There is an old adage…give a man a fish and you feed him for a day, teach him to fish and you feed him for a lifetime.
It is not just an old adage it is a mindset that we can have toward God if we are not careful
On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone— 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks— 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” 26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
The 30K had eaten they knew Jesus didn’t go with the disciples but they knew he was there and they were confused.
Jesus begins to try to help them have bigger thoughts and bigger dreams…he saying yes, I fed you but did you miss how I fed you it was a genuine miracle and all you are worried about is my meeting your physical need, your materialistic need and you tried to solve your political need by trying to make me King…what I am about is so much bigger than that
27 Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”
Once again Jesus is trying to get them to think bigger. If all you are looking for is food, that will get you by for a day or two but what I have to give you is the key to everything for eternity. Jesus had already established this when being tempted by Satan in the wilderness…Matthew 4:4
“But He answered and said, “It is written, Man shall not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God.’ ”
Let me ask you today, what is it that you need? As you look at your life, your family, your future? What are you seeing that you need?
Hebrews tells us Jesus is the same yesterday, today, and forever. So as we read His word, we see the stories we can count on Jesus being able to do the same things for us. We get caught in the same trap as they did…lets read the next verse to see what I mean
28 Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”
What should we do, what acts of righteousness should we do to see this stuff happen for us, how good do we have to be….just tell us Jesus and we will do it!
We want to work to make God love us. We bargain with him to gain His favor, Jesus if you do this for me I’ll never do that again or if you do this for me I’ll do this for you all the time…yes we bargain or we work really hard or we try to be really, really good.
But here is what Jesus said John 6:29
29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”
Jesus is saying it is not about the work, it is about relationship!
We are always striving to please God and God is always just loving us.
Jesus fed the 30K people not because he was simply trying to make people happy he did it because of His relationship with His Father and His love and compassion on the people.
He is telling all of these people he just fed, please don’t think so small as to just get your needs met, meeting your needs is easy for me, but if you have relationship with me you will be blessed forever and have all of your needs met in the process.
Still, they are looking for the works, Here is what Moses did for us, what will you do for us?
They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? 31 After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Think with me for a minute…what kind of relationship would you have with your child if all they did was want from you…if their expectation was always “What do you have for me?” rather than Mom, Dad I just love you and love all you have done for me
They are saying Moses gave us bread from heaven what will you do….when in fact they got it wrong Exodus 16:4 says that it was God who gave them bread from heaven
Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. 33 The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
The children of Israel ate bread in the wilderness and all of them died.
Jesus is saying stop worrying about all the stuff of life, what you should eat what you should drink…I’ve got this if you will trust me, build relationship with me…I’ll make it happen
When we think about how our lives are so very short, the things we are so very worried about the things we think are important aren’t really in the scope of eternity but remember what Jesus did here, He empathized with the people….He said I know you are hungry so I’ll feed you but don’t belittle our relationship into me just performing for you….life is very short and eternity is forever so look a little higher, think a little deeper, don’t you think if I can perform miracles like feeding 30K I can take care of your needs but don’t you want more than just you belly filled, I want to have a loving relationship with you that takes away all fear, worry, doubt and that helps you never fear again. I want to give you true life in every sense of the word if you will just trust me….
Their response….very sad John 6:34
Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.”
Once again they are missing it….the one who has all that they need is standing right in front of them. The one who will bring peace, love, joy, and so much more to them if they are willing is standing right in front of them. The one who will never leave them or turn his back on them for all eternity is standing right in front of them, the one who can push back every enemy, give them strength, life hope and they are settling for crumbs. Jesus gently replies
John 6:35 -37
35 Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me. 37 However, those the Father has given me will come to me, and I will never reject them.
Jesus is telling them and us, whatever you need, if you trust me, if you build relationship with me, I’ll be there for you.
Something else that hurts us sometimes in our trusting the Lord is that we feel if we blow it that we have to work back to get that relationship….real love says you are always loved, real relationships says you are always welcomed home.
Jesus is saying while you may have done some things that have hurt our relationship know that I am always still here waiting for you to come back….once you have relationship with the Lord you need to come to an understanding that He always loves you….it is His desire that as you grow to understand that, that you would want to do the things that please Him like caring for others, being kind, sharing the love and truth of God with others, choosing to want to draw closer to him and get further away from sin.
Our pettiness, jealousy, envy, fear, all fade away as we are growing ever deeper in our relationship with Him…he will meet all of our needs if we will but choose relationship with Him over trusting in our own abilities or the world.
On a different occasion, Jesus said this
“Therefore I say to you, do not worry about your life, what you will eat or what you will drink; nor about your body, what you will put on. Is not life more than food and the body more than clothing? 26 Look at the birds of the air, for they neither sow nor reap nor gather into barns; yet your heavenly Father feeds them. Are you not of more value than they? 27 Which of you by worrying can add one cubit to his stature?28 “So why do you worry about clothing? Consider the lilies of the field, how they grow: they neither toil nor spin; 29 and yet I say to you that even Solomon in all his glory was not arrayed like one of these. 30 Now if God so clothes the grass of the field, which today is, and tomorrow is thrown into the oven, will He not much more clothe you, O you of little faith? 31 “Therefore do not worry, saying, ‘What shall we eat?’ or ‘What shall we drink?’ or ‘What shall we wear?’ 32 For after all these things the Gentiles seek. For your heavenly Father knows that you need all these things. 33 But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things shall be added to you
So what is this mystical relationship I’m talking about?
Just like any other relationship it is an investment in time and vulnerability
You can’t trust someone if you don’t know them so how can we know God? Three ways
- Read your Bible – God’s love letter for you it reveals his heart
- Pray – talking with someone, engaging in conversation always enables you to get to know them better
- Spend time with people that reflect Jesus
To some of you, these might seem like pretty basic stuff and it is but here is my question for you
How much time are you spending reading, listening, or engaging in conversations every day that are not Christ-centered or Christ uplifting or simply building you up?
We will all have a tendency to throw up those emergency prayers, we all have a tendency to panic, worry, take things into our own hands, try to control them if our relationship is not where it needs to be.
God desires for us peace, love, joy, prosperity, blessing and so much more…relationship makes that happen.
Can I challenge you to take a deep look at your life and think about how much peace you really have, how much joy you really have, how much blessing is really in your life…Jesus wants you never to be hungry spiritually (or physically) and lacking what I have just described shows a hunger that is going unsatisfied.
Allow the Lord to refresh your relationship with Him today
Can you imagine going into every meeting with peace, handling every difficulty in your life with joy, watching God’s blessings on your life all of the time? It is not about your circumstances it is always about your relationship