Hungry For Bread, Fish, & Egg?

Posted by on Sep 23, 2013 in Spiritual Foundation, Spiritual Path | 1 comment

Hungry For Bread, Fish, & Egg?

In his parable of a hungry child and his father, Jesus chose a loaf of bread, a fish and an egg. Why did he pick just those edibles? Because they embody essential spiritual truths! If we can grasp the inner meaning of the parable and its imagery, we’ll begin to understand the heart of our heavenly Father and the promise of finding the path of life.

The force of reason by itself is not powerful enough for getting at truth. (Basil the Great)

Loaf of bread or stone?

For everyone who asks receives, and he who seeks finds, and to him who knocks it shall be opened. What man is there among you, when his son asks him for a loaf, will give him a stone? (Matthew 7:8-11)

Bread is one of our most important foods, providing us fundamental nourishment essential to our physical well-being. In the Bible, bread symbolizes that which nourishes our spiritual well-being. Jesus recognized that we cannot live on bread alone, but we need to feed on every word that comes out of the mouth of God (Matthew 4:4).

Jesus contrasts bread with a stone, which is hard and unchangeable. Since it has no inherent life-giving power, it might symbolize our own concentrated force to effect changes in ourselves or others. In choosing bread, Jesus is pointing us to someone who does have the power to make us fully alive.

After feeding the multitude with bread and fish, Jesus says that he is the bread of life: “It is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread…I am the bread of life, he who comes to me shall not hunger” (John 6:32-35). If we want to become fully alive, we must learn to go to Jesus Christ—not the law of Moses.

Fish or snake?

Or, if he asks for a fish, he will not give him a snake, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your Father who is in heaven give what is good to those who ask Him. (Matthew 7:8-11)

fishesFish live below the surface of the water where they cannot easily be seen. Restaurant menus often refer to fish as treasures from the sea. A symbol of life and fertility, the fish is one of the oldest symbols of the living Christ, in whom are hidden all the treasures of wisdom and knowledge. As an embodiment of Christ, the fish also symbolizes spiritual nourishment.

Here Jesus positions the fish against the snake. It is easy to think of the snake as the destroyer or the evil one, but note that it also can depict a lower level of functioning, living unconsciously.

Where does Christ live? Down in the deep ocean of our heart, below the surface of our conscious awareness. However, we will not discover this treasure without revelation from the Holy Spirit. We may know it theologically or intellectually, but God calls us to seek inner spiritual reality: “To whom God willed to make known what is the riches of the glory of this mystery among the Gentiles, which is Christ in you, the hope of glory” (Colossians 1:27).

See Eric Metaxas’s dream, “The Golden Fish.”

Egg or scorpion?

…Or if he is asked for an egg, he will not give him a scorpion, will he? If you then, being evil, know how to give good gifts to your children, how much more will your heavenly Father give the Holy Spirit to those who ask Him? (Luke 11:12-13)

The egg is the germ of life. It holds a wealth of possibilities within it. Once fertilized from the outside, the egg has the potential to become something new. In contrast, the dangerous scorpion lurks around, seeking to use its power to kill and destroy, to take away life.

We are like an egg, born with great potential; however, we cannot fully realize who God planned for us to be, unless we receive the imperishable seed of Christ and are born from above. The moment we receive Christ into our hearts, something new takes place, a new creation is formed; now we can be in touch with the power of the kingdom of God right within us.  Jesus said, “I say to you, unless one is born again, he cannot see the kingdom of God. …unless one is born of the water and the Spirit, he cannot enter into the kingdom of God” (John 3:3-5).

When I began my spiritual journey over forty years ago, all I wanted was to find a living God so that I could survive the crisis of our son’s illness. However, God had much more in mind for me than mere survival; he wanted to make all things new, to give me a new heart and a new spirit—if I chose to embrace a spiritual journey, entrust myself to him, and be sensitive to the leading of the Spirit of God.

This is why we need the resurrected Christ and the power of the indwelling Holy Spirit rather than Moses. Although the law of Moses is righteous, it has no power to give us a new life; instead it kills.

Question: What are you hungry for?

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