By Pastor Randy
John chapter 6 records Jesus’ miracle whereby He fed over 5,000 people from five loaves of bread and two fish, but it is the conversation that ensued between Jesus and those he fed that demands our attention.
Following this miracle, the people whose stomach’s Jesus filled wanted to make Him King! After all, who wouldn’t want a king that can provide for all our needs without us needing to work? The next day they came looking for Jesus, but when they found him Jesus called them out for their corrupt motivation; their interest in Jesus was based on His ability to meet their wants and desires. Jesus told the crowd that He was the “bread of life”. He used that phrase to communicate that while bread could fill their stomachs and sustain their physical life, He is the one that satisfies the soul and sustains life eternally.
The dialogue that ensues draws a contrast between two groups of followers: Those who follow Jesus because of what He gives and those who follow Jesus for who He is. The crowd which failed to believe in Jesus is contrasted with the willingness to trust in Jesus that we find expressed by Peter,
“Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”
So what does this mean for you and me?
We need to examine our hearts to see if we are following Jesus for what He gives rather than for who He is. True belief in Jesus will manifest itself in following Jesus, not only when it is easy and convenient, but also when Jesus does and says things that we don’t fully understand. It is easy to follow Jesus when the crowd is following, but Peter and the twelve stuck with Jesus even after everyone else turned away in disgust over Jesus’ words. How strong is our faith in Jesus? If those around us were to desert Him, would we continue to follow?
Prayer: “Lord, help me today to express my faith and faithfulness to you regardless of whether I am among other followers or those who deny you. Help me to praise you and trust you even when you work in ways I don’t understand and following in inconvenient. I declare today that I need you more than anything I want from you!”