The people we follow says a lot about ourselves. What is said at the church you attend? What does your heart yearn for when you drive to church?
Have you seen how some Sunday sermons are advertised? I’ve seen some lines reading: ‘Come experience Jesus’, ‘God wants to bless you’, and I’ve heard phrases such as: ‘You know, you need to demand the healing that God already died for’. None of these statements are necessarily wrong, and millions of people worldwide are building their faith and are leaning on these promises. The ultimate goal or the road leading there is, sadly, explained less clearly. We then end up yearning for the manna from heaven, but not the desert; the miracles, but not the suffering. We pursue nets full of fish and mis the Fisherman on the shore; bread and then we mis the Bread of life. We stop and settle for less and remain tired and hungry or eventually end up ever so unfulfilled. This is evident from our religious establishments who fell into a consumeristic model. It left many coming back for more of the same or leaving, because they didn’t get what they were yearning for.
Jesus offered more than this. He declared that whoever believed in Him would never be thirsty. The soul can be satisfied at a level beyond the satisfaction of biological desires. Peter realised this after returning tired and hungry from an unsuccessful all-night fishing expedition on the same sea where he was first called a few years earlier. After a multitude of fish were miraculously caught on Jesus’ command he leaped over the net full of silver fish into the water and swam to the shore. When he first started following Jesus, he might have yearned for recognition, a better social status, miracles or sustenance, but this time all of that could wait. The miracle was left behind, because the miracle pointed him to the miracle-Maker; and he wanted to be close to Him. He found something beyond the pursuit of prosperity.
There is something different about those people who are satisfied. They usually are not easily offended; they are long-suffering and they seem at peace, unlike those who still need more. Which person are you? Do you need more? Or do you need nothing more but Jesus?
- John 6:35
- John 21
📸: Jaco Koekemoer