The “feeding of the five thousand” is one of the most well known miracles of the New Testament. I can only imagine what it would be like to witness it—to see Jesus miraculously transform a humble meal into a massive feast.
Here’s what I find both tragic and ironic: many who witnessed it did not understand it. They sought Jesus afterwards, but for the wrong reasons:
So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Messiah or Meal Ticket?
I’m afraid some things never change. From then until now, many are more concerned with blessings than with knowing the One who blesses. Entire “ministries” are built around this shallow spirituality (also known as the “prosperity gospel”). Far too many “sermons” and books present God as nothing more than a means to another end: our happiness, our wealth, our health, and our prosperity (I’ve written about one of the more extreme examples, but there are many more).
Some are more interested in having a sandwich than having the Bread of Life. Some settle for temporal pleasures and miss the eternal pleasure of knowing Him. How foolish!
Don’t get me wrong—there’s nothing wrong with asking for and enjoying God’s blessings. The Bible reminds us of God’s “benefits” (Psalm 103:2), and Jesus encouraged us to ask for our “daily bread” (Matthew 6:11). But these are never intended to be an end in and of themselves. Blessings and bread should direct our attention and gratitude towards the One who gave them to us.
Consider Jesus’ admonition to those who were looking for Him:
“But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man[ can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
What about you? Do you really want God, or do you just want something from God? Will you settle for a full belly and an empty heart?
Don’t miss the Bread of Life!
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