Summary: Are seekers looking for spiritual food or physical food?
The masses that were fed from the loaves and fishes clamored after Jesus. They wanted more! Jesus poured out the message of truth. – the word of God. And then he fed them bread and fishes that they would not suffer hunger. But no sooner had Jesus and His disciples gathered the other side of the Sea of Galilee, the masses gathered about in great numbers. What preacher wouldn’t like to have crowds gathering wanting more?
There was only one problem, they wanted more bread and fish. They came wanting to be comforted and pampered. Jesus saw this and doubled down on the message of true nourishment that sustains.
If you think about it, it happens even today. Churches all over the country put on various types of events centered around food and appealing handouts. It is an attempt to draw more folks in and while they are gathered, share a little truth of the gospel. At the end of the day, everyone enjoyed the festivities and went home with full bellies. It’s one thing to draw a crowd, but it’s quite another to maintain that crowd ongoing. It is human nature for most folks to look for “what’s in it for me”. We are, after all a hedonistic bunch.
Why do you think that “prosperity preaching” is so popular?
The words to that hymn “Here I am Lord” by James Kilbane keep reverberating in my head. But the words have become skewed to come across as “Here I am Lord, feed me”, not “Here I am Lord, Send me”! (Isaiah 6:8)
Unfortunately, that’s what happens when seekers are looking to be fed.
The message that Jesus poured out and that He implores us to share is the message of the bread of life and the cup of salvation.
“Jesus answered, “I am the way and the truth and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me.” John 14:6
“I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” John 6:51
Jesus either Is or HE Isn’t. The bread of life and the fruit of the vine or cup of salvation that represents is the spiritual nourishment that so fills the believer that it displaces spiritual hunger and thirst. When we are assured of our salvation, we no longer have that empty nagging in the pit of the stomach. That is the message that Jesus shared. It was not so well received and most of the crowd disbanded and went home. They were looking to be fed with more loaves and fishes, or spaghetti night dinner, or Fall festival burgers and hot dogs.
What are you hungry for? What are you prepared to share with the spiritual hungry that we encounter on a daily basis?
So, is it: Here Am I "Send ME!" - or - "Here Am I "Feed Me!"
Let us pray.