'I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.' - John 6:35-51
Bread is a wonderfully sustaining foodstuff. We could look at the individual ingredients and concoct a sermon simply on those, the yeast, the salt, the grain which yields the wheat flour, the water which binds them all together - they all can have a spiritual significance which Jesus himself used in the stories that he told. But let's look at the finished product and how we an relate that to the meaning that Jesus was inferring to the crowd who had so eagerly followed him all day, and seen him perform a culinary miracle with a few fish and some loaves of bread.
We eat bread and it is absorbed by our bodies. It is converted into the energy we need to live, work and grow. Complex carbohydrates broken down steadily to give us the sustenance we need as human beings. Protein builds up our strength. Vitamins and minerals ensure that our bodily organs and system function correctly. It is simple, nutritious and life-giving.
When Jesus started talking about 'Bread of Life' the crowd thought he was talking literally about bread, and immediately their thoughts turned to their stomachs and back to the manna that God had provided for His people when they were in exile. But no, Jesus tells them, he's not talking about the physical aspects of hunger. Yes, they had just witnessed something of a miracle when so many were fed and satisfied from the meal he provided courtesy of a few small fish and a loaf or two of bread, but that wasn't about showing off his power - it wasn't some form of conjuring trick to impress. As always with Jesus there was a spiritual lesson to be learned.
What he wants them to grasp is that within Him is all the food that they need to grow spiritually, real bread that satisfies hunger forever, not just the rumbling stomachs and hunger pangs that they might be feeling at that particular place and time.