Does Jesus Understand My Needs?
Linking up with Five Minute Friday today! Five minutes of uninterrupted writing...no editing. No overthinking. Just write! Today's word is: NEED
The morning after my divorce I woke to an ear-wounding battery operated alarm clock. The incessant beeping brought me to tears. Or maybe I was already crying in my sleep.
For eight years I had been woken with a kiss. Sometimes on the forehead, other times the cheek. Lightly and with care, my husband would put his hand on my bed, lean down, and gently kiss me good-bye. In the early years of my marriage I found this simple act comforting. Reassuring. Affirming.
Eventually I found these early morning farewells to be an annoyance. "If you didn't kiss me every morning I could sleep an extra half hour." I complained.
"I need to say good-bye," he insisted. I stubbornly protested using the "teaching is so tiring" excuse, and eventually he stopped interrupting my morning sleep. I needed that sleep. Didn't I?
In John 6 God's people have an unmet need. Five thousand hungry people were closing in on Jesus and his disciples. Knowing already how He will meet their need, Jesus says to Philip at the end of verse 5 and start of verse 6:
"Where are we to buy bread so that these people may eat? He said this to test him, for he himself knew what he would do."
Jesus already knew how he would turn five loaves of bread and two tiny fish into a feast for more than 5,000 people. And yet he asks Philip to help him problem solve. Does Jesus hope that Philip will say something like, "Well, you're Jesus. You do miracles every day- I'm sure you can find a way to feed these hungry people."
And yet Philip doesn't even answer the question that Jesus asks: WHERE are we to buy bread?
Philip answers in verse 7: “Two hundred denarii worth of bread would not be enough for each of them to get a little."
Philip jumps straight to another problem: money. Two hundred denarii was an entire day's wages. They don't have that kind of money. He's essentially saying to Jesus: We couldn't pay for this food even if there was a place to buy all of this bread. Your question doesn't seem to matter right now Jesus.
Philip doesn't just underestimate the way Jesus meets needs, but also doubts that Jesus even understands what the true need is.
Isn't that just the way that we treat Jesus? He doesn't meet our needs the way we want him to and in fact, it often seems like He doesn't even understand what our need is. Thankfully that crazy talk in our minds is not from God, but from Satan.
God knows our truest need is satisfied by Bread of Life.
The next day the people who witnessed Jesus feed 5,000 people follow him across the sea to Capernaum. He knows what they need. He speaks the words of life directly into the deepest parts of their searching hearts:
John 6:25-27- When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” (What they really mean is: "How did you get over here without a boat??)
Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you.
The hunger of their souls will not be satisfied by amassing knowledge or engaging in temporal pleasures which disappear and cannot endure. The satisfaction of their needs can only be discovered in the eternal food; the Bread of Life. Jesus Himself.
So how can we embrace eternal food? How can we push aside that which will perish and get to the good stuff?
1. Live in the present and stop chasing the past. Don't eat the moldy leftover food of your what-ifs, how comes, and why me musings.
2. Trust that God's promises are true and that they're for you too. Your life is not over simply because it's not what you imagined.
3. Instead of asking Jesus, "When did you get here?" or "Can I really trust You?" ask him, "Why have you brought me here?" "What tasks have you equipped me for in this life?"
The inconvenience caused to me by my ex-husband's morning kisses suppressed his need to show me love. When God tries to love on us and lead us to everlasting food, don't push away that eternal satisfaction for the temporal things of this fleeting world.
Our need for true sustenance extends far beyond indulgence in the small satisfactions that this world offers. The eternal food provided by our loving Savior is ready for the feasting. Will we happily embrace His promise to never hunger and thirst again? It is ours for the taking. He knows what we need.
John 6:35- Jesus said to them, "I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.
Head over to Five Minute Friday and enjoy the other posts today on the word: "NEED".