To each of the seven churches of Revelation the Lord offers varying rewards to “him who overcomes.” The apostle John clarifies the one who overcomes as the one who is born of God and believes that Jesus is the Son of God. (I John 5:4,5) In other words, true believers are those who overcome. They overcome because Jesus overcame the barrier of sin between God and us.
To those who would overcome in the church at Pergamus, Jesus says that He would give them “some of the hidden manna.” (2:17) Manna was what God provided to sustain the Israelites during their sojourn through the wilderness for forty years. The provision of manna stopped the day the Israelites entered the Promised Land when they had eaten of its produce. (Joshua 5:12)
Similarly Jesus provided physical food supernaturally for those who were following Him and listening to His teachings. He took five loaves of bread and two fish and fed over 5,ooo not including the women and children. When the disciples gathered up the leftovers, they filled twelve baskets. (John 6:8-14) The result was that on the next day the crowd followed Him, “because they ate of the loaves and were filled.” (6:26) They were still looking to satisfy their physical need but Jesus admonishes them, “Do not labor for food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life,…” (v.27)
The food that they really needed they could not see. It was hidden because they were looking with their physical eyes – “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You?” (v. 30) Their true need required spiritual eyes to see the hidden manna, “…the bread which came down from heaven,” for “…he who eats this bread will live forever.” (6:58)
Jesus is the true bread. He told the crowd, “I am the Bread of Life.” (6:35) But, it requires spiritual eyes to see Him, the hidden manna. To those at Pergamus, Jesus offers the hidden manna to he who overcomes. And unlike the manna in the wilderness, His sustaining power will never cease. For all who come to Him will never hunger and he who believes in Him shall never thirst. (v. 35)