Saturday, May 5, 2012

Nourishment for Life

It was the next day after Jesus had fed 5000 or more, on the shore of the Sea of Galilee, in Tiberias.  Jesus had taken five small barley loaves and two small fish, gave thanks and distributed the bread and fish to the people until they had enough to eat.  Jesus had miraculously provided nourishment for their bodies.  In the scripture for the lesson (John 6:22-35) the crowd observed that Jesus was no longer there and the boat had left with His disciples on board, but Jesus was not on board.  The crowd took ships to the other side, to Capernaum, looking for Jesus and when they found Him, they questioned Him saying, "Rabbi, when camest thou hither (6:25)?"

Jesus knew their hearts, just as He knows ours,  He knew they only sought Him for physical food (temporary nourishment), not because of the miracles He performed (spiritual nourishment).  So often we base our associations and relationships with God and others on our desire for material possessions, however God's love and grace  is sufficient for all our needs.  As with the Samaritan woman at the well, Jesus talked about the living water; Jesus spoke with the crowd of the non-perishable food. As He came in contact with others He seized the moment to teach the truth.  He was unwavering in His commitment to God and His earthly mission. Jesus knows exactly what people need for their struggles in life - Jesus is the Bread of Life.

In verse 27, Jesus speaks about not laboring for perishable, but for that which will endure forever.  The worldly things will pass away.  We are to accept the gift God has given us with His seal of approval, the Son of Man.  The people were confused or did not understand, therefore they wanted to know, what they should do to work the works of God.  Jesus said the works of God is that you believe in the one He hath sent - Jesus.  They wanted to see signs of validation, but there is no real comparison between the gift of manna that God provided in the wilderness, that was perishable and the bread that Jesus offers, which is not perishable.  It all comes from God; He is the eternal donor, giver, and creator of both physical and spiritual food.  Jesus (The Bible) teaches us that our belief in Him, our love and relationships with others, not the value of materials of the world, should be first in our lives.

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