Revelations from the Word

(Back to Index)


The heaven and the earth

by Jean-Louis Coraboeuf

"And having found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to him: Rabbi, when did you come here? Jesus answered them: Truly, truly, I say to you, you are looking for Me, not because you have seen miracles, but because you have eaten bread and you have been satisfied. Work, not for food that perishes, but for that which endures to eternal life, and that the Son of Man will give to you; for it is He whom the Father, whom God Himself has marked with His sign" (John 6:25-27).

Jesus answered the crowd who had seen the miracle of the multiplication of the five loaves and two fishes, "Work for the heavenly and not for earthly food". Then he said to them, "It is My Father who gives you the true bread from heaven; for the bread of God, is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world… I AM the bread of life…" (John 6:32-35). Jesus paralleled heaven with earth…

"In the beginning God created the heavens and the earth" (Genesis 1:1), then He created man from the earth and breathed into him the breath of life so that he became a living soul (Genesis 2:7). When God created man, He prepared at the same time the heavenly and the earthly so that this living being would learn that man does not live by bread alone, but by everything that proceeds from the mouth of the Lord (Deuteronomy 8:3). In the Garden of Eden man was fed from the fruits of the trees, but also from the words of God. As he walked in the Garden (Genesis 3:8), God would speak to Adam, and so nourished his soul by means of this relationship.

In His Sermon on the Mount, Jesus teaches us how to pray, "Our Father who is in heaven!... Give us our bread from above [epeimi] and our daily bread…" (Matthew 6:9-11). The Greek verb epeimi means 'to be above' and to 'to come afterwards', that is to say in the context 'the heavenly bread to come'. In order that the heavenly Father might reign, Jesus drew a parallel between the heavenly and the earthly, as a rabbi of His time would have done:

  • we must sanctify God's name on earth as it is in heaven,

  • we must accomplish the will of God on the earth as it is already in heaven,

  • we must ask for earthly bread just as that of heaven,

  • we must forgive men (earthly) as the Father forgives us (heavenly),

  • we ask not to be brought to the test (earthly) but to be delivered from the Evil One (heavenly).

Jesus who was led into the desert to be tested, had to use the sword of the Word Himself to silence the devil, "Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word which proceeds from the mouth of God" (Matthew 4:3-4)!