It’s hard for me to read about the crowd in John 6 and not laugh. Jesus had done a miracle for their sake, feeding them all with only 5 loafs of bread & 2 small fish. Yet they didn’t care about the miracle. They cared about getting their bellies filled.
Originally they had come to Him because they saw Him performing signs on the sick. But now their temporal concerns had become the most important thing, and they wanted food.
I wonder how often we do this. We see God working mightily in our lives, but we don’t care about that… we just want to fill our bellies. We pass on the eternal for the things that are passing.
We need to remember that no matter how good the physical blessing, it’s only temporary. It’s not the main thing. Spiritual things are the reality.
Jesus is the main thing.
In John 4 we have the well known account of when Jesus met the Samaritan woman at the well. I wonder how many times we’ve gone over this story. I wonder how many times we’ve thought of ourselves as the woman…
I never picked up completely on her misunderstanding before. Jesus told her He would offer a water that would never leave a thirst. Water from a continual spring.
She responds in verse 13 with “Sir, give me this water so that I won’t get thirsty…” I always skimmed over her answer and assumed that she was catching on. I thought it was obvious to her that Jesus was speaking of a spiritual water. But then I consider the rest of her reply, “… and have to keep coming here to draw water.”
Her focus is still on a physical fulfillment.
Too many times I have done likewise. Jesus has promised me eternal things, and I mistake them for temporal gifts… things that will burn away. It’s hard, because we live in a culture where physical reward is king. Even much of the broadcasted preaching, from those who claim to have God’s message, is filled with this fallen focus. God doesn’t need to make us rich, powerful, popular or beautiful. There are plenty of those people in the world.
What God calls us to is something beyond this far country. Something that carries the scent of our true home. We must long for the spring of water that wells up to eternal life.
And we must be careful when we tell other people about the promises of God. The average person will be looking for physical gifts, things that can help them in their present circumstance (from an earthly point of view). We must shine in the darkness so people can see that their needs are beyond what is seen. So they can find the well that longs to eternally burst forth within them.
Can we see taste clearly enough to tell when the water is not from the physical well, but rather from the eternal well?