“I am the bread of life.” John 6:48.
I imagine it like this: The next morning, people’s growling stomachs began to wake them up. If they were anything like me, the first thing they thought about was the last thing they had to eat. For them it was a feast…of fish, and bread. Jesus fed them…all of them…well over 5000 (they only counted the men). And there were leftovers! Perhaps one by one, or in family units, or within groups of friends, they began to think, “if He could feed us all yesterday, why not today? Let’s go ask for more. Hey, where’d He go?”
The search began. And continued. They finally found him on the other side of the sea. Perhaps nearly forgetting the original reason they sought him out they asked, “Rabbi, When did you come here?” John 6:25.
His response both reminded them of the reason they searched for Him and surprised them, cutting them to their core: “…you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you…” John 6: 26,27.
He’s telling them, “You’re looking for Me because you are hungry. But you’re looking for Me for the wrong reasons.”
It’s something like this. There is one nice Italian restaurant in the town that I’m living in. Nice is an understatement. It makes Oliver Garden look like Fazoli’s. The tables have real linens, the host pulls the chair out for you, the waiters wear vests and bow ties, and the food is not affordable on a graduate student’s budget. Now, if you go in there, you sit down, and when the waiter takes your order you ask for some Chef Boyardee, you have completely missed the point of going to that restaurant.
It’s the same with Jesus. He doesn’t just want us to search for Him because He can keep our stomachs from growling. Or so we can get good grades. Or so we can attain any of those earthly things that we think will keep us satisfied with life.
Can He provide those things? Of course. “For the Gentiles seek after all these things, and your heavenly Father knows that you need them all.” Matthew 6:32.
But He doesn’t just want to feed us. He wants us to seek Him for the right reasons, reasons based on who He is and what He really has to offer. Eternal things. Life. “But seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness, and all these things will be added to you.” Matthew 6:33.
C.S. Lewis put it this way, “It is since Christians have largely ceased to think of the other world that they have become so ineffective in this. Aim at Heaven and you will get the earth ‘thrown in’: aim at earth and will get neither.”
So my question is this: Why are you, why am I, seeking Jesus? For just a temporal fix? A loaf of bread? A job? Or even world peace? If that’s it, we’re missing the point. He has more to give. Seek Jesus simply because He’s Jesus, and He has life to give, and He wants to have a real relationship with you. He’ll thrown the rest in.