Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” – Jn. 6:26-27 NIV
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Jesus Christ, in one of his many miracles had just fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two small fish, with twelve baskets recovered as remnants and seeing this miracle, the people, at least for once acknowledged that he is indeed the expected prophet – Jn. 6:1-15. So when he decided to relocate to Capernaum on the other side of the river and the people came in search of him, accusing him of not being reachable despite all their efforts, he knew the reason for their desire, which was different from what they were trying to portray – Jn. 6:23-25. In the foundation scripture for today’s Devotional, he made it clear to them that the reason for their search was not because of the signs that they saw him perform, but was simply because of the free food that they ate to their fill. He went further to advise that they should not work for the food that spoils, but that they should work for the food that endures until eternal life, which he was ready to offer them – Jn. 6:26-27.
They instantly indicated their interest in having this enduring food by asking him what the work they had to do was.– Jn. 6:28. They were obviously willing to do it, at least, that way they will not have to keep searching for him for refills. His response to their question was not ambiguous. All they needed to do was to believe in the one that Jehovah has sent – Jn. 6:29.
Today, many people are laying claims to being Christians because of their verbal declaration that they have accepted Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour. At many Christian gatherings, the Altar Call is made with many indicating their willingness to give their lives to Christ. The question which they will all need to ask themselves after that public act will simply be, Why am I accepting Jesus Christ as Lord and Saviour?
Without doubt, some of the reasons why many have become Christians today are as listed below;
- That they will be saved from the challenges of life including deliverance from all enemies, seen and unseen.
- That they want to prosper materially.
- That they desire to over-come all the challenges confronting them and thereby have peace in this world.
- To some people, it is to be able to access the kingdom of heaven after departure from this realm.
The above points are in no way exhaustive neither are they negative or wrong, but Jesus Christ advises that the fourth amongst the above listed reasons should be the most paramount, as every other one equates to eating bread that will spoil – Matt. 6:33. However, access to this bread which is desirable, is still very easy as all they had to do was to believe in the one that Jehovah sent.
Though, what the people that came to Jesus desired was bread for the body, he did not criticise their desire but only showed them the best way to achieve it and it was simple. They should believe in the one that Jehovah sent. However, for anyone to do this,
- Such must believe that Jehovah sent someone in the first place. This should actually be the beginning of the journey for any one who desires to get blessed by Jehovah. That Jehovah sent someone into this world for the purpose of reconciling man to Himself should never be doubted. The Prophet Isaiah prepared the mind of all for this event with his prophecy which was recorded in the biblical book named after him – Isa. 7:14. The Israelites no doubt crossed this portion of the belief journey, as their only challenge was their refusal to accept that Jesus Christ was the expected Messiah and son of the Most High, but many today are yet to believe that Jehovah sent someone, else they will be in search of such a person. That should be the mind of all those who intend to be Christians rather than simply seeing him as the one that can materially bless them. That explains why to some people, the personality behind their material success does not matter, as long as they are successful. To the Christian that desires success, the primary interest should be to meet the one whom Jehovah sent. The expected messiah.
- Such must believe that Jesus Christ is the one that was sent. Just as earlier stated, the Jews were indeed expecting the one sent by Jehovah, but their challenge was their none acceptance of Jesus Christ as that expected messiah. They simply could not understand why the One who presents himself as the Messiah could not create a kingdom for them on this earth that will save them from the oppression of the Romans – Lk. 7:18-23; Matt. 16:13-20. Similarly, many Christians only believe that he is the messiah when they are able to receive positive response to their requests but quickly withdraw their recognition once they are not able to overcome challenging situations. They simply want to be able to reign over the oppression before they can accept that he is the sent One. The scriptures confirm the heavens identifying Jesus Christ as the sent One with an advise on one occasion for all to hear him – Jn. 1:29; Matt. 3:17; Matt. 17:5. The one who desires his full blessings must believe this voice.
- Such must believe in the purpose of his coming, which is to return sinners to Jehovah. Christians must be made to remember always that Jesus did not come for the purpose of prospering them. Positioning the Christian for wealth and prosperity remains simply a fringe benefit of accepting him as Lord and Saviour. None consciousness of this fact remains one of the major reasons why people backslide as they soon get frustrated because of their inability to achieve their earthly desires. There is no doubt that the one who believes will enjoy some level of earthly comfort (Matt. 6:33), but such should remember at all times that the purpose for which they have become Christians is to be able to escape the death sentence that sin has positioned all men for in eternity.
- Such must accept and obey all the teachings of Jesus Christ as a proof of belief. To access this Grace that his coming confers on all those who believe him, such must read, study and meditate on all his teachings. It will be impossible to claim to believe in someone whose instructions, you do not know, as one beds to know them before they can apply them to life – Jn. 14:15. The one who believes in Jesus Christ must make his Instructions the guiding principle of life.
It is indeed very easy to get filled, albeit blessed in this world as all that is required is to sincerely believe in the One he sent. The one who believes will definitely see the glory of God, not only in this realm but in the life after life – Jn. 11:40. May God grant us the spirit to believe in Jesus name. Amen.