This article is an excerpt from More Than Enough:How Jesus Meets Our Deepest Needs, a 6-week study from the Spring 2016 Bible Studies for Life. Learn more about this curriculum and preview three sessions for free at biblestudiesforlife.com.
Our Need for Contentment
Americans want more.
- The average home has 189 TV channels.
- We can choose from over 50 brands of toothpaste—and most of those brands offer multiple choices.
- The 7-ounce soft drink size of 1955 has been replaced with 42-ounce cups—and larger.
We are convinced more is better, bigger is best, and getting our way equals prosperity and happiness.
When small children act up to get their way, we snicker—until we realize their behavior mirrors our own actions.
A preschool teacher asked her class to line up for a game. One little girl ran to the front of the line and announced, “I’m the line leader.” The game required marching in a circle. As the line turned into a circle, the child at the end of the line was now in front of the “line leader.” So, the little girl pushed ahead and again announced, “I’m the line leader,” only to find another child in front of her. She kept repeating the futile process, each time shoving ahead of another child and shouting, “I’m the line leader.”
That may be funny for four-year-olds, but aren’t we also like that, maybe with a little more sophistication? We are convinced if we race to the top, gain all the privileges, or have the most money we will be satisfied.
Jesus taught a better way.
In Jesus we find complete satisfaction now and forever.
The crowd already had seen extraordinary things, but apparently that wasn’t enough. They asked Jesus what sign He planned to do so they might believe in Him. They mentioned God’s earlier provision of manna for their forefathers, as if to say Jesus’ recent culinary miracle was not all that special. They wanted Jesus to do a real miracle to establish His credibility.
We often exhibit the same self-centeredness. We ask God to prove Himself by meeting our needs or by intervening in our lives. We ignore all God has already accomplished—both through the work of Jesus and in our lives over the years—when we require God to act “in the moment” before we affirm faith in Him.
Jesus declared that God had given them “the real bread from heaven” and further clarified, “the bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven and gives light to the world” (vv. 32-33).
In response, the people cried out, “Sir, give us this bread always!” (v. 34). They were still thinking about themselves, expressing their desire for perpetual meal service and not yet recognizing the spiritual significance of Jesus’ words.
Jesus then made His most direct statement: “I am the bread of life” (v. 35).
Jesus added thirst to the metaphor. By coupling hunger and thirst, combined with the previous food miracle that had started the entire sequence, Jesus underscored His ultimate goal even more strongly. Jesus promised, “no one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again” (v. 35)
Jesus appealed to His hearers to rise above focusing on themselves and their temporal desires for immediate gratification. He promised eternal satisfaction to every person who believes in Him—an infinitely more significant gift than food and drink.
What are our deepest longings?
Jesus is the only one who can meet every one of these deepest needs. Spiritual satisfaction—meeting our deepest longings—is the true source of joy—and joy is true happiness that nothing can take away.
Everything you need—and more!—is found in Jesus. Enjoy the feast!
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