November 19 | John 6:25-35
Surface Sole Satisfaction or Sustained Soul Satisfaction
by Mary Alice McGinnis
Ponder this question today. What are you looking to in order to feel good again, to feel happy again, to feel alive again, and to feel fully satisfied?
Are you looking to things that will provide surface sole satisfaction for a need you are experiencing?
Is it a physical need? That feeling you get when you crave some delicious food? (Full disclosure, as I am writing, I find myself spooning out several large scoops of peanut butter straight from the jar.)
Maybe it is a craving for something material to make us feel better, like shopping on Amazon. (Regular deliveries to my house.)
Maybe it is a true physical need. The need for relief from pain or physical suffering from sickness or disease.
Or maybe the need to feel like Is it a social need? The need for justice, the need for peace, or just a longing to feel like life is good again.
Here is the cycle I see.
Do you see this cycle in today’s reading? Jesus had just done a miracle of feeding the 5,000 earlier in John 6. He crossed over the Sea of Galilee during a storm (walking on water and then miraculously taking the disciples and their boat to the other side).
Some of those who had seen Jesus feed the 5,000 or perhaps some who only heard about it, were experiencing some discomfort. In one sense, their bellies began to be hungry again. But in another sense, they were feeling the discomfort of living in a broken world. Many were hungry, destitute, or sick. They were under the oppressive rule of the Romans. Their deep desire was for life to be better! They longed for a Messiah to provide relief for them.
They craved it like a ravenously, hungry wild animal.
This hunger drove them to seek relief. When Jesus does this miracle, they think, maybe He is this Messiah we are looking for. They were seeking Him to address the sole thing(s) they thought they needed to make life good again. Relief from (fill in the blank). They sought Him to be their “Bread King,” to fill their bellies with only a temporary surface satisfaction.