What would happen if all our prayers were answered in one go, suddenly, just like that? We would be overwhelmed with gratitude with the One who made it possible and spontaneously worship Him. There is no doubt in my mind that this is a natural response to greatness and miraculous deeds, just like the crowds in John 6:14-15.
They wanted to crown Him king. He gave them what they needed. They could see the spectacular course of their lives, ending well with no worry or fear. If they could just keep this Jesus on hand to provide, to create, to heal and to bless, their lives could be lived in the most luxurious manner possible – a life without fear, a life of provision and protection, an abundant life, a life of excellence. How were they going to keep Him close?
Do you also think this would be a good life? Jesus with us always, answering prayer, providing, protecting, healing and being present in every detail of every struggle. Does this not sound familiar? Is it not the foundation of the ordinary Christian life?
Then you will agree with my statement.
All our prayers are answered, once and for all, for all time. The promise of provision, protection, healing, and blessing stands written in the blood of Calvary over every life that has chosen to submit to God, through His beloved Son. We have it all!
Just a few, by far not all, remarks to support my statement (all discussed in previous Pebbles).
All our prayers are answered – Revelation 5:8, Matthew 7:7,8.
A life of excellence guaranteed – Jude 24.
We are protected – Psalm 91 and 121.
Provision for all things – Hebrew 13:5-7 Amplified, Malachi 3:10-12.
We are healed – Isaiah 53:4,5, Psalm 103:3.
Now you will immediately ask why so many Christians do not live this outwardly superior life of distinction.
Let us dig deeper into John 6.
Jesus withdraws from the euphoria of the crowd. He will never mislead them to promise superficial, instant answers. He promised a LIFE of abundance. It implies a deep change in thinking, attitude and vision. He will always communicate the cost of following Him.
The nature of a mob in a situation like this can be summed up as: “a lively sense of favours still to come.”
Would they be willing to sacrifice, to get rid of their worldly baggage, to forgive and love unconditionally? Are you willing to live the full extent of the Christian life – or do you just want Jesus added to enable your idea of a good life? Do you want God for what you can get out of Him – to use Him for your own purposes, to reach your own goals?
Your Messiah may be so unrecognizable in your life as Jesus was to the Jews of the time. Do you only want to get rid of the Romans as rulers so that you can rule, or do you think of your generational legacy? Godly lives change our world through our children as well as our community, our territory, our “tent”.
THINK – where are you now? What brought you to this place? Make the declaration: This is my best life now!
WHY? You have never known so much about the Lord as right now. That is ALL that matters. Submit all circumstances to your knowledge of Jesus and His character.
There is no room in love for fear. Well-formed love banishes fear. Since fear is crippling, a fearful life—fear of death, fear of judgment—is one not yet fully formed in love. (1 John 4:18)
Where will you be with the gifts and no cross? What are the gifts without the cross?
Reading further (6:16-21) we have to see that this account is not just the story of a miracle. It is a peep into the character of Jesus.
The crowd wants to crown Jesus; He slips away and stays away to disperse the crowds. The disciples set sail for Capernaum to meet up with Him again. He sent them on (Mark 6:45).
The Sea of Galilee is a landlocked lake and the wind moves though a trough towards the lake. It was about six kilometers rowing and they were probably hugging the coast for shelter.
The beauty of the story is that Jesus was busy with the people and still He had not forgotten His disciples. He was very much aware of the storm. Life is lived with the loving eye of Jesus on us. He is there when our strength fails.
He always helps – we are never left alone to see how we cope.
He is in the midst of the fiercest storm – ready with a miracle.
Let us read on. (6:22-27)
The people lingered. They were in awe of the miracle and wanted more. They were surprised at His presence on the other side of the lake and could not work out how He crossed.
He does not explain Himself. To understand God and exactly how He does things, is not the key to faith and miracles. He acts without explaining. Dr Paul Tournier puts it this way: God works, God disciplines without stopping to explain…and the adventure continues.
He talks about their lives and the way they need to discern the more important things.
Do not think with your stomach? You need to think with your soul. Think upon the Bread of Life.
It is the man with vision into the heavenly that is truly alive. Earthly perspective brings shortsighted living. (Isaiah 55:2)
The excesses of the Roman Empire were rife at this time. Meals cost thousands and sometimes millions of denarii. The people feasted for days, taking medicine to vomit to be able to eat more, eating pearls soaked in vinegar, nightingale tongues, and peacock brains. The clothes were embroidered with gemstones and spaces decorated with the best the Empire could offer. There was a deep hunger in society for satisfaction, which the best of the best could never satisfy.
Jesus alone can only satisfy the hunger for truth. He is the only One in the history of mankind who said: I am the TRUTH.
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.” (John 6:27)
A seal was more than a signature. It was authenticity. It made a document valid and guaranteed the contents of commercial goods.
The seal of God is written with three letters in Hebrew – aleph the first, min, the middle and tau the last. The truth of God is the beginning, middle and end of life.
God’s truth can truly satisfy the hunger of the soul, which he created.
For the Jews the work of God was synonymous with “good” works, to earn God’s favour. (6:28-29) Jesus says: God’s work is to believe in Him, Jesus. Work for God can only be measured in faith. Jesus is the face of God. True fellowship is the work of God.
Our lives change in the Presence of the Father. No work on our part can change our inner beings. We respond to God’s holiness, love and wisdom.
The essence of God’s work is changed lives.
Can we close by coming back to answered prayer? All our prayers are answered. Can you trust God for the timing? As we count days in calendar time [chronos], He sees your life in the fullness of time [kairos].
The Lord is my best friend and my shepherd
I always have more than enough.
(Psalm 23 in The Passion Translation)