In the Gospel of John, Chapter 6, we read of the feeding of five thousand with five small barley loaves and two fish provided by a little boy. As the people ate, they realized that Jesus had special powers and intended to make him king.
Yesterday, the Rev. Michael Blaess explained in his sermon that the crowd’s ideas of a king were different from the title that Jesus was claiming. Instead of a monarch that would rule by fear and force, Jesus was a different type of king who had come to rule the world through love. Jesus knew that the crowd wasn’t ready to understand, so he withdrew to a mountain by himself and later sailed to Capernaum.
But the crowds persisted. When they found that Jesus was gone, they too got in their boats and set off for Capernaum looking for him. The crowd didn’t want signs; they wanted more bread. Instead, Jesus knew that they needed more than full stomachs; they needed a full life.
Michael talked about our hungers. We long to lead a genuine life and be accepted for who we are. Our hungers run deep and our longings are many. Sometimes we reach for food when we are anxious, or we reach for any number of other idols trying to fill up the empty voids. We are constantly encouraged to buy things we don’t need and disappointed when we realize that a house full of possessions doesn’t fill the emptiness we feel.
Just like the crowds in Jesus’ day, we are slaves, but we rationalize that with food, possessions, work, or other idols, at least we are being fed.
It is out of our despair that we turn to Jesus and pray that He will change our situation. However what we need to pray is that Jesus will change us.
Jesus declared to them as he does to us, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.”
It is only when we embrace our new life with Jesus that the hunger will go away.
Blessings, my friend,