Sign In
Basket 0 Items


Sign In
Basket 0 Items


Sunday 4 August 2024 Trinity 10, Eighteenth in Ordinary time, Proper 13

Hungry for more: finding satisfaction in Jesus

John 6:24-35

By Tim Yau

Anglican Ordained Pioneer Minister, Diocese of Norwich

Context: Fresh Expression of Church in a suburban new housing development, meeting in a school hall, connecting with a multi-cultural group of approximately 50 people, predominantly not-yet-Christian.

Aim: to explore how Jesus, as the Bread of Life, satisfies our deepest hunger.

Have you ever experienced being ‘hangry’? It’s that cranky feeling we get when we’re hungry and our patience wears thin. I suffer from it dreadfully, I know when it’s happening, because I become very focused on feeding my stomach, even at the expense of the feelings of my nearest and dearest loved ones. In our gospel reading today, we see a crowd pursuing Jesus not out of deep longing for spiritual enlightenment, but because their physical hunger was driving them to seek the one who had been known to miraculously feed the thousands. However, Jesus recognises that there is a deeper hunger within them and all of us, a desire for something more than just physical satisfaction.

The people in the Gospel reading followed Jesus to meet their basic needs, they were a starving people looking for sustenance. Today, people find themselves drawn to Jesus for varied reasons. Some are attracted to the sense of community and belonging found in Christian circles, while others may turn to the message of Jesus during tough times for comfort and guidance. For many, the moral principles taught by Jesus offer a compelling framework for navigating life’s challenges. Ultimately, regardless of one’s belief background, the life and teachings of Jesus have the potential to strike a chord with us and offer valuable insights into living a fulfilling and purposeful life.

Jesus challenged his seekers to consider what truly matters. It’s not merely about what Jesus could do for them in the here and now, but rather what lasts forever. Similarly, let us reflect on our motives and shift our focus from seeking personal satisfaction to discovering spiritual fulfilment in Jesus. What motivates you about Jesus? Are you seeking him for immediate gratification or lasting fulfilment? What would redirecting your focus from ‘what Jesus can do for me’ to ‘who Jesus is’ look like?

When the crowd respond to Jesus, they ask him about the works required by God. Jesus redirects their focus from earning to believing because it’s not about striving to win God’s favour through good deeds, holy living, or even being particularly religious, but about having faith in the one whom God has sent, namely Jesus. God is not a heavenly ‘clerk of works’ inspecting the quality of our lives to make sure they fulfil a divinely ordained criterion. Instead, God is ‘Our Father in Heaven’ (Matthew 6:9), who longs to have a loving relationship with his children. So, Jesus opens the way to that eternal family union and all the blissful benefits and radical responsibilities that come with it, by pointing to himself. If you want to know God, you’ve got to have faith in Jesus. This is something that goes beyond mere intellectual assent; it involves surrendering control of our lives to Jesus and trusting him completely. If you want spiritual enlightenment you’ve got to lose control to Jesus. Imagine living in a trusting relationship with him, allowing him to guide you through your life. How does that feel to you?

The crowd asks Jesus for a sign, they want him to prove his words are true by showing them some divine power, even though in the same chapter we read he has already fed 5000 plus people. They want to taste ‘manna,’ the heavenly bread that God provided their ancestors with during their wilderness wanderings before entering the promised land. Nevertheless, God is doing something new, instead of sending manna from heaven, he sends Jesus, God the Son, from heaven. So, Jesus declares himself as the ‘true bread from heaven,’ offering eternal life to all who believe in him. In saying this Jesus promises to satisfy our deepest desires, the ones that go beyond the physical and material, and offers us eternal fulfilment, not something that starts when we die, but life now. Jesus said, ‘I came so everyone would have life, and have it fully’ (John 10:10).

What are you hungry for in life, where are you looking for fulfilment? Will you taste Jesus the Bread of Life and learn to trust and follow Him?


Welcome to The College of Preachers

To explore the website fully, please sign in or subscribe.

Non-subscribers can read up to three articles a month for free. (You will need to register.)

This is the last of your 1 free articles this month.
Subscribe today for the full range of resources from The College of Preachers, including Lectionary sermons for every Sunday, book reviews and more.