Having only a natural relationship with a supernatural God
Imagine the greatest chef of all time was cooking for you, and all you asked for was a bowl of cereal. Or that the most profound singer of the ages was performing a concert just for you, and you only wanted to hear them sing “happy birthday.” Sounds ridiculous right? You would never settle for so little from someone who could offer you so much. So why do we often seek only temporary comforts from a God that offers us eternal life? In John 6, a group of people made the mistake of asking Jesus for too little:
‘So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.” ’ John 6:30-35 (NIV)
In this passage, Jesus engaged the group of people he amazingly fed with a couple of fish and a few loaves of bread—a miracle we often refer to as the feeding of the 5,000. The crowd was now following Jesus, not because they believed he was the Son of God or the Messiah, but because they wanted more bread. Imagine having the Creator God standing before you, with all of his power and glory, and asking him for bread! It seems absurd, yet we do it all the time. We do it every time we limit ourselves to only a natural relationship with a supernatural God.
It is easy to focus on our perceived physical needs like healing, financial intervention, and safety. God cares about our physical needs and often blesses us in tangible ways.
However, many of his greatest blessings are not physical but spiritual—things like: love, joy, peace, patience, kindness, goodness, faithfulness, gentleness, and self-control. These are true treasures that await us as children of a supernatural God: gifts that are eternal. Yet far too often, we ask for earthly trinkets that will fade and not be remembered.
Jesus told the crowd that he was the ‘bread of life’ and the source of gifts that will never fade. He mercifully met them where they were and tried to help them understand that he could do so much more than satisfy their physical hunger. We should strive to avoid the mistake of trying to have only a natural relationship with a supernatural God. In his infinite mercy, God offers us more than we even know what to ask for. Therefore, we should not ask for too little, but seek God for his treasures, which are ours in Jesus Christ.
Presented by Michelle Fleming
About the presenter:
The Word of Life each Sunday is taken from ‘Speaking of Life’, (https://www.gci.org/videos/media-speaking-of-life/), a public resource video on the USA website of Grace Communion International. Michelle Fleming is an elder in Grace Communion International and works in the International Home Office in Charlotte, North Carolina, USA as Media Director.
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