Lord, help me to see beyond the superficial level that governs us here in this sense realm.
Read John 6:25–40
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
New International Version (NIV)
Holy Bible, New International Version®, NIV® Copyright ©1973, 1978, 1984, 2011 by Biblica, Inc.® Used by permission. All rights reserved worldwide.
“We may fail to perceive life’s greatest meaning… be unconscious of life ablaze with the light of the Presence of God—and be content to have it so” (Phillips Brooks, 1835–1893).
Perceiving spiritual reality requires open hearts and minds that extend beneath surface issues. The crowds (still puzzled how Jesus reached the other side of the lake) view Jesus through secular eyes. Attracted by his feeding them, they want him to do much more—on their terms. Though thwarted in their attempt to make him king, they still see him as a leader who will affirm their own worldview. When Jesus speaks about “food that endures to eternal life” (27), they assume it’s a commodity to be worked for. When Jesus replies that the “work” centers around belief in God’s gift of his son, they ask for more details. They do know Scripture, but it seems they so revere Moses who fed and led the nation that Jesus falls short in comparison. And when they hear the great claim “I am the bread of life” (35), they instinctively revert to thinking about bread to eat. They simply cannot see beyond manna, Moses and bread.
In vivid contrast, Jesus claims to be the Bread of Life, the giver of eternal life from his Father by whom he promises to hold all believers close for their lifetimes and beyond. Patiently, he explains that it was not Moses who gave bread but God—the same God who is now at work through him every step of the way. This calls for a completely different worldview—what Harry Blamires calls “the Christian mind.” He warns that “to think Christianly is very different from thinking secularly when it comes to Christian matters.” In his view, the first mark of the Christian mind is that “it cultivates the eternal perspective… it sees the natural order as dependent upon the supernatural order, time as contained within eternity” (The Christian Mind, 67). Instead of ignoring the reality lying beyond this world, Christians see the whole of life as being held in the hands of God.
How easily we can slip into a secular mindset, even about Jesus. May we keep thinking Christianly through this new day.
Lord, I believe that I shall never hunger or thirst as long as I walk closely by Your side. Keep my worldview centered upon heaven.