that; it has reminded me of God’s unfailing love for us. Jesus is the only way to the Father and eternal life; so why not accept Him. And in accepting Jesus accept the gift of eternal life through faith in all that He did for humanity. Jesus took our place on the cross becoming the lamb to be slain for the sins of the world. Now through the guidance of the Holy Spirit and faith in Jesus we have been put back into a right standing with God. (made righteous before a holy God).

    Reply
  20. Way to go to bring God’s word close to Hid people

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  21. Pulled together beautifully in Rev.2:17. Christ the “hidden manna” sufficient for all our needs and Salvation; white stone name, personal relationship with God and a not guilty verdict before God and entrance to the later celebration ie. Heaven thru Christ. Connects Exodus to Revelation in one verse. I take it as my own and delight in it.

    Reply
  22. The work and the Person of the Holy spirit, who is Jesus in the spirit and how the Holy Trinity works in syn yet so distinct in their character and personality. The story of the vine and the branches brought such clarity on how I am nothing outside Jesus the true vine. Am now convicted of my purpose in walking with the Holy spirit and depending on His guidance in my life.

    Reply
  23. I deeply appreciate the painstaking efforts of BSF in drawing our attention through Focus verse, structuring through outline & engage, and leading to deeper insights through exploratory notes, lecture and thought-provoking questions, and coherent cross references to corroborate helped me immensely in delving deeper and deeper relationship with my loving saviour who once again reinforces that ‘He is The way, The truth and The life. I thank BSF and My group leader and the Group who helped me to perceive personal applicative parts and I loved this John’s Gospel Bible study very much..

    Reply
  24. I have truly been amazed by the in depth of the book of John. It has been an honor to studying one of the greatest book in the bible. I’ve always had a relationship with God, but to study his word like I have in this book has made it even sweeter. I am so looking forward to studying the book of revelation.

    Reply
  25. The language is simple easy to understand by people whose mother tongue is not English. Praise the LORD God Almighty Jesus Christ for your service to Him.

    Reply
  26. What a wonderful study and so appreciative of all the leaders and I valued every moment of the study of John’s Gospel. Jesus is truly the living truth and bread of Life. Jesus has given me His Holy Spirit which is my guide to be his daily servant each and everyday!! I am so very grateful for each and everyday God gives me.

    Reply
  27. Studying the Book of John has given me the opportunity to follow the walk of Jesus here on earth. I have learnt about God’s attributes, His love for mankind, His teachings, His 3xpectations from us.

    I have learnt about the power of the Holy Spirit and its role in the life of a believer. I have learnt about Jesus’s Compassion for God’s people and His obedience and willingness to do God’s Will to the end. Jesus never shifted His focus – He always stood for the Truth never waivered.

    Jesus cared deeply for the ones that Gid gave to Him and didn’t want to lose even one of them. He cares for our every need – big or small. He intercede on our behalf. He us the Only Way to the Father.

    Reply
  28. This is my second time studying John’s Gospel, and it never ceases to amaze me that I learn something new every time. I love John’s gospel because it gets us up close and personal with Jesus as he goes about doing God’s work. We get a display of his sacrificial love, grace, mercy and obedience in every aspect of his work. Jesus is about kingdom building and is the ultimate example to follow. What a wonderful example of how to pray that we get in John 17. I love the lesson notes on the Doctrine of Prayer especially the sentence that God does not seek eloquence-He longs for our hearts. If Jesus, God’s Son, regularly sought time alone to speak with His Father, shouldn’t we? What a profound statement. It made me stand back and look at my prayer life and recommit to make it stronger and consistent. Last but not least this study is about the unconditional love that God shared his only begotten Son with the world to offer salvation & eternal life to those who choose to believe. Thank you BSF, you’re the best Bible Study I’ve ever known. Your clear, concise and thought provoking questions help to bring us to a more personal & intimate relationship with God. Keep us the good work.

    Reply
  29. I’ve drawn so much closer to God because of the this study of the book of John. What an eye opener! The most transforming aspect of the study for me was to look to Jesus, the Living Bread, for satisfaction in life, instead of looking at other relationships and other things that life offers, which ultimately disappoint.

    Reply
  30. God is so good and so kind. Relying on Him has been a challenge for me because I did not grow up with this even though my mother tried. I had a mind of my own which separated me from God for many years. Now, I’m making up for lost time, getting to know His son. Have loved this study so much. It’s the basis for how Jesus wants us to live our lives on a daily basis. I am learning to lean on Him more. The rewards have been great. Grateful for this study and for my group.

    Reply
    • I began the Study of John many years ago as a young Christian. Although I attended Church I was not a God seeker.. After my earlier years of studying The Gospel of John I became a children’s leader and later an adult leader.
      Presently, I’m studying The Gospel of John and love how I have grown and continue to seek God’s teaching through BSF on a daily desire.

      Reply
  31. Thank you for printing this for us . It is so helpful when the verses are organized in a way that we can see the many times that manna was provided to God’s people and now to us. This is manna for our benefit.

    Reply
  32. Something always eluded me with the saying eat of me, I am the bread of life, taking communion etc.. this correlation makes perfect sense and puts it all in perspective for me. Thank you for the simplicity with which you break it down. I can now confidently pass it on to others.

    Reply
  33. What a precious and wonderful study You have offer us all.
    Thank You so much for putting together the book of John!
    BSF is the best Bible study I have been participated in my life!
    There is none like You and I have been blessed with also my friends with the opportunity we have found in BSF.
    God give us and You the opportunity to offer and accept such a gift!
    I ask You to continue offering this way of knowledge to know Jesus and share the wonderful and powerful word of God.
    BSF open the doors to so many! For years I have been blessed with Your studies and I appreciated what You guys have been doing it>
    This is the work of God in all of You!
    Thank You once again for let us all participated in this Bible study.
    Hope the hand of God continue guiding You offering to so many the precious gift of learning His work in this earth through You.

    Reply
  34. My eyes, and heart were open wider than before, I used to see Jesus treating the religious leaders harshly, “white washed tomb” but this time round, I got it! I want Jesus, not Religion. How could It be John 18 : 28b. By now it was early morning, and to avoid ceremonial uncleanness they did not enter the palace, because they wanted to be able to eat the Passover. 29 So Pilate came out to them and asked, “What charges are you bringing against this man?”

    30 “If he were not a criminal,” they replied, “we would not have handed him over to you.”

    31 Pilate said, “Take him yourselves and judge him by your own law.”

    “But we have no right to execute anyone,” they objected. NIV

    Reply
  35. All I can say is

    1
    The love of God is greater far
    Than tongue or pen can ever tell.
    It goes beyond the highest star
    And reaches to the lowest hell.
    The guilty pair, bowed down with care,
    God gave His Son to win;
    His erring child He reconciled
    And pardoned from his sin.
    O love of God, how rich and pure!
    How measureless and strong!
    It shall forevermore endure—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
    2
    When hoary time shall pass away,
    And earthly thrones and kingdoms fall;
    When men who here refuse to pray,
    On rocks and hills and mountains call;
    God’s love, so sure, shall still endure,
    All measureless and strong;
    Redeeming grace to Adam’s race—
    The saints’ and angels’ song.
    3
    Could we with ink the ocean fill,
    And were the skies of parchment made;
    Were every stalk on earth a quill,
    And every man a scribe by trade;
    To write the love of God above
    Would drain the ocean dry;
    Nor could the scroll contain the whole,
    Though stretched from sky to sky.
    Words & Music © 1923, Ren. 1951 by Hope Publishing Co., Carol Stream, IL 60188.

    Reply
  36. John revealed to those reading and studying that Jesus WAS before he was born on earth and lived and died. Some learned he was with the Father in the beginning in Genesis. And the difference of who is who named John. And the John the Baptist baptized Jesus for a reason of prophesy to be fulfilled. Line by line everything is explained especially to the new believers that never studied the Word. We have had so many great discussions…everyone is learning! Amazing!

    Reply
  37. I think it is a good thing to teach about the things that Jesus did when He was here on earth. We need to spread the word about who he is, what he has done, what He is doing, and what is going to happen in these last days.
    I think what we need to do to awaken people in these last days is to teach more Bible prophesy. Let them know that what is happening in the world today is like reading current events in the Bible. These things are happening before our very eyes and if people don’t realize how close we are to the Rapture, they are going to find themselves in the Tribulation. KEEP LOOKING UP!!!!

    Reply
    • Very very true indeed…the end time sare here…harvest…look at the FIG tree

      Reply
  38. I thoroughly enjoyed this Study on the Bread of Life, which is my personal Messiah!

    God bless your needed ministry in these extremely troubling times.

    Your brother in Christ

    Phillip

    Reply
  39. Although this is my second time studying John’s Gospel in BSF, as others have mentioned, Holy Spirit opens our eyes to details we’ve previously missed. I was reflecting about God our Father giving Jesus His words. I needed to connect with and understand Father, and this BSF year I’ve felt Father’s love through Jesus. John’s Gospel is God’s love letter to us. Thank you so much to everyone at BSF Headquarters and our Group Leaders for your heartfelt support and dedication you consistently provide each year. You are much loved and appreciated!

    Reply
  40. I have experience a slow, gradual growth of my relationship with Jesus since studying John. I am so much stronger in my faith.

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  41. What a fresh breath of God’s power in this year’s study of John”s Gospel.Jesus being my great I am !.The agony and fear of death is being removed and a new hope is restored.

    Reply
  42. I thought I knew what was in John,
    have studied in BSF before and in private study
    ; however, I still see things revealed to me that I love! God’s Word is power packed!

    Reply
  43. Love this study it has deepened my faith

    Reply
  44. this study has been such an eye opener, “WOW! How many times have I read this and Never really READ or SAW this??? Seeing how God’s plan is threaded throughout and connecting truth, the Light, Life, and obedience. I am so grateful and humbled by His word.

    Reply
  45. Yes they physically died in the wilderness, BUT those who had turned to God and believed in Him, will be raised again on the last day as we will also. Seems like your context read that they simply died with no hope ¿

    Reply
    • Ann, I agree with you on both accounts!

      Reply
  46. I’m not sure how many times I have studied The gospel of John? In BSF, I have loved each time! I am pretty sure I’ve grown every time because the verses were new with more depth then before! I know that’s the Holy Spirit working…This year has been so heart wrenching, I think I have learned so much about God’s love in the last few weeks, for we are studying how, our Jesus would willingly do what the Father ask of him. To die on a cross for my sins so I could have eternal life! I’ve never
    let that soak in…until this year! Its caused me to see the gospel in such a way that I want others to know him! I pray for opportunities and a desire in my heart to love people as Jesus loves me. And God is working.. I can’t help but have a longing in my heart for the lost! Please pray for me to keep this desire fresh in my heart for all that are in my circle and for all my fellow sisters who know Jesus!

    Reply
  47. I have done the study of John many times throughout the years but every year I read something I don’t remember reading before. I think this is because I ask for the help of the Holy Spirit. The lectures have all been so good and clarify the lesson for me. If members are not doing them, they are missing out on wonderful summaries of the lesson each week. I have a wonderful leader who prays for us daily and leads us through all the lessons. I have had her several years and hope to have her for many more.

    Reply
    • I appreciated your sincere comments, Linda.

      God bless you richley!

      Phillip

      Reply
  48. The truth about who Jesus really was and who He really is. The Love beyond all meausre; the care; the dependancy; the mercy is evident throughout the entire Gospel. It has been such an eyeopener. I feel I know Jesus better than before and through this study I have come to love Him so very much for all that He has done for me.

    Reply
    • God bless you abundantly Caroline.

      Phillip

      Reply
  49. With the study of John I see the total picture of the New Testament like never before. I also see with new eyes the trinity working in unity. I am loving this study.

    Reply
  50. John is all about Jesus! He told stories that were different and less detailed than Matthew, Mark or Luke. Jesus reveals God the Father and lets us know in teaching his disciples what we are to always continue doing…spreading the good news. Some will hear and some won’t but the Holy Spirit gives us gifts to help us with this so very important work. It’s been a challenging year for me and I find myself talking to my Lord and Savior much more…the God who hears. Elohim Shammath

    Reply
  51. This has been a difficult year for me, BUT GOD has been so faithful to reveal Himself through His Son in a deep and fresh way as I have studied John’s gospel this year. Thank you all at Headquarters for being true to the vision of BSF.

    Reply
    • Life can really be demanding and stressful in these difficult times we are faced with on a daily basis.
      I will hold you up in my prayers tonight.

      Phillip

      Reply
  52. I loved the simplicity of the reminder, “ But the path to the promised land was through the desert.”
    Yet, in our desert, God has provided The Way for us.
    I’m going to call this: The Thread of the Bread that will sew us safely into heaven!
    Thank you for providing visual images that help me understand! ❤️

    Reply
    • Christ prayed for me!! The prayer Christ prayed before his arrest became real for me. Unity and love in His church is what we need. Lord may Your Chruch bring unity and love to a world that is desperate for love and unity. Help me Lord, do my part in Your Church

      Reply
  53. It has taught me several things, one of which is that we are to love each other and show that love by giving up self and become a servant to others. To share the gospel and love one another as God lives us.

    Reply
    • Your comments and observation are spot on.
      God bless you abundantly!

      Phillip

      Reply
  54. Very hard to understand how God revels closer me every time you read the book of John. The Holy Spirit helps me what I miss the first time. Praise to the understanding of God for our salvation. Sending Jesus
    to do so hard for my sins..

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  55. It has been a difficult year, yet each week I find myself in the Bible reading just the verses I need to help me through the week. The commentaries are always so good. I often feel they were written just for me. I am so struck by the extreme love the Lord has for his people, and that he is always in control of every situation. My understanding of the extreme depth of his love has skyrocketed. I am truly understanding that he means everything that is written in the Scriptures and I have nothing to fear in this world. Thank you, thank you, thank you!

    Reply
  56. The study of John, although my second or third go at it, has opened up a flood of new understanding, desire, and belief!
    The Holy Spirit has become so real and alive. My trust has grown in leaps and bounds. I have experienced a renewal like I could never imagine!!!

    I am so grateful!!!

    Reply
  57. Study of John’s gospel helped me to understand who Lord jesus Christ personally to me. He is God, I believed him, I want to follow him, without Break up, y soul was richly Blessed by the meditation of John’s gospel, I teach my study lessons to God’s people in karnataka (India)(online),I shared John’s gospel in my local church, I shared the John’s gospel lessons to Brethren church cottage ministry. In this way studying with BSF team, group discussion blessed me very much. Thank you very much. We are praying for BSF Ministry.

    Reply
  58. I feel like Peter, Andrew, James and John. They were fishing day in and day out when Jesus invites them to follow Him. Kind of nerve wracking but we know He is the Son of God who can use us to reach out to the lost.

    Reply

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