I am reading a continuous story in the gospel of John, for a few days already. Today I have read John 6:27-40. The many people that came to hear Jesus and were fed by him in a miraculous manner, had followed him in boats over the lake of Tiberius to Capernaum in order to look for him. When they eventually found him, Jesus told them that they did not search for him because they had seen ‘signs,’ miracles that show that Jesus is the Messiah whom they are awaiting, but because they had eaten from food that “remains unto eternal life”, or food “that will give them eternal life” (depends on the translation). In my own words, the people who had eaten the bread and the fish on the green pastures of the hills of Tiberius, had tasted the kingdom of God.
The people listening were not satisfied with Jesus’ words. They wanted to know what sort of bread its was that they had tasted what Jesus had given them. They asked Jesus: “What then do you do for a sign, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you do? Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness. As it is written, ‘He gave them bread out of heaven’.” What was the bread that we tasted? The people gathered, tried in this way to establish who Jesus is, just like me yesterday, wondering what that is, this vulnerable thing of faith. Referring to the ‘written text’ about manna, that was given by God in the desert when the people of Israel almost starve, they tried to position Jesus in the tradition they find themselves into. Jesus answered them that he himself is the ‘bread of life’: “He who comes to me will not be hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty”. Jesus is as the life-saving manna in the desert, which the people knew from their tradition.
Today my question to the tarot is: What does it mean, that Jesus is the ‘bread of life’?
To answer this question I have used the Tarot of Jane Austen made by chelsearoadand I have pulled Five of Coins. Depicted is a poor woman who was healthy and rich earlier but not now anymore. She came to Bath for the healing waters, so in touch with John, in who’s gospel the living water of Jesus is meant to heal people.
Looking at the card, I certainly do not envy this woman, mrs. Smith from Persuasion, but I think her message is extremely important in my life.
Although the woman is poor, sickly and shivers from cold, she, so says Diane Wilkes in the book along the deck, is relatively cheerful, has “an elasticity of mind,” is able to is able to put things into perspective.
Many objects on the card can bring her comfort or even healing: the water of Bath in the tub, the cane that stands beside her that can help her walk (and as a wand an instrument of divine fire). She has the light of the candle to lighten her up, the quill to write with and in this deck also a symbol of the suit of swords, swords that she can use for clarity and discernment and gaining perspective.
So what does it mean to me that Jesus is the ‘bread of life’? I do not think that our problems like poverty, sickness and discrimination are gone until eternal life if we believe that Jesus is the bread of life. To me, bread of life it means that I am able to find comfort and ways of coping and dealing (psychological, spiritual) with concrete problems in my life like money, illness and disappointment.