Summary: When we analyze our deepest needs, I think we can agree that man has a gnawing hunger for both the physical and the spiritual. A person hungers for both food and material things AND for God and spiritual things, things like love, and peace within, and jo
When we analyze our deepest needs, I think we can agree that man has a gnawing hunger for both the physical and the spiritual. A person hungers for both food and material things AND for God and spiritual things, things like love, and peace within, and joy. So most of man’s time and energy are spent in trying to satisfy that hunger.
Tonight we are still in John 6: 22-29. Only eight verses but within these 8 verses we will find 4 answers to man’s great hunger. Let’s get right into the Scripture.
To update our story, Jesus had fed the 5000, gone up on a mountain to get away from the crowd that was trying to make Him a king, sent His disciples in their boat to get out of there before they were tempted to agree with the crowd to make Jesus their king, walked out on the water during a violent storm, and suddenly they were all back on the shore at Capernaum. Let’s pick up the story in verse 22.
READ 22-25. The first answer to man’s great hunger is to recognize the hunger. The people had been miraculously fed. The common belief in that day was that the Messiah would give manna from heaven like Moses had done. In fact, the Messiah would give more than Moses had given. The people were convinced that Jesus was the Messiah, so they wanted to make Jesus their king.
So right here the people acknowledged their need for the Messiah. Confessing their need was not a problem for them.
The people noted Jesus’ absence. There had been only one boat docked at shore, and the disciples had taken it to cross the lake. They knew that Jesus did not go with them. The people thought that He was over in another section of the crowd or else off somewhere by Himself.
The fact that Jesus wasn’t close didn’t dawn on them until the next day. (v. 22) So here we see some lessons. The people, knowing they had a need, wanted their need met. Jesus had said that He could meet their need, but He was gone. Their need was going to go unmet unless they could find Him.
So they looked for Jesus. Believing the Jesus could meet their need, they sought Him. Other boats had come to the shore during the night, probably seeking refuge from the storm. So the people go onto the boats to cross over to Capernaum, hoping to find Jesus.
The people questioned Jesus’ absence. If Jesus was going to provide for their needs, then where was He? They couldn’t understand why Jesus would leave them, especially if He was the true Messiah.
This passage shows some truisms of today if we compare it. We said in the beginning that man does have both physical and spiritual needs. Man has a need for the Messiah. So a person must first admit his need. Then he must see if Jesus is present in his life. If a person hasn’t personally asked Christ to be his own, then his need goes unmet.
So a person must do like these people in our story. They must search diligently for Jesus. They need to look and look until they find Him.
Then there are the questions that many people of today ask all the time.
(ASK ALL THESE QUESTIONS AT ONCE BEFORE LETTING THEM ANSWER)
• If Jesus really is the Messiah, why does He so often seem absent and far away, especially in times of trouble?
• If there is a God and if Christ really is the Son of God, why is the world in so much trouble and why are so many people suffering?
• Why would Christ not place Himself right in the midst of the world and its problems?
• Why would He not go ahead and solve the problems, meeting the needs immediately?
The answer is what this passage is all about.
Read 26-27. The next answer to man’s great hunger is acknowledging that man’s motives are corrupt. Look closely at vv. 26 & 27 and you can see it. Jesus stressed His answer with an attention getter. “I tell you the truth.” In other words, listen to what I am about to say. Then He tells them.
Man’s motive in seeking the Messiah—in seeking the answer to his problems—is often corrupt. What could I possibly mean by that? In the case of these people it was, and tragically, it IS with so many in every generation.
1. A person seeks the Messiah, but not to worship and serve Him. Am I right? They seek the Messiah for what they can get out of Him.
a. Man is interested in getting his needs met. Man is interested in himself, not in acknowledging and honoring Jesus to be Lord and not in serving Him and making Him known to a lost world.