What is it?
That is what the word manna means, ‘what is it’ as it was sent from heaven as bread to eat, for Israel to survive on it in the desert.
Today there are those who ask the same question about the bread, the bread of God, His Word.
If God can create the universe and all its complexities out of nothing, can He preserve his Word throughout the centuries? ‘Has God said’ is still a viable argument used by the skeptics, agnostics, and a believers of other gods, or no God.
We have so much confusion
Since the Enlightenment period of the 17th century, the so called ‘intellectual’ scholars who had religious beliefs (and not) questioned the idea of Moses’ authorship of the 5 books being the work of any single author. We still have these today they are called redactors or minimalists, like the Jesus seminar who nominally believe what they want and remove Scriptures from the Bible they do not believe.
We read of the manna given to Israel, Deut. 8:3-4 “ So He humbled you, allowed you to hunger, and fed you with manna which you did not know nor did your fathers know, that He might make you know that man shall not live by bread alone; but man lives by every word that proceeds from the mouth of the LORD .”
Our spiritual nourishment is not like our physical nourishment, it comes from only one place – the Word of God, the Bible. Beware of those who use ancient religions to determine what the Word means, or those who use their revelations and other religious practices for your nourishment.
2 Tim. 3:16-17 “All Scripture is given by inspiration of God, and is profitable for doctrine, for reproof, for correction, for instruction in righteousness, that the man of God may be complete, thoroughly equipped for every good work.”
Scripture is like our spiritual multi vitamin.
Jesus and the apostles always quoted Scripture to convey the truth to the hearers. Only occasionally did they use writings outside the Word as a tools to convey to Gentiles what the Word means, it is always focused on the Word of God.
Matt 4:3-4 “Now when the tempter (The Devil) came to Him, he said, "If You are the Son of God, command that these stones become bread." But He answered and said, "It is written, 'Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God .'"
The Devil made it about his hunger, Jesus made it about God.
The ones who grow to maturity and bear fruit are those who keep the Word, those who understand it and apply it in their life.
Matt 15:10 Jesus “called the multitude to Himself, He said to them, "Hear and understand.”
Much like Deut. 6:4, “hear O Israel,” meaning, pay attention and understand.
Mark 4:12 “and hearing they may hear and not understand.” This is always our struggle, for it is matter of our heart.
Matt 16:6 Jesus said to them, "Take heed and beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and the Sadducees."
They thought he meant real bread that we eat for food and started to discuss among themselves what Jesus actually meant. Jesus responds v.11-12 ‘ How is it you do not understand that I did not speak to you concerning bread ?--but to beware of the leaven of the Pharisees and Sadducees." 12 Then they understood that He did not tell them to beware of the leaven of bread , but of the doctrine of the Pharisees and Sadducees.”
Matt 13:23 “ But he who received seed on the good ground is he who hears the word and understands it, who indeed bears fruit and produces: some a hundredfold, some sixty, some thirty ." (Mark 4:20)
Luke 24:44-45 On the Emmaus road after his resurrection Jesus showed up conversing with 2 apostles discussing the recent event, he explains to the 2 disciples, “ that all things must be fulfilled which were written in the Law of Moses and the Prophets and the Psalms concerning Me." And He opened their understanding, that they might comprehend the Scriptures.”
Jesus used the 3 part division of the Old Testament to proclaim to them what he has fulfilled proving his messiahship.
Jesus is the Word, our bread, our sustenance
John 6:31-36 they said to Jesus, “Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' " Then Jesus said to them, "Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." And Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst.”
There are many who have religious teachings, that tell you they have revelations and visions from God, that teach from many books; Come to Jesus, listen to what He has to say and you will be filled.
“Blessed are those who hunger and thirst for righteousness, For they shall be filled.” (Matt 5:6)