Summary: Do we get used to the things that God does for us? I think so. It is easy just to expect everything as if we earnd it somehow.
So, what have you done for me lately?
The story is told of two old friends bumped into one another on the street one day. One of them looked forlorn, almost on the verge of tears. His friend asked, "What has the world done to you, my old friend?"
The sad fellow said, "Let me tell you. Three weeks ago, an uncle died and left me forty thousand dollars."
"That’s a lot of money."
"But, two weeks ago, a cousin I never even knew died, and left me eighty-five thousand free and clear."
"Sounds like you’ve been blessed...."
"You don’t understand!" he interrupted. "Last week my
great-aunt passed away. I inherited almost a quarter of a million."
Now he was really confused. "Then, why do you look so
"This week... nothing!"
It is pretty easy to get used to the things that happen in life. Things we receive on a regular schedule or daily we tend to go from recognizing a gift to expecting something because we are entitled.
Many years ago I worked at a big insurance company. My office was right across from the coffee machine. The company provided coffee but I never learned to drink it. But we had a computer salesman that visited us 3 or 4 days a week. The company was buying lots of large systems and he wanted the department to be happy. Everyday he was there he brought a couple of boxes of Duncan Donuts. The there were the cake kind, blueberry in particular. As he came in he would just drop them off at the coffee station. Many days I had first choice. Often the donuts were still warm.
For at least a year this went on. And then he slowed down the delivery. A week would go by when he failed to bring in donuts. I will tell you it was hard to keep from complaining because I had come to expect donuts. I sort of got hard feelings about the fact they were missing.
That’s the trouble with receiving something on a regular basis. Even if it is a gift, we eventually come to expect it. We start to think that we deserve or have earned it in some way.
We are so blessed in America. We truly live in the land of plenty and as a result we expect a lot. It is really easy to forget how good we have it here and it is not long until we are unwilling to give thanks for what we have.
It gets even worse because it is not just things that can make us testy, we also want everything fast. If something is too slow or wrong we get a bad attitude.
Today we are hearing about an incident with Jesus on the edge of the lake. It is the day after the feeding of the 5000. That was a really fantastic sign and if fills the need of the people. In the day, having 1 or 2 meals in a day was about all most people could expect. There were days when the family did not have enough food to be filled and there were probably days when they went without. The traveling rabbi has preached all day; they have been impressed by this miracle.
After that day the disciples took a boat across the lake (without Jesus) and ran into a storm and Jesus walked on the water and joined them. The next morning when the crowd realizes Jesus is gone they grab some boats and head across the lake too.
And as the crowd approaches they notice that there was only on boat and Jesus did not ride with the disciples. But they keep moving to find Jesus.
And as the scripture picks up at V 25 the crowd approaches Jesus and seem a little surprised that he is already there. Then Jesus says:
"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. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval."
Jesus is looking a the crowd of people who have followed that are talking nicely and he sees right through them. He knows that they were not impressed with the healings, or that teaching or the miracle of feeding 5000 people with just a few loves and fish.
What is on their hearts is more…. You fed me yesterday feed me today…. MORE!
Jesus sees the crowd asking him to fill their physical needs again. They had not really heard the teaching of the love of God and eternal life. They had been most impressed and satisfied with the temporary satisfaction of the physical hunger.