Lately, I’ve been working on reading the entire New Testament, beginning to end, for the very first time. It is astounding to me now that I have claimed to be a Christian my entire life without ever fully reading His words in the order He put them in.
Isn’t this the case for so many of us? We like picking and plucking and choosing our favorite verses from here and there, but simply reading it how we read any other book? For some reason, not so much, despite the fact that’s what it really is; a story that has an order, a flow, a beginning, middle, and end, a plot, a purpose and place for every single word. And rather than soaking up some of those words, we should soak up all of them. I’m preaching to myself here too.
Anyways, there’s my rant for the day, but what I really want to write about isn’t how to read the Bible, but one lesson from it that stood out to me in a huge way.
In the book of John, after Jesus fed 5,000 people by multiplying five small loaves of bread and two small fish, he withdrew from the crowd of people because he knew they were going to try to make him king by force. The next day, all of these people were looking for Jesus, and when they found him, he told them, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
The moment I read this passage, a simple yet profound question came to mind:
Why do I want to find Jesus?
Is it just because He will provide for my fleshly needs?
Is it just because I want Him to make this earthly life comfortable and satisfying for me?
Or is it for the sole reason of Him being my way to heaven?
Is it because He loved me enough to give me something so much better than anything that’s here on earth?
Through these verses, I am reminded of a popular song on the Christian radio that sings, “I have a good life. I love a great wife. Our kids are beautiful. We’ve got friends down the street. If I’m so thankful, why do I easily forget that you died for all of this?”
I’ve always somewhat disagreed with the message brought by those lyrics, but hearing Jesus’ words above makes my resolve even stronger.
Jesus didn’t die so you could have an awesome spouse. He didn’t die so you could have any other form of earthly relationship, or any other form of earthly enjoyment. He didn’t even die so you could have a good life. Jesus died for one reason and one reason only.
So you could have the chance to live in heaven forever with Him.
That’s it! That’s all! And that should be enough; that should be so much more than enough.
Why do you want to find Jesus?