The Momma Bear
On the outside I might seem meek and mild, but if you mess with my kids…well, I become The Momma Bear. They still tease me about coming unglued at Disneyworld several years ago. We met up with some close friends of our older son. To pass the time while waiting in one of those long lines, the guys began splashing water from the fountain. In all the hoopla, a little girl behind us fell down. (For the record, she wasn’t hurt). Thinking our son to be the culprit, the dad exploded. Cursing loudly and swinging his arms, he looked like he was about to attack my boy. Before I knew it what I was doing, this meek and mild mom got right in this man’s face. I boldly commanded him to stop swearing and to back off. Everyone around us was stunned. Even me.
I get embarrassed every time they tell this story. Who was that woman? I showed another side of who I was that day. A side that seldom showed its face unless you try to hurt my babies.
It might be a poor analogy, but there are also many facets to the character of Jesus Christ. The gentle Savior turned the tables in the temple, cracking a whip in righteous indignation. It’s interesting that the Lamb of God is also called the Lion of Judah. When we first believe in Jesus, we know Him as Savior. As we grow spiritually, we begin to see Him as much more. He becomes our Healer when we’re sick. Our Guide when faced with indecision. Our Helper when disappointments come. Jesus is the Great I Am. Whatever circumstance we face, Jesus is everything we need. We learn more of who Jesus is by applying the Word of God to our life experiences.
Read John 6:1-13, 26-35 excerpts
Jesus crossed to the far shore of the Sea of Galilee and a great crowd of people followed him because they saw the miraculous signs he had performed on the sick…When Jesus looked up and saw a great crowd coming toward him, he said to Philip, “Where shall we buy bread for these people to eat?” He asked this only to test him for he already had in mind what he was going to do…Here is a boy with five small barley loaves and two small fish, but how far will they go among so many?” Jesus took the loaves, gave thanks, and distributed to those who were seated as much as they wanted. He did the same with the fish…After the people saw the miraculous sign that Jesus did, they began to say, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” Jesus, knowing that they intended to come and make him king by force, withdrew again to a mountain by himself.
(The next day) When the people found him n the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here? Jesus answered, “I tell ou 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…They asked him, “What must we to to do the work God requires?” Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.” So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? Our forefathers ate manna in the desert; as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”
Jesus said to them, I tell you the truth, 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. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.”
Questions to Consider:
1. For what reason would Jesus want to feed the hungry crowd following Him?
2. After the people got their fill, who did they say Jesus was? Why did this make him withdraw from the people?
3. To what does Jesus relate physical bread, and what did He say they should and should not work for?
4. How does Jesus describe the “work of God”?
5. What is the first self-description of Jesus in this passage? What does that mean to you personally?
Feeding our soul is just as important as feeding our body. People often followed Jesus just to witness a miracle. Jesus fed over 5,000 people from a little boy’s lunch to show them their need for spiritual food. The people thought only in terms of their physical needs. They missed the point that eternal life could not be achieved by works but was a gift from the Father. God’s Word is food for our soul. Jesus declared, “I am the Bread of Life.” Do you believe in the One the Father has sent? You’ll never go hungry if you do.