John 6:22-40 Money when put in its rightful place becomes a tremendous blessing

John 6:22-40 Money when put in its rightful place becomes a tremendous blessing

24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they themselves got into the small boats, and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus. 25 When they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”
26 Jesus answered them and said, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. 27 Do not work for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you, for on Him the Father, God, has set His seal.” 28 Therefore they said to Him, “What shall we do, so that we may work the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” 30 So they said to Him, “What then do You do for a sign, so that we may see, and believe You? What work do You perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘HE gave them bread out of heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven. 33 For the bread of God is that which comes down out of heaven, and gives life to the world.” 34 Then they said to Him, “Lord, always give us this bread.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst. 36 But I said to you that you have seen Me, and yet do not believe. 37 All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will certainly not cast out. 38 For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. 39 This is the will of Him who sent Me, that of all that He has given Me I lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. 40 For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life, and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” John 6:22-40

Background

The basic instinct of man is to seek bread that feeds the body, while those who pursue eternal life look for the bread that feeds the soul. The entire Jewish nation suffered because their focus has always been on the gathering of material wealth (food which perishes). Here, Jesus redirected them to Himself (food which endures to eternal life). After feeding the 5000, Jesus withdrew Himself from the crowd. As Jesus could not be found, they got into boats and went to Capernaum looking for Him. They were surprised why Jesus left them, as they thought that He would welcome a good following as all religious leaders of that time would. Bread, no matter how delicious and nutritious it may be can only go so far as to nourish the physical body. But the word of Christ nourishes our soul which no bread, money or earthly things can. Today’s devotion teaches us: Money when put in its rightful place becomes a tremendous blessing.

Observation

“Truly, truly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled…”

The people sought Jesus only for the purpose of having their stomachs filled. Their minds were fixed on material things and were incapable of receiving things that pertain to eternal life; Eternal life denotes the kind of life that God lives. The food they were seeking may keep their physical body functioning for a time. But ultimately, their body perishes and return to the ground. Jesus urged them to change their mindset to seek food that contributes to eternal life. This food is that which the Son of Man will give to them.

“This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.”

The people asked Jesus to show them the food that contributes to eternal life. This food is to believe in Him which grants them the gift of eternal life. As Jesus sought to change their mindset: from possessing material things to possessing eternal life, they asked Him to give them manna their forefathers ate in the wilderness in the days of Moses. They quoted Psalm 78:24 as a fitting sign of the one who came from God.

He rained down manna upon them to eat
And gave them food from heaven. Psalm 78:24

Apparently, they still could not quite make the transition from material things to things that pertain to eternal life.

“Truly, truly, I say to you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread out of heaven, but it is My Father who gives you the true bread out of heaven…”

Jesus, in wanting to break their fixation on manna turned their attention from Moses to the Father. Indeed, Moses rained down bread out of heaven that perishes. But the Father gives true bread out of heaven that imparts eternal life to the world. The crowd, for a moment appeared to have understood when they asked Jesus, “Lord, always give us this bread.”

“I am the bread of life; he who comes to Me will not hunger, and he who believes in Me will never thirst…”

Jesus seized the opportunity by speaking plainly, “I am the bread of life…” It is by consuming the bread of life that man may be delivered from the bondage of sin and death to live the eternal life. The hunger and thirst depict man’s craving for fleshly gratification and his continual state of deprivation that material things can never alleviate. Unless man makes the transition from seeking the bread of Moses to the bread of life by receiving the Holy Spirit, there can be no freedom from sin, poverty, and death. Even as they saw Jesus, the Son of God with their own eyes, the hardness of their heart had prevented them from receiving eternal life.

“For this is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him will have eternal life…”

Jesus presented Himself as the Saviour that the Father has sent to save the world. For Jesus has received absolute power from the Father to do His will: secure eternal life for all who believe and to raise them up on the day of judgment.

Truth

Money when put in its rightful place becomes a tremendous blessing.

The crowds pursue bread, but the disciples pursue eternal life. The crowds that Jesus fed have made bread the goal of life. All their lives, they have been labouring and pursuing earthly things that perishes. Because their spirits are gripped by immediate gratification of the flesh, they cannot see beyond the bread… Much less grasp the eternal things that come by way of Christ. Here lies the primary difference between the crowd and the disciples: The crowds pursue bread, but the disciples pursue eternal life.

Bread is to the body, as Christ is to the soul. Bread, no matter how delicious and nutritious it may be can only go so far as to nourish the physical body. It can do nothing for the wellbeing of the soul. But the word of Christ nourishes our soul which no bread, money or earthly things can.

Bread can be enjoyed, but we must never make it our life’s pursuit. Jesus took the initiative to feed the crowd because he saw bread as a necessity to life. However, what is considered as a peripheral necessity became the crowd’s obsession. Earthly things are gifts from God, but they must never detract us from fulfilling our divine calling which therein lies our eternal glory. Bread and material wealth are useful only in providing resources to accomplish the divine directives.

Setting our affections on things above. Therefore, we must set our minds on following Christ and fulfill the divine edict. Jesus said, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He has sent.” Paul said, “Set your mind on the things above, not on the things that are on earth.” – Colossians 3:2. To believe in Christ is to put on His virtues, wisdom and authority and to do His will. When we turn our eyes upon Jesus, and look full in His wonderful face. The things on earth will grow strangely dim, in the light of His glory and grace.

Money when put in its rightful place becomes a tremendous blessing. When our hearts are settled in heaven, God releases abundance of earthly resources so that we may establish His kingdom on earth. If we prove ourselves as faithful with a little resources, God entrusts greater resources to us. Jesus said, “He who is faithful in a very little thing is faithful also in much.” – Luke 16:10.

Application

Do you find yourself more occupied with work such that you have become disoriented concerning spiritual things? Do you find yourself becoming more calculative with money? Jesus calls us to be perfect, to commit all our possessions to the ministry and follow Him. Therefore, let us break the spirit of worldliness by the blood and destroy its stranglehold over us.

Dear Lord, I release my worries and concerns over my physical needs and the fear of not having sufficient funds for my needs. I rest in Your assurances of provision and feed on Your Word that leads to eternal life. As I am found faithful in little, provide me with greater resources so that I can do more in your kingdom. In Jesus’s name I pray. Amen.


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