Is it sincere? Is it true? Is it love? Is it friendship? Is it relationship? Is it stuff? Is it they want something from you? Is it greed? Is it hope? Do you know what it is? Is it healthy? Is it real? Is it something that will last? Is it something that is temporary? Will it continue? Will it stop?
Today’s readings starts with Jesus speaking the truth to those who were following after Him, who were interested in Him just because of the miracle and the food that filled them up…
Jesus the Bread of Life
25When the people found Jesus on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Teacher, when did you get here?” 26Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my miracles. 27Do not work for food that spoils; instead, work for the food that lasts for eternal life. This is the food which the Son of Man will give you, because God, the Father, has put his mark of approval on him.”
28So they asked him, “What can we do in order to do what God wants us to do?” 29Jesus answered, “What God wants you to do is to believe in the one he sent.” 30They replied, “What miracle will you perform so that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, just as the scripture says, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32“I am telling you the truth,” Jesus said. “What Moses gave you was not the bread from heaven; it is my Father who gives you the real bread from heaven. 33For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they asked him, “give us this bread always.” 35“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty. 36Now, I told you that you have seen me but will not believe. 37Everyone whom my Father gives me will come to me. I will never turn away anyone who comes to me, 38because I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me. 39And it is the will of him who sent me that I should not lose any of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them all to life on the last day. 40For what my Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them to life on the last day.”
41The people started grumbling about him, because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42So they said, “This man is Jesus son of Joseph, isn’t he? We know his father and mother. How, then, does he now say he came down from heaven?” 43Jesus answered, “Stop grumbling among yourselves. 44People cannot come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me; and I will raise them to life on the last day. 45 The prophets wrote, ‘Everyone will be taught by God.’ Anyone who hears the Father and learns from him comes to me. 46This does not mean that anyone has seen the Father; he who is from God is the only one who has seen the Father. 47I am telling you the truth: he who believes has eternal life. 48I am the bread of life. 49Your ancestors ate manna in the desert, but they died. 50But the bread that comes down from heaven is of such a kind that whoever eats it will not die. 51I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If you eat this bread, you will live forever. The bread that I will give you is my flesh, which I give so that the world may live.”
52This started an angry argument among them. “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?” they asked. 53Jesus said to them, “I am telling you the truth: if you do not eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you will not have life in yourselves. 54Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them to life on the last day. 55For my flesh is the real food; my blood is the real drink. 56Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood live in me, and I live in them. 57The living Father sent me, and because of him I live also. In the same way whoever eats me will live because of me. 58This, then, is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the bread that your ancestors ate, but then later died. Those who eat this bread will live forever.” 59Jesus said this as he taught in the synagogue in Capernaum.
–from John 6
What do you believe? What do you put your trust in? Will it last? Will it endure? Is it for real? Don’t put your trust in something that will fade away and disappear! Put your trust in something that will last forever and never be able to be taken away! Look for something that will last! Put your hope and trust and belief in Jesus! God is Love! God so loved the world that He didn’t just send Jesus to visit, He sent Jesus to give His all so that we can be reconciled back unto God for eternity!
Let’s do what is right! There is right and wrong! You may be threatened for doing or considering to do what is right! But let’s glorify God by doing what is right in His eyes!
Suffering for Doing Right
8To conclude: you must all have the same attitude and the same feelings; love one another, and be kind and humble with one another. 9Do not pay back evil with evil or cursing with cursing; instead, pay back with a blessing, because a blessing is what God promised to give you when he called you. 10As the scripture says, “If you want to enjoy life and wish to see good times, you must keep from speaking evil and stop telling lies. 11You must turn away from evil and do good; you must strive for peace with all your heart. 12For the Lord watches over the righteous and listens to their prayers; but he opposes those who do evil.” 13Who will harm you if you are eager to do what is good? 14But even if you should suffer for doing what is right, how happy you are! Do not be afraid of anyone, and do not worry. 15But have reverence for Christ in your hearts, and honor him as Lord. Be ready at all times to answer anyone who asks you to explain the hope you have in you, 16but do it with gentleness and respect. Keep your conscience clear, so that when you are insulted, those who speak evil of your good conduct as followers of Christ will become ashamed of what they say. 17For it is better to suffer for doing good, if this should be God’s will, than for doing evil. 18For Christ died for sins once and for all, a good man on behalf of sinners, in order to lead you to God. He was put to death physically, but made alive spiritually, 19and in his spiritual existence he went and preached to the imprisoned spirits. 20These were the spirits of those who had not obeyed God when he waited patiently during the days that Noah was building his boat. The few people in the boat—eight in all—were saved by the water, 21which was a symbol pointing to baptism, which now saves you. It is not the washing off of bodily dirt, but the promise made to God from a good conscience. It saves you through the resurrection of Jesus Christ, 22who has gone to heaven and is at the right side of God, ruling over all angels and heavenly authorities and powers.
–from 1 Peter 3
It may not be easy, but it is right!
Today’s reading concludes with the love song of Solomon…
1How beautiful you are, my love! How your eyes shine with love behind your veil. Your hair dances like a flock of goats bounding down the hills of Gilead. 2Your teeth are as white as sheep that have just been shorn and washed. Not one of them is missing; they are all perfectly matched. 3Your lips are like a scarlet ribbon; how lovely they are when you speak. Your cheeks glow behind your veil. 4Your neck is like the tower of David, round and smooth, with a necklace like a thousand shields hung around it. 5Your breasts are like gazelles, twin deer feeding among lilies. 6I will stay on the hill of myrrh, the hill of incense, until the morning breezes blow and the darkness disappears. 7How beautiful you are, my love; how perfect you are! 8Come with me from the Lebanon Mountains, my bride; come with me from Lebanon. Come down from the top of Mount Amana, from Mount Senir and Mount Hermon, where the lions and leopards live. 9The look in your eyes, my sweetheart and bride, and the necklace you are wearing have stolen my heart. 10Your love delights me, my sweetheart and bride. Your love is better than wine; your perfume more fragrant than any spice. 11The taste of honey is on your lips, my darling; your tongue is milk and honey for me. Your clothing has all the fragrance of Lebanon. 12My sweetheart, my bride, is a secret garden, a walled garden, a private spring; 13there the plants flourish. They grow like an orchard of pomegranate trees and bear the finest fruits. There is no lack of henna and nard, 14of saffron, calamus, and cinnamon, or incense of every kind. Myrrh and aloes grow there with all the most fragrant perfumes. 15Fountains water the garden, streams of flowing water, brooks gushing down from the Lebanon Mountains.
16Wake up, North Wind. South Wind, blow on my garden; fill the air with fragrance. Let my lover come to his garden and eat the best of its fruits.
–from Song of Songs 4