Jesus is again challenged for what he says. It seems impossible that this man, the son of the carpenter, could be or should be talking about being the bread of life, being a gift of God, being a miracle of God like the manna in the wilderness. While the people in this passage take Jesus literally, and get confused by his statements, we often take him figuratively. And sometimes, in taking Jesus figuratively, we choose to stay on the surface.
Jesus says he is the bread of life. Bread was the filler food in that area, much like it has been in Europe and America. In other parts of the world, it might be rice, or even nsima. It has calories, it has carbohydrates, it provides energy, made of simple elements, often nothing more than water and grain, and it makes us feel full. When Jesus says he is the bread of life, do we think of those sorts of things? Do we think of being full, being satisfied, having a sense of having enough? Do we understand how much of our basic need Jesus meets?
We pray for our daily bread, and we remember the manna in the wilderness, and we may even think that a modern meal is incomplete without bread. So how does our understanding of bread apply to a Jesus who is the bread of life? How deep are we willing to go into the metaphor?