Written by Joney Caudill
What do you make of this? At the beginning of John 6, we read that Jesus performed several miracles which astonished the people who had gathered around him. First, seeing the large crowd that followed Him, He was overwhelmed with compassion and asked His disciples what they could do to provide food for so many. Of course, as the passage indicates, he had a plan.
If you’ve walked with Jesus very long, you probably know that Jesus always has a plan. The plan may be specifically designed for you and your needs, or it may be a macro plan that He has designed to affect large numbers of people, even nations.
In this case, by feeding the people and, later in the passage, walking on the Sea of Tiberias, He was establishing a foundation for faith in Him and the Father in heaven. Everything He did that day was part of a bigger picture. Unlike us, Jesus is always about the Father’s business (Luke 2:49).
Let me explain! In the latter part of this chapter (John 6:27-29), Jesus gets to the point, so to speak. To begin with, He exposes the true motives of their hearts. These followers were not seeking to satisfy a hunger for God, but seeking to satisfy their physical hunger. We do this too! We live in a physical world, and, from birth, we seek the milk that will sustain us and satisfy our physical hunger. A newborn has but one thought: food. By nature, no one seeks God–no not one. We must be drawn to Him! First we are drawn to see Him, and then we are drawn to seek to satisfy our need for the things of God’s Spirit.
Jesus was sent to the world to create in mankind a hunger for the everlasting food of the Spirit! After He had stirred their spiritual curiosity, they ask Him this question: “What are we to do, so that we may habitually be doing the works of God” (John 6:28)? Now he had their attention! They were waiting, with bated breath, for what they probably assumed would be a deep theological answer, and Jesus says this: “This is the work of God: that you believe in the One whom He has sent” (John 6:29). Can’t you just read their minds? How about you? I believe I can read your mind! Are you thinking,”really”? Is that it–just believe? Well, I’m glad you asked, because it gives me an open door to begin my next blog.
Here’s a hint. In the original Greek, the word “believe” in that statement has a much deeper meaning than you might assume. It comes from the Greek word pisteuo, and it means all of the following: adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith.
Now, we have a foundation! In my next blog we will explore what believing looks like in action. Have a great day and God bless!