This week's blog comes to us from our summer intern, Anna Wilke.
Recently I heard a message at my church in Auburn that has stuck with me and the main point is this: Jesus is better than any other option. This message served as a wonderful reminder to many and it helped many more understand why people are so passionate about Christ.
John 6:33-40 says, “For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.” This passage is well known as it comes after two of Jesus’ most famous miracles: feeding the 5,000 and walking on water, but I think we often miss one of the main purposes here: Jesus is showing Himself to be far greater than any other option we have on this earth. In these few short sentences Jesus gives five things that distinguish Him from any other alternative.
1. Jesus offers us real satisfaction- (v. 35) We all have a natural hunger in our soul for something more and any option this earth has for satisfaction, whether it be physical, emotional, or spiritual, can not fill that desire. It may give you a moment of satisfaction but fullness that only satisfies for a moment leads to emptiness. Jesus is the only person or thing that can ever truly satisfy your soul.
2. Jesus offers unconditional love- (v. 37) Jesus does not love us based on what we can bring to the table because He loved us before we even got to the table. The Father chose us and gave us to Jesus before we were even formed. Christ’s love is a love unlike any other because it is based solely on His character not our will and ability to be good enough.
3. Jesus offers supernatural purpose- (v. 38) Everyone is searching for a purpose, a reason to exist and in Jesus we can find that purpose. Our life has become purposeful because we have impactful relationships and because we are called to be carriers of the message of God’s unconditional love to the world. We make Him known through our stories.
4. Jesus offers surpassing peace- (v. 39) Fear and anxiety can be crippling and they grow as long as we try to control our own lives. Jesus says, “I shall lose none of all those he has given me.” This should come as a huge relief to us, the hands that created the universe and were nailed to a cross for us are certainly big and strong enough to handle our lives. He will not loose us, we are held in His sovereignty.
5. Jesus offers eternal security- (v. 40) Jesus is the only one who holds the possibility for eternal life in His hands, and He is the only one who can offer it to us freely. The only way to the Father is through Jesus, it has to be Jesus.
No one and no thing in this world can offer us one of these things but Jesus is offering us all five so how could we not choose Jesus? Later on in John 6 Jesus asks the 12 disciples if they want to leave and Simon Peter answers “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God” (v. 68-69). Jesus undoubtedly has competition for our hearts in this world, it can be money, a career, or any number of other things but stack any of them up against Jesus and Jesus wins every time. Jesus is the bread of life and He is better than this world.