In today’s passage, we look at Jesus’ challenge to live for bread that doesn’t spoil. Jesus calls his followers a life of rejecting consumption for its own sake. Instead, he proposes eternal life as an alternative. Eternal life is participation in the life of God. As Father Son and Spirit love and submit to each other, so we are invited to love and submit to God. A life like this becomes a life of sacrificial service when it encounters a lost and broken world. So as we follow Jesus’ example of service to others, our prize becomes a loving relationship with God, not more stuff.
But this isn’t necessarily the life we want. We’d prefer a life like the one we have now, only better. Instead of eternal life we want earthly life plus. This is life with more health, wealth and prosperity. But Jesus knows these things easily become idols in our lives. He knows they can distract us from pursuing God. And he knows that they lead to a life of anxious consumption, not of satisfaction and transcendent meaning. So he doesn’t offer us this sort of life. Instead, he asks us to trust him. He asks us to believe that this life of giving is actually where we can find peace, belonging and satisfaction. Jesus calls us to a posture of rejecting consumption so we can be open to God.
QUESTIONS FOR DISCUSSION
- What sorts of things do people use to find meaning in our culture? Do they work as advertised?
- What does it look like to believe in Jesus?
- Why was the crowd not interested in Jesus’ offer of eternal life?
- What sorts of things could we do to help others if we required less ‘stuff’ to get by?
MORE SERMONS IN THIS SERIES