Rev Moss

Are you planning to see the Barbie or Oppenheimer movies? Perhaps you have both movies on your must-see list as there has been a lot of promotional hype surrounding them. Nevertheless, the movie that I am eagerly anticipating is Ridley Scott’s biopic, Napoleon, which is scheduled for release in November. I am fascinated by how Napoleon, who seemingly came out of nowhere, crowned himself as the emperor of France. It seems astounding that someone could reject all authority and crown himself as emperor. Typically, becoming an emperor is not an act you undertake for yourself but, rather, a title bestowed upon you.

In John Chapter 6, Jesus tells us that this is also the truth behind being satisfied. A group of people who had witnessed the miracle of ‘the feeding of the 5,000’ sought out Jesus the following day in the hope that they would be fed again.

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. 

These people were seeking out Jesus in order to satisfy their stomachs. Now, we might not act like this for a loaf of bread but we do this in other ways. We convince ourselves that we can buy satisfaction; if we continue to accumulate possessions, we will fill our lingering emptiness. Regardless of the number of times this approach has failed us, we convince ourselves that this time it will be different.

However, Jesus reminds us that such material pursuits are transient and ultimately unsatisfying, like perishable food that spoils over time. Jesus says that satisfaction is not something that you can crown yourself with or that can be achieved through hard work. Jesus makes the bold claim that satisfaction is something that you are given; a gift that only Jesus can give you. In verse 33, Jesus says:

33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

The food that does not spoil and brings true satisfaction is Jesus, who has given his life as a ransom for us on the cross. Jesus died so that we might live; he was broken so that we could become whole. Satisfaction comes when you realise the extent of the gift of love that you have been given.

Mr Timothy Keller, an American pastor, writes, “Only an infinite love can satisfy our hunger for infinite joy”. The difficulty is that just knowing God loves us is too abstract to change our hearts. So, how do we gain a more concrete understanding of His love? It may help to think about it this way: it is very easy to say ‘I love you’ to your partner on your wedding day but the real test is how readily you can say it after five, ten or twenty years of marriage. The words ‘I love you’ said after twenty years together carry more weight because they don’t just roll off your lips as easily as they did on your wedding day. By now, you have experienced the cost and the sacrifice required to truly love someone. Jesus knows the full cost of loving you. He freely gave his life for you. Jesus is the bread of life that is broken for you. He is God in the flesh who has become vulnerable and breakable. When you understand His sacrifice, you will know His infinite love and you will begin to change your heart and satisfy your hunger for infinite joy.