Sitting with the Shepherd
The Jews then complained about Him, because He said, "I am the bread which came down from heaven." And they said, "Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How is it then that He says, 'I have come down from heaven'?" Jesus therefore answered and said to them, "Do not murmur among yourselves. No one can come to Me unless the Father who sent Me draws him; and I will raise him up at the last day. (John 6:41-44 NKJV)
There was a time in my life before I knew Christ when I thought that a lot that happened in my life was merely coincidence. My purpose in life was to figure out how to link all of those coincidences together facing them the best that I could and somehow making sense of them all. Since coming to know God and understanding more about His universe, I have learned that my life is mapped out by Him, and that there is no coincidence. That being the case, I can walk through life with Him and understand His purposes.
The God of the universe created us in His image and as our Father desires to have us live in relationship with Him. He has been watching over us since we were formed in our mother's womb and will continue to be with us into eternity. When the Jews were His chosen people and He saw them wandering in the wilderness, He sent a cloud by day and a pillar of fire by night to guide their path on a daily basis. He was cognizant of the fact that they would get hungry, and so He provided sustenance in the form of manna every day. Not only were they nourished physically but they learned of His faithfulness in not missing one day the whole time that they were in the wilderness.
In today's passage the religious leaders were questioning Jesus about just who He was and where He came from. Because of their doubts concerning His true identity, they were caught murmuring among themselves. Jesus identified Himself as the "Bread of Life" that came down from heaven from the Father to make provision for our lives. Just as we have guidance through His indwelling Holy Spirit on a daily basis, so we have the person of Jesus Christ as our provision from God to satisfy our hunger. All of this originates from a Sovereign God who as a loving Father loves His children and is faithful to provide for them. But like the Jews of old, some of us are prone to question, wander and at times even murmur. So God Himself must draw us to Jesus. And when our earthly journey is over, Jesus promises to take us home to live with Him. Truly there is no coincidence in that!
"Let not your heart be troubled; you believe in God, believe also in Me. In My Father's house are many mansions; if it were not so, I would have told you. I go to prepare a place for you. And if I go and prepare a place for you, I will come again and receive you to Myself; that where I am, there you may be also." (John 14:1-3 NKJV)
Questions for Personal Reflection or Discussion
1. What is the significance of knowing that there are no coincidences, but rather all happens for a reason?
2. How is Jesus Christ likened to the manna that God supplied faithfully to His children in the wilderness?
3. In what way can you more fully partake of the Bread of Life today?
My Father in heaven my God, You have created me and day by day You make provision for my life in the Person of Jesus Christ. Thank You that I never have to worry about anything that happens in this life to ma as being a coincidence, but know that it is part of Your plan. Thank You that when this earthly life is over I am coming Home with Jesus to be with You. Amen