Jesus answered, ” I assure you: You are looking for Me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled” (John 6:26)
Where does your relationship with Christ stand, do you serve him with the mentality of what you can get? Sometimes as Christians we lose the value of why we serve God and get annoyed if he does not fulfil our request, particularly when we have laboured so greatly for His cause.
“But seek first the kingdom of God and His righeousness” (Matthew 6:33)
Today I want us to really evaluate our present relationship with God. Is he our employee or our Dad? Is he our Fast-food meal or our life sustenance?
Defining Key Terms
- ‘Looking’ and ‘Seek’
Is a desire or an attempt to find or obtain something
Loaves (plural of loaf), are a type of bread. Loaves were a staple food for many Israelites and people living within the Arab region in the same manner rice is a staple for Asain countries as the maze is a staple in African countries or Potatoes in Europe. As such, it has been used in the Bible often to represent daily food and sustenance and is used often to compare and contrast between spiritual and earthly food.
Is the act or state of being in ‘right standing’ with someone or something, in simple English it means you are on somebody’s good side. So somebody who follows their countries laws is on the good side of the law so cannot be prosecuted if they haven’t committed any crime
- ‘Kingdom of God
A State or entity governed by God.
Prior to (John 6:26) in earlier verses, Christ performed a great miracle by feeding 5000+ people with only 5 loaves and 2 fish. Those people (whom Jesus refers to in verse 26), came searching for Christ after witnessing such a miracle, however, what makes these people interesting is that rather than being amazed by the miracle performed the previous day and thus come to the realisation that Christ is the Son of God, they instead were more interested in feeding their stomachs. They came to Christ with the hope of being given free food once again, they weren’t interested in who He was but in what they could get if they stood next to Him.
Similarly, we find in (Exodus 16:4), the Israelites were in the desert with no food supply yet God made it so that bread would fall down from heaven so that no family would go hungry. Yet despite this amazing miracle happening daily, the Isralites ‘sat down to eat and drink and got up to play’ (1 Corinthians 10:7) as soon as they had finished eating forgetting who was the one that provided them with their daily sustenance. In both scenarios, the people received ‘free food’ that would satisfy them for the day but would go hungry once again and cry out to God for more food the next. However, this is not what God wants, God does not want us to go hungry, when God decides to do something he wants to do it in full, however, in both cases these people were looking at the food that was temporary and not eternal. Jesus even instructs us to “not work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life” (John 6:27). Very few food items last a long time let alone eternity, even canned food has an expiry date, but Jesus tells us to focus our attention on food that lasts for eternity. So what food is he referring to?
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry” (John 6:35). Jesus is our source of food, his body is our bread and his blood is our wine (check out Matthew 26:17-30). When we partake of His body and blood not only are we satisfied but we are satisfied for eternity, for His bread gives life to our mortal body. What makes the above stories so sad, is that if they had noticed that Christ is ‘the eternal food’, they would not have sought Him for the portions of bread given but would have sought Him and Him alone.
In (Matthew 6: 33) we are taught to ‘seek first the kingdom of God and His righteousness and all these things will be provided’. What it means in relation to this context, is that when we turn our focus and attention towards God and seek out Christ, matters such as hunger and thirst are taken care of by the food provided. When we read Matthew 6: 25-34, we recognise that the entire section is in regards to anxiety and concern for what we will eat or drink, but God asks ‘isn’t life more than food and the body more than clothing’ (Verse 25), therefore, our priority should not be on the things that matter little when we understand that God takes care of these worries.
We already had a brief look at what it means to be righteous and skimmed over what is the kingdom of God, but now I feel we must go a little bit deeper into our understanding of these terms in regards to this context. A Kingdom is a state or territory ruled and governed by a King, so when we say the Kingdom of God we mean a state, territory or areas where God is the ruler, for example, God is the ruler of heaven therefore, heaven is part of God’s kingdom. We can take this definition a little bit further now and include our bodies or lives as the land or territory in which God has dominion over. Therefore, with this revelation we can understand Matthew 6:33 to mean:
‘Seek ye first God’s rulership over your life and His righteousness…’
But we still have a problem, what does it mean to seek ‘His righteousness’. Our earlier definition of righteousness was to be in ‘good standing’, but notice this verse uses a possessive pronoun ‘His’ and as far as we are concerned righteousness is not a possession (or is it?). We know that no one is righteous or good except God ( check out Romans 3:10 and Mark 10:18), but then how can God possess righteousness unless it is something tangible and is of God- I hope this makes sense- the only ‘thing or someone’ that fits into these conditions is Jesus Christ. For when Christ lived on this Earth, he did not commit any sin ‘he knew no sin’ as it says in (2 Corinthians 5:21), therefore, he stood on the ‘good side’ of Gods law and could not be prosecuted for there was nothing to prosecute Him against. As such we can understand His righteousness to refer to His Son Jesus Christ. So once again let us revisit Matthew 6:33 in light of these revelations:
Seek ye first God’s rulership over your life and His only begotten Son Jesus Christ and all these things shall be provided for you.
We often try to bargain, that if the Lord could provide us with a new working car to get us from ‘xyz’ or renew our failing body or whatever it may be, then we will seek his dominion in us. Instead, we may say ‘God I have offered such a sum to your church or spent time at an orphanage doing your missionary work now will you provide for me this and that’. This is not God’s order, I am speaking to myself on this one, we need to rearrange our priorities to put God’s Kingdom and His righteousness first and foremost.
I think I have mentioned these lyrics in another post but they are relevant for today so I will repeat them:
Turn your eyes upon Jesus
Look full in His wonderful face
And the things of this Earth will go strangly dim
In the light of His glory and grace
When our attention is on Jesus, our worries and cares become irrelevant, our focus no longer is on our problems anymore but instead it is upon pleasing and adoring the Lord. This is the state which I want to be in forever, where Earthly things no longer matter and I can gaze into His wonderful light.