HAVE I COME AND BELIEVED?
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 6:35
Jesus uses the concepts of coming and believing often when He speaks of the new birth. Here, He ties it to two other concepts so that I don’t miss the message. Coming and believing is like eating and drinking.
- One day, a culinary expert sat at a table laden with food. It looked like a feast and the presentation of the food was exemplary. She spent some time walking around the table, inspecting the many different dishes that were being offered. She waved her hand over the dishes that were steaming in order to take in their aroma. She tried to imagine how they might taste. Though the fragrances of the herbs gave her a hint, she couldn’t be sure until she tasted. At another point, she tore off a corner of a fresh loaf of multi-grain bread in order to feel its consistency. “Ah yes, crunchy on the outside, moist on the inside.” Her experience with the food was that of an inspector. She came, she smelled it, even felt it, but never ate of it. When she left, she did write a beautiful article about it but, ironically, her stomach was empty.
- One day, a young lady received an invitation from a young man who lived nearby to come and enjoy a beautiful summer’s evening on his porch swing. She was fond of him and quickly accepted. He sought a relationship with her but his desire was not reciprocated. She was simply bored and didn’t want to pass another evening at home. So, for an evening, they made polite conversation. He invested his heart and spoke to her with words that revealed his deep affection. She also did a lot of talking, but from a distance. She wanted to talk politics, probe his background, and even discuss the beautiful porch swing they were sitting on. (He had made it himself.) She learned a lot about him that evening but did not experience him nor form a relationship with him. To do that would have meant abandoning the role of ‘interviewer’. Though he loved her, she could not say that her heart was his.
To come to Jesus, and to believe on Jesus, means that I abandon intellectual pursuit of Him and eat/drink of Him. I take Him in and invest a heart response to His heartfelt invitation. Nicodemus came inquisitively. He had a most enlightening conversation with Jesus, but he left empty. For most of my life, I was troubled by the number of people who seemed to know so much about the Bible but didn’t speak of Jesus in a way that revealed passionate, firsthand experience. Can I be a Bible scholar yet have no relationship? Tragically, yes.
Today, I study the scriptures and it is love driven. If I gain information, it is only a byproduct of coming to dine. Faith is built while looking in the face of Christ.
How many times growing up did I miss the essence of the supper You instituted? “Drink this cup, eat this bread.” And it was even called “communion.” Now I know. Amen
Journal Question: It is not God’s desire that any of His true children doubt their faith. But it is His desire that no one be fooled into thinking that knowledge of Him means relationship. Make sure, today, that you have given Him your heart, soul, and mind.