After Jesus had performed the miracle of multiplying the loaves of
bread with which to feed the four thousand, He and his disciples left
that place by boat. His disciples then began to discuss among
themselves the fact that they had forgotten to bring bread and that
there was only one loaf of bread on the boat. This was just after the
miracle they had witnessed.
Hearing their discussion about the lack of bread, Jesus asks His
disciples, “Why do you discuss the fact that you have no bread? Do you
not yet see or understand? Do you have a hardened heart? He continues
with, “Having eyes, do you not see? And having ears, do you not hear?
And do you not remember, when I broke the five loaves for the five
thousand, how many baskets full of broken pieces you picked up?" They
said to Him," Twelve." "And when I broke the seven for the four
thousand, how many large baskets full of broken pieces did you pick up?"
And they said to Him, "Seven." And He was saying to them, "Do you not
yet understand?" (Mark 8:17-21)
In John 6 He mentions bread again:
35 Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me
shall not hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.
48 "I am the bread of life.
51 "I am the living bread that came down out of heaven; if anyone
eats of this bread, he shall live forever; and the bread also which I
shall give for the life of the world is My flesh."
~ New American Standard Bible
Many people limit their understanding of what Jesus is saying by
focusing on partaking of Communion (the Bread and the Wine) which
symbolizes the Body and the Blood of Christ. One misses the point if
there is no “heart change” which is what I think Jesus is trying to tell
people. Taking Communion without having a true spiritual rebirth
manifested by a softening of the heart that produces the fruit of the
Spirit – love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness,
gentleness, and self-control (Galatians 5:22-23) – becomes empty ritual.
To partake of the Bread of Life is to internalize the loving,
compassionate, and peace-making teachings of Jesus with the indwelling
of the Holy Spirit, and to manifest these teachings in our lives.