Bread or Stones?

Understanding the Red Letters   Part 9

People today are asking for bread.  Folks today are looking for life.  And that life is only found in Jesus.  Jesus is the bread of life.  Let’s never forget the “OF LIFE” part of Jesus’ declaration.  He is the bread that gives us life.

“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst’ “ (John 6:35).  “I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever” (John 6:51).

Bread is a picture of the new covenant.  Life is the promise of the new covenant.  How are we answering the request of people seeking life?  Are we offering bread or are we giving them stones?

When we preach the new covenant, we offer the bread of life.  When we preach the new arrangement between us and God whereby we are completely forgiven by Jesus’ finished work on the cross, we preach life.  When we teach Christ’s life now fused with ours to live the Christian life, we offer the power of Christ in us.

But when we preach that the old covenant is still part of our new life in Christ, we are offering cold hard stones in place of soft life-giving bread.  Stone is a picture of the old covenant.  The ten commandments were written on tablets of stone (Exodus 24:12).  Our old covenant heart was described as a “heart of stone” (Ezekiel 36:26).  The apostle Paul referred to the old covenant as “the ministry of death, in letters engraved on stones” (II Corinthians 3:7).

Is Jesus making a subtle reference to the two covenants in Matthew chapter 7?  “Or what man is there among you who, when his son asks for bread, will give him a stone?” (Matthew 7:9).

When seekers are asking for bread, are we delivering stones; old covenant precepts to follow and obey?  Our friend David Moss calls them “stone sandwiches”; preaching the bread of grace on the outside, but a big fat stone of old covenant law-abiding requirements when people take a bite.  Are we adding law, rules, and regulations to the message of grace?

May we always offer the bread of life; unadulterated, unchanged, and without additives.

One thought on “Bread or Stones?”

  1. This reminded me of the stone sandwiches in a picture book called The Giant Surprise.

Comments are closed.