Scripture: 2 Kings 22, 2 Chronicles 34, John 6
John 6:26-27 Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my miracles. 27Do not work for food that goes bad; instead, work for the food that lasts for eternal life. This is the food which the Son of Man will give you, because God, the Father, has put his mark of approval on him.”
“Do not work for food that goes bad; instead, work for the food that lasts for eternal life.”
Jesus had just fed the crowd, and they had followed Him around the lake hoping for another free meal. They were “working” for food, but failed to understand the meaning of Jesus’ miracle. So Jesus explained that He was the real Food from heaven. This only offended them.
Jesus was telling them (and us) that the most important hunger in our lives is the hunger for God. If we get so busy satisfying our other desires that we have no hunger for God, or no time to seek Him, then our priorities are messed up. We are, in the words of St. Augustine, suffering from disordered loves.
In Matthew 16:26, Jesus asks, “What good will it be for someone to gain the whole world, but forfeit their soul?”
The crowd was chasing Jesus around the lake only to satisfy their hunger for food, but they weren’t interested in Jesus as their Lord, their Savior, and the Bread who would satisfy them. They were busy gaining the world and losing their souls.
“Work for the food that lasts for eternal life.” Our first and highest pursuit is our pursuit of Jesus. He is the Bread that satisfies. Those who come to Jesus will never be hungry or thirsty (6:35)—He is promising to satisfy our spiritual hunger and thirst.
Earlier, Jesus had told the woman at the well, “Everyone who drinks this water will be thirsty again, but whoever drinks the water I give them will never thirst.” Notice the contrast again: To a woman who had come to a well for water and would have to come back again every day, He is offering living water that lasts and satisfies forever.
I spend a lot of time pursuing things that don’t last and don’t satisfy. Here, Jesus encourages me to pursue Him, to be hungry and thirsty for Him, because He is the Bread that satisfies and lasts forever!
Prayer: Lord, help me to pursue You first and foremost. Help me order my loves correctly, so that I pursue You as the one who satisfies forever.