Expo 2015

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People Are Hungry. What Can We Do?

Many years ago a very well-known leader was made aware that those who had come to hear him were hungry. He was a man of great compassion, so he asked his disciples to feed this enormous crowd of over 5,000 people. The only remedy they could think of was to send them all home, for they had only a little money, five loaves of bread, and two fish.

Jesus, instead, prayed and started dividing the little food they had, and it fed the whole group. There was even food left over!

The needs around the world today are great. Even though they cannot miraculously produce food, it would be wonderful if world leaders had this kind of compassion. But surely they could do more!
Jesus was a unique man. The Gospel affirms that not only was he a perfect man, but he was also God. The people he had fed wanted to make him their king. What better choice could they make? Here was a man who could provide for all their needs and even their dreams.

Jesus surprised them by removing himself from the crowd. He knew that he had come to earth to satisfy much greater needs. The people did not understand! Was there something more important than providing for the physical needs of people? They wanted nothing more.

Even today, for many, believing there might be something more important than providing for the needy around the world is not only incomprehensible, but also outrageous. People need food, water, and shelter; all else is just empty words.

Jesus, after feeding the crowd, stated: “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life”… (Gospel of John 6:23). There is indeed something more important than daily food! There is something far more crucial and urgent: the eternal destiny of men and women! The crowds were concerned only about their physical needs. Jesus wanted to provide much, much more.

He said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” (Gospel of John 6:35) Physical thirst and hunger pale in light of eternal, spiritual needs.

Think about it: even if someone fed the whole world every day and provided for everyone’s needs, people would still eventually die. And then what? Our greatest problem is still our eternal destiny.

Jesus had come to earth with a specific mission. After living a perfect, sinless life, he would die on a cross for people like you and me, who have committed many sins. The Bible, God’s Word, affirms that our sin condemns us to judgment and eternal punishment. “For the wages of sin is death, but the free gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord”. (Romans 6:23)

Many, when they hear the word “sin”, are offended, for we tend to justify or minimize our sins. We compare ourselves to others and conclude, many times rightly so, that they behave far worse than we do. The problem is that for God, no sins are acceptable, even the ones we consider insignificant. They all offend a Holy God.

Unless you and I realize that our greatest problem is our sin, we will never go to Jesus to receive the gift of eternal life. We will continue to work only to meet the immediate needs we see around us. While that is not wrong in itself, the fact remains that we will surely die and will have to face the righteous judgment of God upon our sin.

Jesus stated that the solution to our sin problem is not found in a religion or in good works, but in repenting of our sin and trusting in Him alone for our salvation. He said: “I am the way, and the truth, and the life. No one comes to the Father except through me”. (Gospel of John 14:6)

What did the majority of the people do, even though they had just witnessed a miracle? They left unhappy and disgruntled. Our invitation for you is to find out more about Jesus and what it really means to believe in Him. He is the bread of life!

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