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Wednesday, October 16, 2013

Give Us Bread

John 6 begins with John's version of the feeding of the 5,000. You remember that story. Jesus uses 5 loaves and 2 fish to feed a crowd consisting of 5,000 men (and whoever else was there) with 12 baskets left over (John 6:1-13). Good stuff. Next, Jesus sends His disciples across the Sea of Galilee and then does His famous water-walk (John 6:15-21). On the other side in the morning the crowd found Him again. But before they can even get in a good question, Jesus answered them: "Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal" (John 6:26-27).

I have to tell you this is striking to me. Just the day before "when the people saw the sign which He had performed, they said, 'This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world.'" (John 6:14). They're not confused. They're not lost. They understand that Jesus is something truly special. Not just a prophet, but the Prophet (Deut 18:15). So do they look for "prophet stuff" from Him? No. They want ... food.

This is so us. These are "believers" in the sense that these people understand that He is more than a magician. If nothing else, they have been commanded to listen to Him. But what do they want? Stuff. Food. Temporal comfort. Physical pleasure. Far, far too often this is us, seeking Christ for what we can get, for temporal comfort. Oh, and if He doesn't come through for us, we are not going to be happy with Him. "Why, God??!!" we will complain. "Why did you let this (bad thing) happen to me?" Because we aren't particularly interested in the fact that this is God Incarnate. We want momentary pleasure. And it's His job (somehow) to supply it.

I think we all make that mistake from time to time. I think that genuine believers will catch it. Those who don't are like those disciples in the events of John 6 who grumbled (John 6:60-61). These ultimately walk away not because they lack sufficient proof or adequate signs, but because they don't believe.

Which are you? Are you one that comes to Christ for the bread you can get? Are you seeking that which God can supply? Or are you, like Paul, one who counts "all things to be loss in view of the surpassing value of knowing Christ Jesus my Lord" (Phil 3:8)? Does Jesus owe you personal pleasure, a life of leisure, temporal comfort, or is it Christ Himself you seek? If the latter, have you, perhaps, temporarily lost sight of that fact? Just checking.

2 comments:

Dan said...

My existence is marked by continually losing and regrasping the "...sight of that fact".

Stan said...

Glad to be of service.