Theme of the Week: Who Is Jesus?
Bible Verse: Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. John 6:35
Scripture Reading: John 6:22-71
Have you ever tried to recreate something? To reexperience an event for yourself or try to give someone else the same experience that you’ve had? Even telling the story often leads to the old phrase, “I guess you had to be there.” Recreating something almost always falls a bit low of hopes and expectations.
That was the problem for the 5,000 (or at least some of them) that Jesus fed with a child’s sack lunch. You probably know that the actual crowd that was fed with the meager portions from a young boy’s lunch was larger than 5,000 (John is clear that it was 5,000 men, but Matthew clarifies that there were women and children there too). The next day, they, understandably, went looking for Jesus. After all, it was breakfast time. Why not another free meal?
In the passage, Jesus calls them out on their less than pure motives, “you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (John 6:26). And then offers them what they are looking for, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (v. 35). Jesus was more than happy to give them what they needed.
The problem they had is that they could only think in terms of the here and now. Their minds and hearts were connected to their stomachs. As Jesus’s words reveal, they were concerned about the material world, not the spiritual one.
Not much has really changed. In a world where we are experientially overwhelmed, when we can on demand and same day deliver nearly everything we want, when our faintest cravings can be satisfied with a click, it is easy to treat Jesus as another delivery system. Our prayer lives often reflect this.
While we are encouraged to pray for our daily bread, it is the single physical request in the entire prayer (we could debate the physicality of the request for the kingdom to come). The rest of the prayer focuses on our spiritual needs. Our current prayers are often the exact opposite. We are caught in the material world with our material concerns, asking for our bellies to be full while our spirits may be famished.
But Jesus is Lord of the stomach and the soul. And life is more than food and drink. As the bread of life, Jesus satisfies so that we “never hunger” again.
Prayer: Jesus, thank you for the satisfaction you give. Thank you that the hunger you satisfy is more than the grumble in my stomach. Help me to remember that life is more than food and to look to you to satisfy my deepest cravings.
Reflection: Do your prayers reflect that you know there is more to life than the physical and material world?
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