Today we read about Jesus confronting some followers whose god was their stomachs. They were following him for the lunch wagon – he fed them and they kept coming back. It makes sense, yet it isn’t why Jesus came to earth. He came as the Bread of Life…
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
When the crowd followed Jesus to the other side of the lake, Jesus calls them on their motivation. He fed them and so their stomachs were their motivation to follow him. Which was a great tie in for the Lord to draw their attention to the spiritual truth: they needed food that endures to eternal life, and the Bread of Life was standing in their midst.
How do we get there?
Believe in the one the Father sent.
Jesus is clear, yet again, with the crowds that the Father in heaven sent him to earth and we must believe in him to be saved. Which brings me back to you and me…
Are there still people in the pews who are there for the church picnic and not the gospel? Sure there are. Church is a social and community event which draws many people for many reasons. And this leaves Jesus’ teaching as relevant today as it was 2000 years ago.
Beware that we are not letting our stomachs be our guides as we follow Jesus. Our faith must be heart-felt and focused on the Saviour sent by God, and not on the fringe benefits of bread or pie or barbecue…