Truly, truly, I ay to you, 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. For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world.
Who is the source of your inspiration, your values, and your character? When I was in the 10th grade, my youth pastor was called to another church. This sort of event is not unfamiliar to the field of youth ministry, or even church ministry in general. To me, however, it was the end of the world. He had been the only youth pastor I had ever known. When he left, I felt like I was up a river without a paddle, a ship without a sail, stuck in a maze of mirrors… well, you get the point. Two year later, the next youth leader was gone and the same feelings returned. This time, however, I discovered my strength in a very important truth that God had been teaching me. I find Christ teaching this same principle to the crowds that followed Him in John chapter six.
They said to Him, “Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat.'” (Verse 31) In response, Jesus instructs them that it was never Moses who provide the bread, but God the Father. The Jews, much like I did, placed their faith and inspiration in an earthly figure, rather than their heavenly Father. Christ is quick to point out that Moses was not the source of their bread. When we begin to place our attention on earthly figures, we are only setting ourselves up for disaster and disappointment. Moses, as godly as he was, was merely a man. Humans will continually make mistakes and even leaders will eventually move on or loose our respect. My first youth pastor was, and still is, an amazing man of God. He taught me immeasurable truths that I carry with me even today. Outside the influence of my parents, there was no one more influential to me during my formative years. Unfortunately, I sought him for wisdom and strength in my walk with God rather than going directly to the Lord. When he left, I found myself without a leader because I had failed to make God my ultimate mentor.
Jesus went on to say that He is the bread of life, whoever believes in Him, will never hunger. Christ proclaimed to the Jews that He was sent from the Father to guide them and to lead them to eternal life. Unlike Moses though, He was of the Father… He was deity. If they would only place their faith in Him, they would discover a leader that would never leave them nor forsake them! Christ offered the same words of comfort to me as I struggled to find my place in the months following my youth pastor’s departure. He taught me that, like Moses, He would provide me with mentors and pastors along the journey. He, however, should be my primary leader, my source of inspiration, values, and character. With this truth, I was able to face the storm the next time a youth leader left our church. The Jews, however, did not learn so easily. In verses 36 and 37 Jesus says, “But I said to you, that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me shall come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out.” They failed to recognize Jesus as their leader, and as a result, until this day they continue to wander through life without one.