John 6:26 – Jesus answered, "I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill." (NIV)
I never owned a bicycle when I was of middle school age. I had demolished one when I was seven years old, so my dad wouldn't buy me a new one. I always envied the freedom that some of my friends had, going away for a day on their bikes or even just riding to the local park. Then one day, a new kid came to our street, and he had the best bike I had ever seen.
Martin was two years younger than I, but we quickly became best friends. Pretty soon, I was riding his new bike all over the place. Then one day I went to his door to ask if he was coming out to play. His mom looked me straight in the eyes and said, "John, you don't come over here to play with Martin. You just want his bike. He's got other friends now, and they have their own bikes."
She saw right through me, and I headed home, absolutely gutted and thoroughly shamefaced.
When the people came looking for Jesus, it wasn't Him they were after. They just wanted more freebies, more miracles, and more bread. He saw right through them, so He challenged them. He confronted their greed by clarifying their need.
"Do not work for food that spoils," He said, "but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you." (John 6:27 NIV) In other words, they needed — just as we still do today — to be spiritually nourished and soulfully fed by the words and ways of God, through Jesus Himself.
Prayer: Lord Jesus, You know us completely, and we cannot hide our motives from You. Help us to approach You sincerely with our prayers and petitions, our requests and reasons for asking You to help us and heal us, to guide us and guard us, to lead us and love us. In Your holy name, we pray. Amen.