Written by Reuben M. Bredenhof |
Sunday, July 24, 2022
The amazing thing is that the more we eat the Bread of Life, the hungrier for him we become. Once we have started to experience Jesus’s grace and power, we want more of him. Your appetite for Christ doesn’t decrease the more you get to know him, or the more you read his Word. Your appetite for Christ will only increase when you taste and see that the Lord is good. Such a hunger isn’t oppressive, but there’s a great joy in it. For the hungry are being filled with the Bread of Life.
Have you ever eaten a meal that seemed to fill you for only an hour, or even less?
Perhaps it was a Big Mac and fries or a plate of white rice. Such food can be disappointing. This is what people mean when they refer to ‘empty calories,’ food and drink composed primarily of sugar, or certain fats and oils.
In John 6, Jesus’s message isn’t about proper nutrition. Yet He does warn against the emptiness of earthly bread. He has just fed the multitude in an amazing display of his power and compassion. But it’s not long before the people are asking him for another meal. To the hungry crowd, Jesus gives this warning in verse 27:
Do not labour for the food which perishes.
They want enough sustenance to keep going another day. When Jesus warns here against “food that spoils,” He’s not just talking about filling up your pantry and freezer with non-perishables. For over time, almost any kind of food will spoil: growing moldy, or stale, or freezer burnt.
This isn’t mainly about food, but about all things that decay, every earthly good that will not last. He is thinking about the house you live in right now. He’s imagining the car you drive. He means all the other treasures that you treasure, the opportunities and privileges you desire. For like the crowds trailing Jesus in John 6, we can become fixated on what is physical.
Earthly bread is hollow, and worldly satisfaction is like so many empty calories. Yet we sometimes let ourselves be motivated by such things.
For instance, we might let our incentive for daily work become little more than material gains. You can earn a lot of money today: the longer hours you put in, the better clients you have, the more jobs you sell, the more money you can take home.
Is that what our life is for, the endless pursuit of earthly bread? To what end do we go to work tomorrow and the next day?
It’s a question which should make us reflect on our reasons for everything we love to do. Why do we serve in the church?