1 Samuel 9:1-27; John 6:22-29; Psalms 106:32-46; Proverbs 23:17-18
NT: “Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.” “What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked. Jesus replied, “This is the work of God — that you believe in the one he has sent.”” (John 6:26-29 CSB)
The next morning, when the crowd of 5,000 plus that took part in the feeding of the 5,000 realized that Jesus and His disciples were no where to be found, they headed off to Capernaum to find them. When they found Jesus in Capernaum, they asked Him how he got there so fast. Instead of answering their question, He responded with this statement. Basically, He told them that they weren’t seeking Him because of Who He was, they were seeking Him because He fed them and satisfied their hunger. The only reason they were looking for Him was because He could give them what they wanted. It reminds me of people that I encounter that say they “tried out” Christianity for a while, and it didn’t work for them, so they rejected it. Following Jesus isn’t about satiating your desires. Following Jesus is about laying down your desires in order to receive the eternal life and satisfaction that He desires to give you. Jesus told the crowd to not work for food that perishes (the satisfaction that the world provides), but to work for the food that lasts for eternity (abundant spiritual life that can only come from the Father through Jesus). Because Judaism had devolved into a merit-based system, they assumed that Jesus meant that they had to do something to earn this eternal satisfaction. When they asked Him what works they needed to perform, He responded by saying, “You just need to believe in Me.” It is by grace through faith in Jesus that we are saved and given eternal life – not through any works that we can do. The “work” that the Lord requires for His food is faith – in and on Him.
Proverbs: “Don’t let your heart envy sinners; instead, always fear the Lord. For then you will have a future, and your hope will not be dashed.” (Proverbs 23:17-18 CSB)
So much of what is driving the various social justice movements of the day isn’t born out of a desire for true righteousness and justice, but is driven by envy: That person has more than me… this group of people is more privileged than we are… etc. As King Solomon wrote in Ecclesiastes, there is nothing new under the sun. As long as there have been sinful people on the earth, there has been inequality, unfairness, and injustice… and with that comes envy. God’s answer to that has never been to take from those who have more… to want what others have. God’s answer to the injustices and inequalities of the world has always been, “Trust in Me… Respect and honor Me, and walk obediently in My ways.” There is no future nor hope for true satisfaction in envying sinners. Even if you did get everything they had, your hunger would never be satisfied. So work for the food that the Lord provides.