STOP AT THE SIGN
Saturday, November 25, 2017
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“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.’” John 6:26

Imagine you were driving to a town you did not know and were not sure how to get there. Your GPS is broken, you have no map, and now you are lost. If you came across a sign that pointed to the town, you would breathe a sigh of relief and keep on driving. You would not stop your car at the sign and camp out there. This is because signs are meant to point us towards something, not become the centre of our attention.

This is the same problem Jesus describes after He multiplied the five small loaves of barley bread and two small fish to feed over 5,000 people. Some Jews were so impressed that they followed Jesus across the lake, but Jesus knew they were more concerned with the miracle than with anything else. These new followers were interested in the material benefits of being near Jesus – the healings, provisions, and free lunches than they were with His teachings or having a relationship with Him.

These Jews demanded further signs. They argued that Moses had provided manna in the wilderness for 2 million Israelites every day for 40 years. Jesus feeding 5,000 was nothing compared to that, so they wanted some other physical proof of His divinity. But like the multiplied bread and fish, the manna was also a sign that pointed to someone much greater. God designed the manna not to last beyond the day. If the Israelites took too much, by morning it would have grown stale and was filled maggots. But Jesus declares to the Jews, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty” (John 6:35).

God is our Provider, and we should certainly praise Him for that, but God’s miraculous provision in the feeding of the 5,000 was a sign that Jesus can provide for the spiritual as well as the physical. He did not just multiply resources so people would have food, but so He could introduce Himself as the “Bread of Life.” The multiplied bread might have satisfied the crowd’s physical hunger, but the whole purpose of the miracle was that they would look past the bread to see Jesus as the ultimate fulfiller of our every need.

We all hunger for renewed life and an intimacy of the soul that can only be fulfilled by trusting in Jesus as the source of that life. If we stop at the sign, we might find some of our needs fulfilled, but we will be missing out on the joy and satisfaction that results from feeding on the Bread of Life and allowing Christ to live in us.

PRAYER: Lord Jesus, thank You for providing my daily needs, but also for being the Bread of Life that fulfills my greatest need. May I look to You daily for the satisfaction of my soul. Thank You, Lord.


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