By Scott Riggan
Ever been hungry? I mean, really hungry? Stomach-rumbling hungry? You know what doesn’t help at all when you’re hungry? Talking about food.
The idea of food does nothing to satisfy your hunger. Thinking about food and talking about it (or, say, binging episodes of “The Great British Baking Show”) really just makes it worse.
So what does help? Pretty obvious, right? The way to stop your hunger is … to just eat something.
In John’s Gospel, chapter 6, Jesus’ ministry is starting to gain traction and His teachings – and especially His miracles – are getting attention. Suddenly He has lots of new fans.
At the beginning of the chapter, He’s just miraculously fed the 5,000 and now people have begun following Him everywhere. Asking Him for more signs and wonders: “More bread, please!”
Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:32 ESV). Jesus’ fans were asking for more miracles, more free lunch, but what Jesus tells them is, “No, what you need is ME.”
I believe that we are all hardwired with a deep need for relationship with God; that we all experience a kind of hunger that can only be satisfied by the Bread of Life. With this deep instinct at work in us, we look for fulfillment in all of the obvious places: material possessions, entertainment, relationships, physical pleasure, spiritual enlightenment, etc. Many of us spend our entire lives working our way through an exhaustive but largely unconscious list in the search for what’s missing.
C.S. Lewis wisely observed that, “Human history is the long, terrible story of man trying to find something other than God which will make him happy.”
When Jesus says that He’s the Bread of Life, He’s telling us that all of the hunger that we experience as human beings – all of our need and desire and longing – find ultimate fulfillment only in Him. Jesus was never interested in making fans. Followers, yes. Disciples, certainly. But not admirers who stand at a distance and applaud. How many of us have spent years talking and thinking about the Bread of Life – all the while failing to really partake?
Remember: the idea of food does nothing to satisfy your hunger. Talking about Jesus, singing about Him, reading magazine articles about Him – these things are all well and good. But they are no substitute for partaking of a relationship with Him.
Scott Riggan is a singer/songwriter from Emmett, Idaho. His brand-new collection of songs is called Bright Hope. To find out more and to hear his music, visit www.scottriggan.com.