Brief Notes

The Bread of
God’s Purpose

7 February 2023

Do you desire to
enter into God’s purpose?
Then learn to feed
upon Christ as your
living bread

In the entire Bible, it is the book of Ephesians that most directly speaks of God’s purpose, which is to have the church to express and represent Him, and to be in relationship with Him. This book tells us we were made His inheritance according to this purpose (1:11), and it also tells us that God’s “eternal purpose” is to make His wisdom known through the church (Eph. 3:10-11).

The Greek word used for “purpose” in these verses is prosthesis; it appears exactly a dozen times in the New Testament. In Romans it is also used to refer to God’s purpose, when Paul says that God works all things together for His purpose (8:28), but in other places it is used in a more general way, as when Barnabas urged the saints in Antioch to continue with the Lord “with purpose of heart” (Acts 11:23).

Four times, however, it is used in relation to the bread that was placed in the tabernacle during Old Testament times. For example, the writer of Hebrews tells us,

There was a tabernacle prepared, the outer one, in which were the lampstand and the table and the sacred bread; this is called the holy place.
— Hebrews 9:2, NASB

The word translated as “sacred” in this verse is actually prosthesis, the same word translated “purpose” in Ephesians 1:11 and 3:11. So, a literal translation of “sacred bread” here could be “the bread of the purpose.” The same is true in the other instances where this bread is referred to in the New Testament, in the story of David eating the bread meant for the priests (Matt. 12:4, Mark 2:26, Luke 6:4).

Why does the New Testament use this word to describe the holy bread, the food for the priests in the Old Testament? Because the New Testament not only shows us God’s purpose; it also shows us the way He carries out that purpose, namely, by giving Himself to us as our food, so that we may receive His divine life.

So, do you want to be one who is fully in God’s purpose? Then learn to feed upon Christ as your living bread, as your real food, “the bread of God’s purpose,” to take Him in as Your life.

Jesus Himself, in the Gospel of John, presents Himself to us as the Bread of Life for us to eat so that we may receive the eternal life. First He says,

“I am the bread of life.”
— John 6:35

Then He adds:

“Most assuredly, I say to you, he who believes in Me has eternal life. I am the bread of life….This is the bread which comes down from heaven, that one may eat of it and not die.”
— John 6:47-50

And finally He says:

“As the living Father sent Me, and I live because of the Father, so he who feeds on Me will live because of Me. ”
— John 6:57

Now do you see the significance of “the bread of the purpose”? Christ is the real “bread of God’s purpose,” and when we take Him in as our real food and so receive God’s divine life, we are spontaneously connected to God’s eternal purpose.

May we all learn to feed upon Christ day by day as “the bread of God’s purpose!”

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— 7 February 2023 —