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. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.” John 6:26-27
A few years ago, a woman invested her life savings in a business enterprise elaborately sold to her by a swindler. With her investment gone and her dream shattered, she went to the office of the Better Business Bureau. “Why on earth,” they asked, “didn’t you come to us first? Didn’t you know about the Better Business Bureau?” “Yes,” said the lady most sadly. But I didn’t come because I was afraid you would probably tell me not to give them my money.”
We all feel sorry for her and her loss. Yet she provides us with a good example of how humanity operates in its dealings with the Lord. Most people know that God is out there. They have a general idea that the Lord has some good advice about how they should live their lives. Maybe they even think He knows how they can be saved. In spite of such knowledge, they still want to do things their way.
That was the sin of our original ancestors in the Garden of Eden. The Lord had given them instructions, but they wanted to do things their way. “We know better” is what they told themselves, and they paid the price. After Jesus fed thousands with a few loaves and fishes, the disciples were impressed. But they followed Him as a provider of earthly wants, rather than spiritual necessities. Jesus said very clearly, “Seek first [My] kingdom and [My] righteousness, and all these things will be given to you as well” (Matthew 6:33).
But people still think they know better. They want to do things their way, creating God in their image. The Bible tells us, and a look at human nature shows us, that the sin of knowing better than God has been repeated again and again. Some believe that if you say a prayer a certain way God will be compelled to give you wealth and health, riches and rewards beyond your imagining. If getting “the goods” of life is your motivation when you go to Jesus, think again. He who left heaven’s high throne to be one of us, to redeem us, knows what is best for us. Listen to Him; believe on Him. He has the answers that you need for this world and the next.
Excerpt from The Lutheran Hour sermon preached on August 24, 2003
The Prayer: Dear Lord, teach me how to come directly to You and follow the divine path You have chosen for me. In Jesus' Name. Amen.