by James Webb
“…It is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven. He gives life to the world. … I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry.” – John 6:32b-33, 35a (NIRV)


In relation to the title of this devotional, “House of Bread,” and in light of Jesus’ words cited above from John 6, the place where Jesus was born on this earth as a “babe in a manger,” in the city of Bethlehem, literally means, (you guessed it) “house of bread” (Exhaustive Dictionary of Bible Names). Add to this idea what Micah 5:2 states as well in relation to Bethlehem, i.e., “But you, Bethlehem Ephrathah…” (“Ephrathah” [ef-raw’-thaw] literally meaning “fruitfulness” [Strong’s Hebrew Dictionary]), and what you simply have in the words “Bethlehem Ephrathah” is a “house of bread of fruitfulness”; or, simply, a “Fruitful House of Bread”.


Coincidence? –That the true “bread from heaven” would ultimately be born in a place on earth literally called “house of bread”? I don’t believe that it is too much of a coincidence, do you? But let’s jump ahead a few years shall we for a moment from the time of Jesus’ birth in Bethlehem to the time that Jesus ended up feeding 5,000 people with just five loaves of bread and 2 “small fish” (John 6:1-13). Where did all that extra bread (& fish, of course) come from? (For we know that bread – in and of itself – cannot reproduce itself, right?) It came from the unending source of the true spiritual bread – from the true Word of God that is “spirit and life”; that Word that creates something out of nothing just by the command of His word. (In essence, in relation to the story of the feeding of the 5,000, the physical bread was simply a manifestation of the spiritual reality that Christ is an unending supply of life – of literal sustenance, no less, whether spiritual or physical. And honestly, which is easier to do—to bring spiritual life or to bring physical sustenance? Jesus says the physical is easier for Him to manifest [e.g., Mark 2:9].)


This season as we look to that “little town of Bethlehem,” may we remember that the true bread of heaven has come down to us so that—as Jesus stated the following day to a number of those who had tasted for themselves the physical bread just the day before—all that partake of that heavenly bread will “never go hungry” (John 6:35a; never spiritually hunger again, no less). Truly, as the angel proclaimed to the shepherds that night in the field when Christ was born, “…[B]ehold, I bring you good news of great joy which will be to all people. [And what “good news” is that?] For there is born to you this day in the city of David [Bethlehem – once again, the “house of bread”] a Savior, who is Christ the Lord” [who is none other than the true “Bread of Life”—a truly unending supply of spiritual sustenance] (Luke 2:10b-11).


James has served as a teacher, speaker and local church elder. He has an ongoing desire to encourage others by sharing the truly good news of Jesus Christ with them; ultimately bringing honor and glory to God. He may be personally contacted at:

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