Jesus welcomed the people, taught them about the Kingdom of God and healed those in need. Luke 9:11

Seeds of the Kingdom

Work for Food that Endures

by Paul Watson

11 September 2013

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Jesus answered, “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. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you…”
John 6:26-27, NIV

In recent months there has been a programme on television where a man named Dynamo travels to various places around the globe and amazes people with seemingly miraculous feats. You may have seen him ‘walking’ on the water across the River Thames, or standing at the upper level outside a London double deck bus as it drove along. It looked as though he was standing on air! Last week I watched the programme where he astounded people in Ibiza by turning a fountain, and the pool it fed, into ice by a touch of his hand. How does he do it? Well that’s why people watch him and are thrilled. What is the answer? Illusion? Or is it really magic – that he has supernatural power to make the impossible happen?
Many people spend a good deal of their life chasing after experiences, or things that promise good experiences, which will make their life worthwhile, or somehow make them happy or fulfilled.

In the passage quoted above, Jesus has just fed over five thousand people from only a few loaves and a couple of fish. The very impressed people wanted to make him king. Jesus withdrew to a mountain by Himself. The disciples got into their boat & set out for the other side of the lake. A while later Jesus came to them, walking on the water. He got into the boat and immediately they reached the shore to which they were heading. When the crowd realized that Jesus had gone, they all jumped into boats and crossed the lake to find him. When they did so, they exclaimed out of their bewilderment, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” which actually meant “How did you do that?”

Jesus responds by making a statement which gets to the deepest cry of the human heart – the need for fulfilment, purpose, value and to belong. He said to them ‘you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs, but because you ate the loaves and had your fill’. They have personally seen a number of inexplicable events – five loaves and two fish multiplied to feed five thousand people with heaps left over, and Jesus crossing the lake in an impossible way. They probably heard from the disciples how that happened. But their actions in chasing him are motivated not from just the desire to be thrilled, but from an inward yearning for a touch of that which is eternally meaningful. They are looking for the truth that gives hope and real life.

Jesus goes on to describe this as ‘the food that endures to eternal life’ and that this ‘food’ is none other than himself! He tells them ‘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’.
This world offers many thrilling experiences and counterfeit miracles. But they don’t satisfy the deep cry of the human heart. Dynamo offers his audience a mysterious, thrilling experience. But when he walks off, they are left with nothing other than a memory and lots of unanswered questions.

Only by experiencing the reality of a relationship with Jesus Christ can we find what we are searching for. He truly is the bread that endures! Don’t settle for anything less.

Prayer: Heavenly Father, please help me to never seek fulfillment in that which this world offers, no matter how flash it seems. Help me to find in Jesus a lasting relationship with the living God, for He is the living bread who came down from heaven and who gives eternal life. Amen.

Paul Watson Watson was for 15 years an Anglican Minister in Sydney, Australia before joining Ellel Ministries full time in 2004. Together with his wife Diane he was involved in establishing the first Australian Ellel Ministries centre “Gilbulla” near Sydney. Currently they are leading the work at Ellel Pierrepont in Surrey, UK. Paul & Diane have 4 adult children and 8 grandchildren.

 

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