DayBreaks for 10/31/11 – Going Away Hungry
Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” – John 6:35
In John 6, Jesus preaches a sermon to a humongous crowd of people. He is at the pinnacle of his popularity and word of his healings and teaching has spread like wildfire. Thousands are present when Jesus preaches that day by the Sea of Galilee. We don’t know much of what Jesus said that day – except that he taught all day and that by day’s end the crowds were hungry. Jesus feeds them with five loaves and two fish. It had been a day for the ages, one that must have made the disciples and Jesus very excited. Another great sign: after dinner, the people camp out on the hillside so they can be with Jesus the next day, too! These are enthusiastic admirers! When morning dawns and they rise, they’re hungry again (just like we would be) and they look around for Jesus, but he’s gone. During the night, he and his disciples sailed across the lake. The people figure that out and hurry to catch up to them and when they do they’re really hungry. But there will be no free pancake breakfast that morning. Instead, he says to them, I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
Jesus knew the truth about those people. They were following him because they wanted more free food. Jesus puts them to the test: what kind of food did they want? Did they want Him, or just what He could do for them? In verse 35, Jesus offers himself to them instead of loaves and fish, but the unspoken question was whether that would be enough for them.
Then Jesus Declared, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in my will never be thirsty.’ Do you see? There isn’t physical food on the menu. Jesus says HE is the bread of life. There’s only one item on the menu: Jesus, and the crowd is faced with the question of whether they want Jesus more than they want food. This is at the end of the chapter: From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
If I had been there, would I have turned and walked away, too? I wonder if we can ever really determine how much we are in it for Jesus or for what He can do for us. I sometimes don’t like the way I’d have to answer that question if I were being honest.
PRAYER: Lord, take my heart and change my desires! Let me learn that physical bread can only go so far, but spiritual food nourishes forever. In Jesus’ name, Amen.
Copyright 2011 by Galen C. Dalrymple.
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