John 21 - Bread, Water and Jesus

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JOHN 21 - Bread, Water and Jesus.


2 basics bread and water, we are going to talk about them today as well as Christ the provider as well as Jesus the cook

Bread and water aren’t much of a diet, are they?

But within bread and water there are lots of metaphors to how our Lord Jesus is all we need in a sense of spiritual hunger and how or Lord Jesus satisfies that and or our Daily bread and living water.

He looks after us and provides for us on a daily basis.



Bread was a staple in biblical times and most of the people ate unleavened bread.

How to make bread

  1. Firstly, Wheat ground into flour (picture) – whetstone as in biblical times

  2. Mixed with water and kneaded

  3. Add leavening - 3-week-old raw dough with yeast in it and was left to rise.

  4. Baking of the bread which was done on a bed of coals cake was merely a round loaf and not sugary as in:

       1 Kings 19:6 -  And he looked, and behold, there was a cake baken on the coals


Jesus - John 6:47-58

If we look at the scripture the first thing Jesus talks about is “I am the bread of life” in verse 48.

Second is Manna which was a sweet seed like bread that was provided for the Israelites when they were in the wilderness. (coriander). It was kept in the ark of the covenant as a constant reminder to the Israelites of how God had provided for them in times of testing in the wilderness.

Jesus was saying that even after eating it, their descendants are now dead, Jesus was the bread that gave life as in;

John 14 v 6 - “I am the way the truth and the life”

He was saying he is the eternal bread or way.

Jesus deliberately goes on to provoke thought in his words in verse 51 as eating his flesh as a prophetic representation of his sacrifice on the cross. His Father used his body to cleanse us of our sin that’s why Jesus talks about his flesh as physical and to them a real representation of what they could see in front of them. He talks about nobody being saved without this sacrifice.

The Jewish high priest sacrifices only lasted for a short time and would need to be repeated. i.e. the “Day of atonement” which would happen yearly and is still undertaken as Yom Kippur and Paul talks about the last sacrifice in Hebrews as Christ as the final sacrifice in

Hebrews 10:12 - But this one, after he had offered for all time a single sacrifice for sins, sat down at the right hand of God.


What did the Pharisees do in verse 52?

They twisted the words of Yeshua and implied cannibalism – twisted and not what was meant. Then he invoked the image of blood in John 6:55 which was repellent to Jewish people who do not eat the blood of an animal as part Kosher law (Kashrus).

Parts of this are still distorted today as in Catholicism and their concept of communion and the concept of transubstantiation. The reason Jesus talked of this is to talk to the Jews in a language they would understand i.e. that of the law and sacrifice. He is talking about taking him internally in terms of believing and faithfulness in him and hence he lives in us and sustains us like food.

David Stern the author of the Jewish New Testament says that;

“To eat the flesh of the Son of Man is to absorb the entire way of being and living, Yeshua wants us to live , feel , think and act like him; by the power of the Ruach Hakodesh (Holy spirit) he enables us to do so to drink his blood is to absorb his self-sacrificing, life motivation and indeed his very life “ as in;

Leviticus 17:11 : For the life of the flesh is in the blood: and I have given it to you upon the altar to make an atonement for your souls: for it is the blood that maketh an atonement for the soul.

Jesus sacrificed life is the eternal food we need for our spiritual thirst and hunger. This sacrifice was the only way to God to cleanse man from Adams sin. Jesus later on questions them to reinforce the message and metaphors he is using. Spiritual hunger over a physical aspect as in;  

Matthew 4:4 - “Man shall not live by bread alone but by every word that proceedeth out of the mouth of God.”


Last Supper /Communion

Bread was also used at the Last supper to signify Christs sacrifice in Luke 22:16–20

The purpose of this meal was for Christ to explain the main reason he came, he was the blood covenant between God and man i.e. the unbreakable promise.

He was referring to the great supper as in;

Revelation 19:9 - Then the angel said to me, “Write this: Blessed are those who are invited to the wedding supper of the Lamb!” And he added, “These are the true words of God.”

The lamb within the Passover meal signified the sacrifice which meant God would not pass judgement for those who accepted the blood sacrifice as per when Moses in Egypt and they painted their doors with the blood. Christ was talking and relating the fact that his body was the bread, which was broken signifying a new Passover covenant, through the breaking of his own body. It’s odd but as Jesus was praying, he would have added the words onto the blessing and would have confused the disciples. His promise in the covenant was foretold in;

Jeremiah 31:34 - And they shall teach no more every man his neighbour, and every man his brother, saying , Know the Lord: for they shall all know me, from the least of them unto the greatest of them, saith the Lord: for I will forgive their iniquity, and I will remember their sin no more.



Jesus always aimed to glorify his Father and he used the physical act of eating to glorify his Father. Description of B’rakhah blessing, usually recited at a specific moment during a ceremony or other activity. Said before AND after a meal in Jewish culture. Jesus did in the bible in the following text when he fed the 5,000.

Matthew 14:19 (CJB) - After instructing the crowds to sit down on the grass, he took the five loaves and the two fishes and, looking up toward heaven, made a blessing [b'rakhah]"

Jesus would have probably said the below like a blessing at a Jewish family’s house today when breaking bread and thanking his Father in heaven.

           Baruch ata Adonai, (Blessed are You, O LORD our God)

           Eloheinu Melech ha'olam, (King of the Universe)

           hamotzi lechem, (Who has brought forth bread)

           min ha aretz" (From the earth.)

The object of the blessing is God, not the food. It is unnecessary to say, as many Christians do, "Lord, bless this food to our bodies" since food is already God's blessing to us. Rather, we thank him for providing it.


Passover (Pesach)

At the last supper what else they would have been eaten? We are not given an extensive menu, but it was probably bread and wine in rotation. There was no meat as the disciples didn’t have a lot of money and only the rich could afford meat. Now a Pesach Seder consists of 6 items;

  1. Maror and Chazeret - 2 herbs

  2. Charoset – fruit and nuts

  3. Karpas: A vegetable other than bitter herbs

  4. Zeroa: A roasted lamb or goat bone (meat is eaten later if you are rich)

  5. Beitzah: A hard-boiled egg


Water - The woman at the well - John 4:5-15

Did you know how long can human body do without water? It is somewhere between 3-5 days and food is about 4-6 weeks. Israel has a lot of dry and arid places and has a number of deserts, one of which is the Negev desert. If you fly from Tel Aviv to Eilat all you see is desert. Jesus spent a lot of time in the desert with his disciples, so he understood hunger and thirst like when he was tempted in the wilderness for 40 days and nights which is a period of temptation and testing. In the desert you get thirsty and water quenches thirst.

When Israeli soldiers go on exercise in the desert, they are told to drink constantly otherwise dehydration can cause fatigue and in extreme cases death. Like bread we have a spiritual requirement and again Jesus used the metaphor of water as a way of showing us how we need him living within us. A good example of this is the story of Jacobs well and the woman there.

In this chapter Jesus spoke about water knowing you would get thirsty again but what he gave her would quench her spiritual thirst for eternity. There is a nice contrast here as Jesus was physically thirsty and the woman was spiritually thirsty, and she was in need of the living water. Jesus knew all about this woman, and it is thought she was an outcast that’s why she came much later than the other women.  Jesus sought the lost and societies downcast. Jesus also was a Jew and Samaritans were lower than gentiles to the Jews as their religion was a mixture of Moses and superstition. But we know Jesus speaks to anybody and Jesus unlike anybody at that time spoke directly to her. In the text i.e. the living water bubbled as in a spring, Jesus was talking about spiritual water which gave life and refreshed the soul which only he can give.

In life people in life look for things which can satisfy their spiritual thirst i.e. other religions, self-help, Alcohol or drugs, relationships, Money – nice house and car  and in summary only God through his son Jesus by the power of the Holy Spirit can satisfy this longing.

You see an important thing with drinking it is an action of receiving, we receive Gods water of life through nothing we have done i.e. good works. It is through God’s grace he gave his son and through God’s grace we receive it and the water itself becomes everlasting life as in verse 14.

The whole incident was one of the sequence of salvation.

  1. the initiation of a request for water

  2. through to the conviction of sin of being in unmarried relationship

  3. through to Christ winning her soul

  4. revealing his identity to her

  5. evangelising to her neighbours


Jesus the cook (John 21:1–14)

To put this verse into a little bit of a context the Sea of Tiberias is also known as the Sea of Galilee. It is 13 miles long by 8 miles wide and the disciples fished on it as a way of living.

Before this, Christ had been crucified and risen from the dead and the disciples were still moved and this was the third time they had seen him after he was risen form the dead as it says in verse 14.


Why did they catch nothing initially then an over-abundance?

The disciples were uncertain as they saw going back to their old life as fisherman now their leader had gone. Fishing signified also that they had a new role i.e. they were fishers of men as in;

Mark 1:17 - And Jesus said unto them, come ye after me, and I will make you to become fishers of men

When they fished to the right side, this was the divine way, Gods way which proved fruitful and when they pulled the fish up there were 153. There are possibilities as to what this signifies;

  1. Jerome zoologist says there were 153 varieties of fish in Sea of Galilee then and this meant Gods message had universal appeal to races and creeds

  2. 153 is the sum of numbers 1 to 17. Some (like Augustine) say that it is a number representing the number of commandments (10) added to the sevenfold gifts of the Spirit.

  3. 153 is the added numerical value of the Greek words "Peter" and "fish."

  4. Some (like Cyril of Alexandria) say that 100 stands for the Gentiles, 50 for Israel and 3 for the Trinity.

The overall message of this passage is when we try and do things on our own we fail, without the Lord behind us, without his guidance and his direction we fail , what do we do or should the disciples have done; their burden was their failure and the bible is very clear what we do with our burdens;

Psalm 55:22 - Cast thy burden upon the LORD, and he shall sustain thee: he shall never suffer the righteous to be moved.


Why did they not know it was Jesus ?

Some commentators think it was because Jesus was still scarred i.e. was his face still unrecognisable from his beatings and crucifixion?

But more importantly as Matthew Henry quotes “Christ's time of making himself known to his people, is when they are most at a loss.”


What did Jesus cook them ?

There are about 18 – 24 types of fish in the sea of Galilee but the fish Jesus PROBABLY would have cooked is a “Tristramella Simonis” also known as Musht . This is related to a Tilapia (Jamaican popular fish and is still eat today if you go there (With chips of course)

In this instance Jesus cooked the fish over Charcoal and he may have seasoned the Fish as many herbs and spices are grown around Sea of Galilee such as;

  • Sunflower Seeds

  • Pumpkin Seeds

  • almonds

  • Pine Nuts

  • Onion

  • Parsley

  • Garlic – Numbers

  • Garlic

  • Cumin

  • Black pepper

  • Sweet paprika

  • Paprika

  • Thyme

  • Oregano

  • Coriander

  • Nutmeg

I’m sure the fish was excellent!



Summary of bread

We know when we eat, we will get hungry again and what Jesus said was, he who eats, who accepts he died on the cross for me who daily asks for my bread through reading his word, living a life by allowing the Holy Spirit in, you will never hunger again. As in communion which is breaking bread like his body on the cross when he was crucified, his body broken so we may eat of and enjoy eternal life with him.


Summary of the woman at the well

From the bible we know that Christ’s went on a long diversion in his journey and in this case, he searches for lost sheep, as he does with you and me;

Luke 15:4 -What man of you, having an hundred sheep, if he lose one of them, doth not leave the ninety and nine in the wilderness, and go after that which is lost, until he find it?

Our Lord Jesus wants you to believe and trust him, and how does he reward you.

John 7:38 - He that believeth on me, as the scripture hath said, out of his belly shall flow rivers of living water

David Guzik in his commentary on the CJB for John explains

For the one who does believe in Him, Jesus offered a perpetual river of living water out of His innermost being. Tabernacles also looked forward to the prophecies of water flowing from the throne and from Jerusalem where Messiah would be enthroned. Essentially Jesus said, "Put your loving trust in Me, enthrone Me in your heart, and life and abundance will flow out."


Summary of Jesus cooking for his disciples.

It is interesting that one of the first thing Christ does after he rises from the dead is to go and comfort his disciples and look after their needs


Final Thought

If you know the Lord, ask him today to refresh you and thank him for his daily bread and living water and thank him for the sacrifice he made on calvary.

If you don’t know him, know this.

You might think your spiritually full

Have a good life, nice things, good friends

You are not complete, how do I know? because the bible tells me so just look at it and let Gods word speak to you.

Colossians 2:10 - And ye are complete in him, which is the head of all principality and power: