The lessons of miracles and signs

The lessons of miracles and signs

John 6:25-34

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “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. 27 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.” 28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?” 29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”

  • If you have received a blessing, a gift, an opportunity, an answer to prayer, it is possible that you become so fixated with it that you miss what is hidden behind that blessing.
  • Don’t marvel what you see but search for what is behind it. What is unseen is often the real blessing what God wants to give you.
  • The blessing will often fade but what is behind it will remain if discovered.

These are the lessons of miracles and signs.

So let’s unpack this conversation Jesus was having:

V26 The sign lies within the miracle. Within the work of Jesus (the feeding of the 5,000) is the identity of Jesus.

V27 If you miss the sign within the miracle (the identity within the work) it is like receiving your salary with imperishable food (in their culture as today in many nations people are paid not just with money). However if you receive the sign, his identity, then the opposite is true, your wages are food that never perishes (eternal).

V28 They definitely want the end result. They want the imperishable, the eternal food. But they miss the point. It is seen in their question and the thought that a person doesn’t receive anything without working for it. What must we do to do that work?

V29 Again the answer lies within. The work is to believe not only in God, that was a given, they had received that, steeped in their culture, but to believe in the one (Jesus) whom God has sent.

V30 Incredulously, having already eaten the miraculous bread, they ask for proof. They want him to do something again. They ask for a sign. They are wanting to see what is hidden behind him, who Jesus is, they see the miracles, but they cannot see the signs. How fickle! They had just wanted to make him king. But of course this is proof it would have been an earthly king. They wanted to use him for their benefit. They again compare Jesus with Moses and the stories of old.

V31-33 Jesus points out their ancestors did not follow Moses (the miracle-worker) but God (the sign). The manna (the miracles) was actually the bread of God (the sign). Therefore, complain and reject the manna and you grumble and walk away from God.

V34 Wanting the sign (the bread of God) may be applaudable if the motive had been correct! And we will see over the coming days nothing could be further from the truth as Jesus presses into their motives.

Look around you today. Look at all the things you have been blessed with. Maybe even in the last few days.

  • What are the hidden treasures within this outer blessing?
  • What does God want you to learn and discover and develop, keep looking?
  • We often say ‘what is God teaching me?’ when we go through the trials of life but there is a lesson in every blessing. What good is the miracle if we don’t see the sign pointing to Jesus? What good is the sign if it doesn’t lead us to kneel in awe of Him and to discover more of who He is?

These are the lessons of miracles and signs.

 

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