Bread and Fish

Today’s reading is John 6.

Okay. I’m going to share something shocking. It goes against everything you are hearing today, not only from the world, but even from many people in church. Why did Jesus multiply the bread and fish? Not to feed the hungry. Not to serve the community. Not to love the crowd to the point of listening to Him. The key comes in John 6:14. When Jesus miraculously fed the people, they claimed him to be “The Prophet who is to come into the world.” The people correctly understood the reference of the miracle. Jesus is the fulfillment of Deuteronomy 18:15-19; He is the Prophet like Moses who was to come into the world. But they, like so many today, missed the point of the miracle.They thought the point was to feed them. So they wanted to make Him king so He would keep on feeding them. Nope. Go back and read the prophecy in Deuteronomy 18:15-19.* The purpose of the prophecy was to show who the people were supposed to listen to. But when He taught them. They didn’t like it. The didn’t listen. They left. Like so many today, they misunderstood what the mission of the Prophet and His Church really is. Neither Jesus’s goal nor the goal of His church is to feed people hungry for bread. Jesus is not like Moses; He is greater than Moses. Jesus doesn’t give bread, He is bread. Even though Jesus was actually greater than what they were expecting, He didn’t measure up to what they were expecting. They were willing to settle for a Messiah/King who would feed them. So they rejected the Messiah/King who would teach them. In fact, the only ones who staid were the ones who realized Jesus’s gift of life doesn’t come through any bread He might give, but through the Words He teaches. People today are no different. Many are attracted to churches who think their mission is to feed the hungry. Few are attracted to churches who think their mission is to teach the lost. Don’t be ashamed to be part of a church that won’t cave to the societal pressures to offer the mediocre service of filling physical needs. Yes, the world loves us when we do that. Yes, the community will be upset if our doors close if that is how we view or try to accomplish our mission. But that isn’t our mission. Be thankful to be part of a church that will offer the true service of passing on Jesus and His words of life. Yes, the world will despise us for it. Yes, most will reject it and us. Yes, the great majority will abandon us, even more so they will try to shut us down, and will throw a party if our doors close. But we will be walking in the footsteps of our Savior. And do not think we are to use the former (community benevolence and service) to get an opportunity to do the latter (share the gospel). That isn’t what Jesus was doing. And if it was, it failed. Why do we think it will work for us? Be unashamed of the gospel. Be unashamed to be part of a church that sees proclaiming the gospel as its mission.

Tomorrow’s reading is John 7

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God Has Time

Today’s reading is Mark 6.

He was tired. He had just learned about the death of His cousin John. His closest disciples needed to be refreshed. So, He had taken them into a desolate place in order to recharge, refresh, renew. But the needy people followed Him. What did He do? “Get out of here. Give Me a break. Can’t you see I need some time alone?” No. He felt compassion. He taught them. He cared for them. Keep that in mind. God has time for you today. Talk to Him. Lean on Him. Walk with Him. He has time.

Tomorrow’s reading is Mark 7.

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Sinners Welcome

Today’s reading is Luke 5.

This one might be shocking considering yesterday’s reading. Jesus is sinless. When you find that out, you might react as Peter did after Jesus engineered a huge haul of fish, “Depart from me, I’m sinful!” But what did Jesus say? “Oh, I didn’t realize, get away scum.” No. He said, “Fear not, from now on you’ll be catching men.” Because Jesus is sinless, He doesn’t toss sinners away, rather He draws us in so He can make something better out of us. Sin isn’t a reason to abandon Jesus, it is the reason to draw closer. That’s why it is called good news.

Monday’s reading is Luke 6.

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Fishing for Men

Today’s reading is Luke 5.

Do you ever feel like Peter? “Lord, get away from me, I’m a sinner.” I know I do. And yet, Jesus picked him to fish for men. Jesus picked Peter to make disciples. Guess what that means about you and me. Despite our past, we can make disciples, we can fish for people. We can share the gospel and draw folks into the family of God. Don’t think you’ve been too bad to share the gospel. Share it and watch what God does with it.

Monday’s reading is Luke 6.

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