Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Whad'ya Expect John 6:24-35

Jesus was a miracle worker. 5000 fed from a few loaves and fish proved that Jesus was the one people needed on their side. Crowds followed Jesus expecting more (John 6:24). More miracles, more teaching, more healing--they wanted him to do more. Truth is we all need bread and Jesus feeding 5000 revealed power beyond anyone else's. They knew he was their Messiah and they could see the signs. But they wanted more.

So why is it that we want more from Jesus. Those already miraculously fed, they wanted more bread. And Jesus called them out. He said they came looking for another fill of bread John 6:26-27—-he came not to feed them once but to offer himself as the bread of life John 6:35. People who come to Jesus seeking only material blessings miss the greater blessing he wants to give—-relationship with him and his followers that doesn't end on this side of eternity (Ephesians 4:14-16). People who came only wanting another meal miss the blessing who stood right in front of them offering himself as their way to life everlasting (John 6:35).

Jesus taught his friends to pray, “give us this day our daily bread.” Luther wrote in his Small Catechism

...God gives daily bread without our prayer, even to all evil people, but we ask in this pray that God cause us to recognize what our daily bread is and to receive it with thanksgiving.
It's easy, as a person with a full belly, to miss all the blessings I've received. It's too easy for me to call the crowd who came looking for more lazy. I sit full and comfortable and can accuse the crowd of missing the point of Jesus ministry when they came back asking for more bread. If I consider my own prayers I see the crowd and I have a lot in common. I give God lists of needs and wants all the time. And I easily miss the greater gift, God's own self given for the sake of the world, that's already present in my life in Jesus. It's so easy to miss what God gives if I don't see beyond my daily needs and wants. Jesus comes to meet our every need, he comes to be our all in all. If we only think about today's necessities we miss the promise of eternity with Jesus.

We come to God asking for more and Jesus points to more than material gifts--Jesus offers his very self. (John 6:35). Preaching on John 6 Oscar Romero wisely said,
Christ can do that which people are unable to do. Christ can raise us up to God.
Here's the promise of Christ's Incarnation. Jesus came to be God with us and for us. He came to give his very self away. He is the bread of life. He came to offer bread that will never be taken away or lost to decay (John 6.27) And Paul invites us to be part of his body Ephesians 4:15-16. We come to Christ not just looking for bread but for life and in sharing our gifts, whatever they might be, we find new life too. Amen.


Justin Bianchi said...

A very unlikely conversation!


John, an unlikely pastor said...

Hey Justin,

thanks for reading, you have some good insights to share.