We tell this story to children and teach it among adults. It's an important story about God's provision and Jesus' power. But do we remember the "rest of the story"? (Sorry, Paul Harvey.) In John 6:15, we read that Jesus withdrew into the mountains because the people were going to force Him to be the king. Okay, we know that God's plan for Jesus was different than becoming an earthly king...but there is something else going on here. Further in the chapter, we discover what.
The crowd discovered that Jesus and His disciples are gone. They searched for Jesus and eventually found Him. Jesus responded to their questions: "You are looking for me because I fed you. You should be looking for that which satisfies eternally."
Jesus and the people discussed more about this--bread for now verses bread for eternity. Jesus told them: "I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again." (John 6:35) Jesus teaches them more about who He is and what He is doing. The result? Many of the followers could not accept what He said and deserted Him. (John 6:60) Jesus was not really what they were seeking.
We've been seeking things since we began this journey. And, recent events have led us to seek other things. But we've learned that most of all, we need to be seeking Jesus and that which will bring God's glory.
Listening to the radio the other day, I heard the song "More Than Anything" by Natalie Grant. (Apparently God continues to direct our radio station to play what I need to hear at a certain time. I hope the other listeners don't mind all the songs that I need!) Natalie Grant sings these words:
Help me want the Healer, More than the healingToo often I think I want the answer, the healing, the gift more than I want Jesus. The crowd wanted the bread (earthly sustenance) more than the Bread (eternal life). Throughout all our journey - and especially in recent days - God has continued to show me that I need to be pursuing Him. Not a particular path or a particular trait or a particular knowledge. But Him.
Help me want the Savior, More than the saving
Help me want the Giver, More than the giving
Oh help me want You Jesus, More than anything
May we want Him, seek Him, more than anything else.