The Girl Who Kneaded Bread
Guest Post by Erin Bruker
What would it have been like to hear Jesus preach? A fictional account of a girl who heard Jesus and how he satisfies our needs.
* * *
Like most women in Capernaum, it seems like I’m always kneading bread. Or mixing the dough . . . or waiting for it to rise . . . or shaping the loaves . . . It never goes away. That’s why I was excited when my father stepped into the kitchen and asked me, “Want to go along to market?”
I glanced at my mother with a pleading look.
“Did you finish your chores?” she asked.
“I just have to finish kneading this loaf,” I answered.
She gave a slight nod of approval and a smile spread across my face.
As father and I neared the market, we met a friend of his who was headed for the synagogue to hear the rabbi Jesus of Nazareth and invited us to come along, adding “Did you hear? He claims to be the son of God.” Apparently Jesus had fed 5,000 people in Galilee the day before with two fish and five loaves.
Father looked at me with a face full of intrigue. “Let’s go along; the market can wait.”
People packed the synagogue, so we stood in the back. Everyone was anxious to hear Jesus; they coaxed him to stand up front and give a speech. Jesus was just a carpenter but spoke with authority. And he was mesmerizing, though he used many analogies which I did not understand: “my Father gives you the true bread from heaven”; “the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”; “I am the bread of life” “I am the living bread that came down from heaven”; “whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life”; “for my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink”; “he who feeds on this bread will live forever.” What did he mean by these?
When he finished, people slowly went back to their business. On our way home from the market, father and I talked. “How could Jesus claim to be God?”
“He certainly had power from somewhere to do miracles,” I answered. “What do you think he meant when he said ‘eat my flesh and drink my blood’? Or that he had the ‘bread of life’?”
“I don’t know,” my father answered, “but we aren’t about to become cannibals!”
“And he said doing this was supposed to make us live forever? I’m not sure,” I added.
We concluded Jesus was crazy.
The next morning I was in the kitchen kneading bread (again). The chore never stopped. I thought about what Jesus said. “Boy,” I thought, “it’d be nice to have some of his bread of life and no longer have to knead!”
There had been some people in the synagogue who did not think Jesus was crazy. I heard one man tell a friend, “Jesus healed my daughter right before my eyes! He is God as he claims—there is no other way my daughter would be alive today.”
I decided I needed to talk to my father.
I found him carving wood on our porch. “Maybe Jesus did have a point yesterday when he said he was the bread of life,” I began. “He spoke with much more knowledge than the other rabbis. If he is God, then he actually would know what someone has to do to get to heaven.”
“I have been thinking about it too,” my father replied. “If he is the bread of life, then we need him to get to heaven. We certainly don’t deserve to enter heaven on our own with all the wrongs we have done.”
I agreed. “It seems the bread he’s offering is a gift, the gift of himself. Wow—what a gift! Now, we get to follow God’s commands out of love instead of guilt. Though I cannot live up to God’s standard, Jesus has given me hope. I feel like I have been freed from a big burden!”
“I feel the same way,” he smiled. “I am so glad you came along with me yesterday.”
I returned to the kitchen with a happy heart, knowing that I had found the bread of life.
* * *
ERIN BRUKER belongs to Community Evangelical Free Church in Harrisburg, PA.
[Picture by Gaelle Marcel / Unsplash]