Summary: True contentment is not a matter of doing something to earn a degree of satisfaction but is spiritual in nature and depends on who we believe in and commit our lives to. Our longing to be satisfied is fully met by Jesus our Lord.
JESUS OUR LORD MEETS OUR DEEPEST NEEDS
Of all the words of tongue or pen, the saddest are these: “It might have been.” Folks, there is no need whatsoever for a follower of Jesus Christ to despair over what was, what is, what will be.
Of all the unmet needs of senior adults, the saddest is dissatisfaction with one’s life. Folks, there is no need for a follower of Jesus to despair over dissatisfaction with his or her Christian life. Jesus is the answer to one’s need for true satisfaction.
To better understand how and why He is the answer, we must begin by asking:
Who was Jesus? He himself asked that question of His closest followers. First, He asked them, “Who do folks say I am?” Then He asked them a pointed question, “Who do YOU say I am?”
As we look back upon that particular encounter with His disciples, we soon realize that, just as they needed to answer that question then, it is important for us to do so today. It’s one thing to say “I am a follower of Christ”; it is quite another to know who Christ is.
The Apostle Peter seized upon that question and gave the answer that all Christians ought to give, “You are the Christ, Son of the living God.”
In this series of studies, our focus is not on the question of who Jesus was based on public opinion; nor do we focus on Peter’s declaration of who Jesus was. Our focus will be who Jesus Himself declared He was and is and forever shall be.
Our Lord declared Himself to be the One who meets our deep need for contentment: “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35)
John gave us the context of this declaration in John 6:22-29 . . . One of His most famous miracles occurred when Jesus took two barley loaves of bread and two small fish, gave thanks, and multiplied it so
that there was enough to feed five thousand.
That miracle excited the imagination of the crowd to the extent that many of them clamored to stay with Him and go wherever He went so that they could keep on being thrilled by and receiving from the miracle worker. John says that:
On the morning after the miracle, many of the folks who had received food miraculously saw the disciples get into a boat without Jesus to go to Capernaum. Then they noticed that Jesus was no longer in their presence. So, as many as could, got on a fishing boat bound for Capernaum, all the while wondering where Jesus was. Do you ever wonder where Jesus is?
When they got to Capernaum, they set out to find the Disciples to find out where Jesus was; and to their amazement, Jesus was already there. Don’t you just love it? He was already there? Never forget this: “Jesus is always there”!
Jesus ignored their question as to how and when He got there. Jesus never allowed His followers to dwell on the psychic thrill associated with His miracles.
Instead, in this instance, Jesus addressed their need to think of bread as a gift from God. The day before, when they had been fed by the Lord God, rather than praise God for His gift, they had pled: “Give us more of that wonder bread”!
All people of course experience physical hunger which must be satisfied – but there is also spiritual hunger which can never be satisfied by the food we grow or buy at the grocery store.
No one likes to eat good food more than I do . . . After satisfying hunger, though, there remains within an emptiness which can only be satisfied spiritually.
There is always that yearning for spiritual satisfaction . . . hunger and thirst for righteousness . . . truth . . . lasting love . . . a relationship that goes beyond the temporal relationships between human beings . . . the good life – the abundant life. At my age and stage in life, I have learned that the spiritual longings of my heart and soul can only be satisfied by a close relationship to the one and only Son of God sent from God to show the way to God and therefore the way to happiness.
I am content because I know Him whom to know is life eternal. Nothing is more satisfying to me than my walk with the Lord in the Light of His Word.
The folks that came to Jesus the day after He had multiplied two little barley loaves were anxious to know what kind of “work for God” they would have to do to receive the kind of bread that would provide an unending supply.
They wanted to know the “secret” of getting more of that miracle bread, and they wanted to know what they would have to DO. Responding to their desire, Jesus astonished them: