Message: In John 7 the crowds are following
Jesus because they have seen him do miraculous signs. Even when he tries to get
away from the crowds they look for him until they find him. As he is hiding in
the hills with disciples he realizes the crowds have found him again and are
coming so he prepares to feed them all. This sign is not for the crowds but for
his disciples. We know this because the passage says that he was testing them.
After he uses the little boy’s lunch to multiply the bread and fish and feed
the crowd they begin to ask him for more signs. When Jesus accuses them of
following him only because he fed them, they begin to challenge who he is. I
have never noticed this before but it appears they are comparing him to Moses
because they tell him that Moses fed the people manna every day. Jesus corrects
them and tells them that Moses did not feed the people, but his father in
heaven did. Then he tells the people that he himself is the bread of life and
things get really testy. They were willing to accept him as a messenger of God
but the implications that he is from heaven were too much and they start coming
against him and challenging him to prove who he is with more signs and miracles.
Jesus doesn’t bite onto this. In fact, he takes it even further by telling them
in order to follow him they will need to eat his flesh and drink his blood.
Command: Acknowledge he is God and obey him even
when I’m feeling selfish.
Promise: God is God no matter what I believe.
Warning: Selfishness challenges the place of
God in our hearts. When we let selfishness drive it will challenge the very diety
of God to get what it wants.
Application: In this story all I could hear in my
head was “what else can you do for me?” The crowd followed him to the point of
stalking with the expectation of signs and miracles. Once a commitment was
implied, and Jesus revealed that he was more than a servant of God there to
serve them, they wanted none of it. In fact, they wanted him to do something
else for them to prove he was who he said he was. This is so typical of us! We
want all of the promises in the bible. We read them, quote them and sing about
them, but when it comes to the obedience part, we drag our feet along. Even
still we want God to show us more and more of who he is. When I thought of this
I thought of the nature of selfish people. People who are takers and want
whatever you will give them and more. If you stop giving to them or helping
them they turn on you. We are varying degrees of these selfish people. None of
us wants to identify ourselves with that, but it really is what we do to God.
We want him to do all of the proving while we ignore the things he has
commanded us to do. When he does not perform, we get angry at him and distance
ourselves. We wouldn’t come straight out and say we’re mad at God but we hold
back our affections and our obedience and deny his authority in our lives just
like these people were doing. “What else can you do for me God?” I have seen
this in my own life. It’s subtle and sometimes I don’t realize it’s happening
because my mind talks me into believing I am silent in my prayer time because I
am depressed or overwhelmed. The truth is, I am depressed and overwhelmed
because I had an expectation of God and he did not behave or perform the
miracle I wanted him to do. My challenge to myself is to pay attention to these
attitudes in my heart and acknowledge that he is God.