What is it?

by Marilyn Mathis

Food preparation is an art! 

During my 53 years of marriage, I have prepared many, many meals. I do believe I’ve had lots of experience in the kitchen. My only official study of food preparation was in high school home economics. I had a great teacher and loved the class. Our text was Better Homes and Gardens Cook Book. I still use a copy today. It has some delicious recipes, especially one for stuffed peppers and peach cobbler.

Observing another cook doesn’t always help in acquiring knowledge about food preparation. My cousin makes the best buttermilk biscuits — FROM SCRATCH! No whacking a can for this girl. I watched her! I wrote down the recipe and directions. At home, I used the same brand ingredients, followed all her directions, even using an empty Vienna sausage can as a biscuit cutter. My husband’s response to my efforts was, “I might be able to use them for sinkers when I go fishing.” I have to say that I have never mastered biscuit making. I have found it is cheaper to buy a can.

Observing my mother over many years of cooking for our family was the best preparation for my skills in the kitchen. She was not a fancy cook, but she surely could boil pinto beans, fry potatoes and make the best cornbread. Like my mom, I’m not a fancy cook, but I have gotten better through the years. I do have to confess there have been times when my husband, or child, has looked at my masterpiece and asked, “What is it?”

That question was hard on my pride (right up there with the sinker statement) until I realized that I was in good company. The nation of Israel made the same response to food prepared for them by GOD! They didn’t have much confidence in their heavenly chef.

Manna, which means “What?” in Hebrew, was the food God provided miraculously for the Israelites during their 40 years of wandering in the wilderness. The people grumbled and said, “For you have brought us out into this wilderness to kill this whole assembly with hunger” (Exodus 16:3). God heard their complaints and sent “bread from heaven.” Manna was “like coriander seed, white, and its taste was like wafers and honey” (16:31). When the people saw it, they asked, “What is it?” Moses replied, “It is bread, which the LORD has given you to eat” (16:15).

Jesus Christ taught that manna was a type, or picture, of Himself as the Bread from heaven. “For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world . . . I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me will never hunger” (John 6:32-33).

At this Christmas season, what can we learn about Jesus from the manna supplied by God?

1. It was round in appearance. (16:14) This speaks of Christ, the Eternal One, without beginning or end (Revelation 1:8).

2. It was small in size. (16:14) Its size speaks of humility. Christ became a babe in Bethlehem. He left His throne of glory to live among us (Phil. 2:7).

3. It was white in color. (16:31) This speaks of purity. Jesus was, and is, the “spotless, unblemished Lamb of God” (1 Peter 1:19).

4. It was sweet to the taste, like wafers made with honey. (16:31) Jesus is all that is pleasing in life. He satisfies our deepest hunger.

5. It came from heaven. (16:15) Its origin speaks of the deity of Jesus. He is the God-Man. He was sent from the Father, to be born of a virgin, in the city of Bethlehem, and to save the world from sin. WHAT A SAVIOR!

This month as you celebrate the birth of Christ remember Him as the manna sent from God. He is the Bread of Life, the Bread of Heaven! Taste Him and see that He is good! Feed on Him and be truly blessed by God’s unspeakable gift.