We try to find satisfaction in an excess of things that will spoil and fade. Jesus invites us to believe in him as the bread of life and be eternally satisfied.
25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 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. 27 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.”
28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 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. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 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.
In the passage above, the crowds of people, who had been fed to their fill the day before when Jesus fed the 5000, had tracked Jesus down looking to be satisfied again.
Even today satisfaction is something we seek and like the crowds who walked the whole way around the lake to find it, we often go to great lengths in our attempts to feel satisfied.
In the 1960s it was the Rolling Stones’ Satisfaction song that became their first number 1 hit in the USA and shot them to stardom as people identified with the lyrics that go:
I can’t get no satisfaction, I can’t get no satisfaction
Cause I try and I try and I try and I try
We really do try and try to feel satisfied:
Some of us will eat that extra chocolate or extra biscuit or upsize our meal at McDonalds.
Some of us will seek it in retail, with another pair of shoes, another top or more jewellery.
Some of us want more ‘likes’ on Facebook and Instagram or more views on YouTube.
Some of us need more caffeine, nicotine, alcohol or stronger drugs.
Some of us seek more sexual satisfaction, with more partners, erotica or pornography.
Some of us seek more status with long work hours or by exploiting and manipulating others.
Some of us seek more money, fancier cars and bigger houses.
Some of us gamble, placing more bets, pulling more slots and buying more scratch cards.
Some of us spend many hours or a lot of money and on grooming, exercise or altering our appearance.
All that trying is not amounting to something that endures, as Jesus says we are working for food that spoils
So where and how do we find rest and satisfaction? Jesus tells us to work for food that endures and that the work of God is simply to BELIEVE in Him. Jesus declared that He is the bread of life. He removes our hunger and quenches our thirst, in other words we can find satisfaction in him. We can escape from the trying and trying and from all the excesses of things that will fade. By simply believing, we can find rest in Jesus who will fill us and give us enduring satisfaction with who we are in Him eternally.
Head: Can you identify anything you do in excess? In other words are you working for food that spoils?
Heart: “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” This is both simple and hard – do you really believe?
Hands: Jesus is offering us 100% guaranteed satisfaction and we don’t have to try do anything for it but believe. Today there is no more trying we can rest, satisfied with who we are in Him.
Prayer: Dear Lord Jesus I believe in you. I pray for rest from the trying to get more and more. Please fill me up to be satisfied with who I am in you eternally.
A song to listen to: Only You Can Satisfy