John 6:27, Matthew 6:20
Our Bible reading today is taken from John Chapter 6 we’ll hear verse 27. And this follows right after Jesus had fed 5000 people with very little food. He says,
Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. (John 6:27)
We sometimes talk about a shelf life that everything has a certain shelf life. We certainly use that when it comes to food and we have expiration dates stamped on milk and bread and everything. Sometimes it’ll last a little bit longer than that expiration date, but a time will finally come when that food will sort of decay and fade away.
Wouldn’t it be interesting if we could have an actual expiration date on everything that there is in the world? Not just food like apples and bananas, but let’s say on your shirt that on the shirt imagine that there was an actual date on the shirt of the last day you’d be able to wear it before it wears out. Or your car. Imagine if your car came with a sticker of the exact last mile that would happen on the odometer before it finally kills. Or maybe on your house? Or what about even on your body? Imagine if tattooed on your arm was a small date and even a minute of the exact final minute that you would be alive in this world.
Now we know that even our graves are not permanent in this world. One of the men in Egypt that’s responsible for the preservation of the pyramids, which are about 5000 years old, estimates that in about 200 years even the pyramids may start to badly deteriorate because of tourists and thieves. Think of that. Even the wealthiest people in history building the strongest possible things they could build for their bodies, even they could not ensure that their graves would last.
That’s how passing everything is in this world. Even our own bodies. So Jesus is using the image of bread and how bread molds and rots as a way for us to think differently about the things of this life. If you seek to find your happiness and your contentment in life, your satisfaction in life, or let’s say your meaning in life, if you seek to find that in your money, or in your fame, or goods, or the things that you can get in this world, then Jesus is telling us you will ultimately have a growling stomach.
A time will come when that food will not last. If it’s not now or a little bit later in life for sure on the final day that will not last. Now think of all the things that Jesus could have come into the world to get for you. To purchase for you. To be able to provide for you, but none of the material or earthly things were worth his mission to come down into this world. But to get you out of your grave, to have your sins paid for, to have you someday enjoy eternal life in heaven with his angels. That was worth his trip. That was worth his great mission to come and rescue you.
So Jesus now invites you, invites all of us, through His Word to eat this heavenly bread that lasts forever. He says
Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.
Another place he said
Store up for yourselves treasures in heaven where moth and rust do not destroy and where thieves do not break in and steal. (Matthew 6:20)
May God give us hearts of faith to look for the blessings that really last that our Lord Jesus has come to give us. Amen.