Americans eat out a lot. Whether it is a hamburger at a fast food place, or a fancy restaurant for a special occasion. We find it very convenient to let someone else do the cooking. If a new place opens, the word get around and people want to try it out. Well, the people in Jesus’ day though they had a good deal when He fed a whole crowd with just a boy’s small lunch. Here was one who could end all their worries, and provide all their needs. Unfortunately, they completely misunderstood His purpose. He told them, “Do not work for the food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life.”(John 6:27) He was offering something far better than a series of meal tickets. He was showing them a way of life that would give them cleansing from sin, strength for life, and a joy and peace that would last for eternity. We enjoy trying our different restaurants, but we are also reminded of this lesson to seek first the things that are truly lasting – those things we find only in our Lord Jesus.
How many Bible do you have in your house? I can count at least 20. Four of them are on my desk. I know, I’m the Preacher. I’m supposed to have them, but even so, I suspect you also have multiple copies. There are places in this world where Bible are very scarce. Perhaps one to a community of believers. We’ve heard accounts where Bible pages are torn out, and passed around so each person has a chance to share the Word. In such places God’s Word becomes very precious. One looks forward to receiving the next pages, even memorizing large portions. The problem with our multiplicity of Bible in our busy, affluent culture is that we know the Bible is always there. We can pick it up any time we want, but we are busy, distracted by many things. It is too easy to put it off. This is why foreign people who have very little, often teach us a great deal about the true values of life. God’s Word is food for life. Food that we all need.
Scripture uses a lot of different images to convey God’s truth, especially agrarian ones. Paul writes in Galatians, “A man reaps what he sows. The one who sows to please his sinful nature, from that nature will reap destruction; the one who sows to please the Spirit, from the Spirit will reap eternal life.”(6:8) Like this, Jesus told the parable about two kinds of seed being sown in a field, good seed, and weeds. (Matthew 13:24f) We have our salvation by the pure grace of God through our faith in Jesus Christ, but our growth comes by sowing good seed. That seed is God’s Word, and our hunger for a deeper understanding of who our gracious God is. And like our need to eat regularly, so we have the real need to be fed spiritually every day. Scripture, prayer, and worship are our daily food. We use a variety of images, but the same truth remains. As we sow to the Spirit we reap eternal life.