This week’s devotions are based on Week 2 of the Fresh Start Series: I Have a New Perspective (WATCH HERE)
Why do you connect with Jesus?
A crowd of over 5000 people had just participated in one of the greatest miracles of all time. A young boy was the only one who came prepared to stay for lunch and had two small fish and five loaves of bread. Before he even had the chance to settle on the hillside and eat his lunch, did a grown man ask him to get up and take his lunch to the one everyone came to see. Soon his small lunch was being blessed by Jesus and then being distributed to everyone there…yet to his and everyone’s amazement, the two fish and five loaves filled the bellies of 5000 men plus women and children.
What a great thing to come out to see and hear Jesus and have your lunch provided for you. It probably solved a few arguments of husbands and wives as to who was responsible for forgetting to pack a lunch and made a few parents happy as their hungry children were quieted with food for their tummies.
While it seems that all who were there should have dropped everything and discovered more closely who Jesus was and what he came to do, it appears that a good number of them sought to follow Jesus for one simple reason: We want another meal.
The perspective of Jesus that many latched on to was this: We will never have to cook dinner, prepare food, or do the hard work of growing it. If we hang out with Jesus he will give us our fill of bread and fish.
John 6:26,35 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. … 35 Then Jesus declared, “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.
From what Jesus says afterwards, it seems like they even dismissed his miracle and simply wanted a “bread king” who would provide for their physical needs and had no concern for the spiritual problem.
Do people have this perspective today? For sure. In fact even some in the Christian realm can carry this perspective. We may not say it outright, but by our actions we expect Jesus to show up and take care of our physical needs much more often than we expect him to show up and take care of our spiritual needs. How can we tell?
It shows up when we get upset that we are dealing with a physical issue (hunger, illness, body aches, etc.) and Jesus is not doing anything about it. People have left Christ and his Church because they felt like Jesus didn’t answer their prayer. They overlooked his miracles and what his mission really was because he didn’t provide the “bread” for their bodies.
They and we at times need a new perspective. Jesus gives it. He said in essence, “The bread for your hunger is not what’s important. The witnessing of a miracle I do, you can miss that too. But what I don’t want you to forget is that the primary purpose of me coming to this earth was to feed your soul with spiritual food that will never leave you hungry.”
Jesus certainly desires to hear our requests to meet our physical needs, but let our perspective always be that his primary purpose is not just to feed our bellies, or to do miracles, but to bring our souls what they really need: his love, grace and forgiveness.
Apply: What is your perception of Jesus and his role in your life? What happens when the purpose of Jesus becomes first and foremost the feeder of your soul versus just the feeder of your stomachs?
Prayer: Lord Jesus, thank you for reminding me of what is most important: the food you give to my soul. AMEN