John 6

Today’s reading is John 6.

This passage records two of Jesus better known miracles--the feeding of the 5,000 in verses 1-15 and his walk on water (minus the part about Peter) in verses 16-21. When Jesus multiplied the bread and fish, he met an immediate need to eat that he, his disciples, and the crowd had. Many of the people he fed lived near the edge of starvation. One big drought or natural disaster would put many lives in peril and make a hard life even more difficult. When they saw how easily he could meet their need to eat, they “intended to come and make him king by force” (v. 15b).

Surprisingly, Jesus withdrew (v. 15c) instead of embracing their monarchial intentions. I say that this is a surprise because Jesus came preaching a kingdom and offering it to people, so why would he withdraw when they seemed ready to accept is offer? The answer comes later in verses 26-27: “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. 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.” Instead of seeking that eternal life, however, they asked for a sign in verses 30-31 which demonstrated their unbelief. They did not want a genuine relationship with God; they wanted an easier, more prosperous life.

Many people come to Jesus like this today. They want to be prospered not to give praise. They want revenue instead of wanting to repent. Even genuine believers can, at times, fall into the temptation to look to God for health, wealth, and happiness instead of seeking his glory and to become holy like he is.

Do you find yourself there today? Are you looking to Christ for to give you something instead of thanking him for the eternal gift he’s already given you? Remember that God cares more about your eternity, your holiness, and your walk with him than anything else. Seek those things and, as Jesus said in another context, the rest “will be added to you as well” (Matt 6:33).