Summary: Are we not trying to address the most urgent problems in our life today, and then the next one, and the next one and the next one, forever, so we don’t have time for what is really important - Jesus.
Back East, there was this diner which had the fine reputation of always pleasing the customer – the owner drilled this philosophy into his employees, he would remind them at the start of each shift, “If you do not work at pleasing the customer, you will find yourself working at finding another job”. The employees heard loud and clear and the diner’s reputation was spotless.
Then one evening a man sat down and ordered a number four plate combo and when it quickly arrived he complained that he only received one dinner roll – the waiter quickly returned with four dinner rolls to which the man loudly said, “Thanks but that’s not good enough. I love bread!” The waiter was immediately fired.
The next evening the same man sat down and again, ordered a number four plate combo. The new waiter brought out his order, this time with six dinner rolls. The man said, “That’s good, but aren’t you being a bit cheap?” The waiter returned with a full basket full of dinner rolls, to which the man again complained loudly. The waiter was fired on the spot.
The owner was in a panic. His reputation was about to be shot –what could he do if this man returned? The next evening, sure enough, the man returned and yet again, ordered a number four plate combo. Thinking quick, the owner intervened: he brought out very large loaf of French bread and placed it on the table next to the man. He stepped back and waited for the man’s reaction, his reputation saved, “So…” said the man loudly, “….I see we’re back to one dinner roll again.
Sometimes it is hard to satisfy us, isn’t it? Especially when it comes to satisfying our hunger.You know, like when you have just finished a great meal at a restaurant, Ahhh….that hit the spot….and then the waiter comes by with a platter of desserts. There’s the crunchy toffee covered crème brule. The Dutch apple pie. The death by chocolate cake, and my favorite, The honey drenched baklava.
Suddenly, your not so full anymore.
When God created us he gave us some very strong drives. The drive to satisfy our hunger is one of the more intense drives given us. Is it not?
Its fairly obvious that God gives us this drive to satisfy our hunger. So that we will as humans would not neglect our bodies. We know this hunger drive, apparently some of us know it fairly well…And the folks Jesus is dealing with in our passage know it well too. Probably in a more intense way than we have ever known. Remember, your social security system in Palestine was your family. Shortage and famine were fairly common. So in our passage, when Jesus is able to give bread out of thin air, people are driven by their satisfaction of hunger to respond to him. They must haqve thought - this is sweet!
Lasoya’s – Huevos Rancheros
When I lived in San Antonio I would receive a phone call in the morning at least three times a week. The voice on the line would say, “Que pasa…Lasoya’s, five minutes.” The folks at Lasoya’s didn’t understand a lick of English, this place was great. Four minutes later I was across the street with my buddy Rick ordering this huge platter, I mean huge platter, of Huevos Rancheros, my favorite breakfast – two bucks. That was a meal that satisfied.
Jesus see right through their motivations verse 26
“I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
He knows they are not following him for spiritual reasons. So he tries to reason with them in verse 27, Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.
We chuckle at these people because we know Jesus is more than a man
and we know when Jesus says he is the bread of lifet hat it is tied to communion, but Jesus is reasoning with us as well. For he is speaking about more than bread, more than food, communion. He is talking about looking beyond our daily needs; beyond what we see as urgent, beyond what we see as taking care of us.
Jesus points past our material world, directly to the spiritual. He is essence is saying this: Your search for satisfaction in the material world will never end. (we know that, don’t we?) Your search for satisfaction must be spiritual. (we know this too, don’t we?) So we race through this passage when we read it. We get it, Jesus is the bread that will always satisfy….Well what does that mean for us this very day? How do you walk out of here this morning and apply it to your life?