What is one thing that you long for? (Take a minute or more to actually consider this question.)
Whatever you answered to the above question probably helps to define your life more than you know. We are all on a pursuit to find meaning in our lives. I want my life to matter to have significance and you do as well. We seek for this significance in many areas: education, career, relationships, religion, material possessions, entertainment, social media, etc. and though these may placate our appetite in the short term we always seem ever searching for something greater.
To fill this need we are willing make certain sacrifices. A person who is hungry for success or material gain might be willing to sacrifice almost anything to get them. Sometimes they go so far as to sacrifice not only time and energy, but also friendships, even their family. Often times these individuals are lifted up for the drive or focus in spite of leaving a path of destruction and damaged relationships in their midst. I don’t think this is what any of us wish for but its not far off from what we all can relate to.
In the pursuit of fulfilling their physical hunger many Israelites followed Jesus after the miracle of feeding the 5000. They like us were going after the short-term and Jesus tries to help them see a bigger picture. John 6:27(NIV) “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.” Trying to help them focus more than just on the miracles or getting their physical needs met he elaborates further in John 6:35-36(NIV) 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.” Not long after this many turned away from following Jesus. Why?
Think about what had just happened. Jesus teaches them and then miraculously feeds 5000 and so there is this sense of excitement, then the reality that he is asking for a relationship and complete devotion. What is he saying? Is life really about him, can he really sustain me? We go to church and enjoy the music, get convicted by the message and maybe even have a meal. It’s all good until he asks for you to come after him to make him Lord of your life.
So we go back to the empty life that is always longing always hungry. I can do this in my life and get distracted only going after the short-term, whether desiring the latest tech gadget or the pursuit of financial stability missing what is most important. The only lasting fulfillment comes from knowing God and doing his will. I pray we all hunger for the bread of life.
Psalm 107:9(ESV) For he satisfies the longing soul, and the hungry soul he fills with good things.