I’m tired today. It doesn’t feel like yesterday ended. Actually, it doesn’t feel like last week or last month has ended either. Business seems to invade every aspect of life, spilling over from one part into the other until each area is submerged in obligations and duties. Daily life is creeping into my mind as I read the scripture, and my deep thought while envisioning Jesus feeding five thousand was “that’s awesome that those people didn’t have to cook that day”. Shallow, I know. Yet another example of how the Word meets us right where we’re at! Today is one of those days that I’m as deep as a raindrop.
As I continue to pray for God to teach me how to apply today’s reading to my life, I keep coming back to the concept of deserting Jesus when his promises don’t seem logical. (Bear with me as this is being worked out in my spirit as I’m typing this.) I would hope that if I were to witness the feeding of five thousand from five barley loaves and two fish, both referred to as small, that I would believe immediately. They did believe and even wanted to make him a king regardless of whether or not he even wanted that position. There they were, elevating Jesus to “celebrity” status, eagerly trying to put him in a position of authority .. at least what they perceived as a position of authority. The next morning, they chased after him across the lake in a similar fashion to the paparazzi pursuing a celebrity to catch a glimpse of what they will be doing next. Jesus calls them on it, and points out that they’re missing the mark. They were chasing the feeling they got from being in his presence. They were awestruck and their desire was to continue in the amazement as if they were at the carnival watching a magician pull the rabbit out of his hat. Even after being told directly “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” (John 6:29), they continued to pursue the miraculous by asking “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (John 6:30). The teaching continued, essentially confounding everyone who heard. Even after being witness to an indisputable miracle, they left because “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?” (John 6:60).
My initial reaction to this story is to call out the “followers” of the time and let them know how daft they were. They had witnessed with their eyes what Jesus had done and only held onto the feeling of the miracle, not the memory. They were seeking out another moment of awe instead of being in awe of the Savior. The teaching Jesus had presented was too difficult to wrap their minds around. They could not rationalize the lessons from Christ, therefore they dismissed them. Jesus asked “Does this offend you? … The words I have spoken to you are spirit and they are life. Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” (John 6:61b-62). They were offended because they did not understand what they heard.
Many times have I received an instruction or lesson from God that confounds me. I don’t always “get it” the first go around. Actually, more often than not it takes going around the same mountain several times before I gain a small ounce of understanding. He created everything. He knows everything. Why do we try to place our understanding of Him into the confines of our own understanding. Honestly, if I get to a point that I understand everything of God, then I’m either deluding myself or even worse, God doesn’t exist. Being the Creator comes with an insight that we can never fathom.
When God directed me to let Him heal my marriage I was offended. The promise of happiness and holiness through a relationship with my then estranged husband made no sense; at least not by human standards. All indicators pointed in the direction of a train wreck. I am so grateful that I chose to be obedient and take Him at His word without needing to understand the who, what, when, where, why and how. When the details become the focus we’re missing the importance of who is taking care of the details. If you believe in Christ, you have been enable to exercise faith in the unseen (John 6:65). Instead of chasing down Christ to witness the next miracle in our lives, we should be pursuing Him to receive what we need to sustain us and give us life.