Dear John

Today’s Journey Through Scripture Readings: 1 Chronicles 7-9; John 6:22-44

26 Jesus replied, “I assure you that you are looking for me not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate all the food you wanted.27 Don’t work for the food that doesn’t last but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Human One will give you. God the Father has confirmed him as his agent to give life.”

28 They asked, “What must we do in order to accomplish what God requires?”

29 Jesus replied, “This is what God requires, that you believe in him whom God sent.”

30 They asked, “What miraculous sign will you do, that we can see and believe you? What will you do?” (John 6:26:30, Common English Bible)

Dear John,

When I read the passage above a few minutes ago, the first thing I thought of was how patient and understanding Jesus was, well, I guess he still is. When you penned your story of his life, I am sure you had plenty to say. But, I for one, am glad you left some of these stories in to show us that patience and understanding. At least to me, it shows there is still hope for some of us, like me, who really need it.

When I started reading today’s lesson John, I thought, “Wasn’t it just yesterday that I read your account of how Jesus fed 5000 men plus women and children from one little boy’s lunch?” And now, those same people who got to participate in such a great miracle, turn around and say to Jesus, “What miraculous sign will you do, that we can see and believe you? What will you do?”

Really? Could they have a better sign than the way that empty place around their middle got filled? If I remember right, after reading Matthew’s, Mark’s, and Luke’s accounting of the same story, some of you guys wanted to send them home so they could get something to eat. Instead, Jesus decided to feed them in what may have been the biggest free meal in history. John, did somebody call the folks at Guinness to get the world record documented? I’m just kidding John. First, Guinness wasn’t around yet. But, more importantly, Jesus didn’t get into all that stuff.

John, what all this really makes me think about is, how often do I fail to recognize what Jesus does for me and then, in essence, say, “Jesus, what have you done for me lately?” I feel pretty certain those who gathered around Jesus that day wanting to know what great sign he might do so they could believe, wouldn’t have acknowledged they were asking what have you done for me lately, but they were.

I also feel pretty sure Jesus gets tired of hearing me say things that demonstrate way too much of the time, I lack faith in what I just saw a day or two or even a minute or two before.

I did notice, even if those in the crowd didn’t, that Jesus actually knew what was on their mind, more free food. It is a little like when Jesus was telling the woman at the well he could give her living water and she would never thirst. She didn’t get the idea that living water would keep her from spiritual thirst. She wanted to avoid that trip the well.

I did think about Jesus wasting his breath because what he said flew right over the heads of those around him that day. But, it wasn’t a waste of breath, was it John? No, it wasn’t a waste of breath because you preserved those words for all of history. You made sure we all knew what Jesus spent three years teaching you and the others. God is always at work. We can see the evidence if only we will look and pay attention. Thanks for that reminder, John.

Well, John, it is time for me to go out and do some other things. You know, places to go, things to do, and people to see. Maybe, as I go through my day today, I will have the opportunity to remember what Jesus has done for me instead of asking, what have you done for me lately.

I will try to write again soon John.

With Joy and Thankfulness,

And all of you out there, have a blessed day in the Lord.

Copyright 2018, J. Keith Broyles, All Rights Reserved.

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