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Spiritual Not Material

Monday of the Third Week of Easter

Scripture Readings: Acts 6:8-15; Psalm 119:23-24, 26-27, 29-30; John 6:22-29

My dear encountered couples:

Jesus had just miraculously fed the five thousand people. And they were looking for him. Finally, when they figured he must have gone to the other side of the lake, they jumped in boats and rowed themselves over there. What did they want? Another free meal? Jesus seems to think so. “You are not looking for me because you have seen signs,” he told them, “but because you have eaten your fill of the loaves. You should not be working for perishable food but for food that remains unto life eternal.

The people that crossed the lake to catch up with Jesus seem to have been doing it to get something out of him other than the spiritual. Maybe they expected something that could make life easier and happier for them in this world, like a lot of money, a well-furnished house, or the latest in transportation. They came to Jesus for the material things of life. Is that maybe a mistake some of us Christians make? Do some of us pray and come to church not for the spiritual but for the material?

Remember Jimmy and Tammy Baker? Who couldn’t love them? The cutest little TV evangelists America has ever seen. We all know about their rise and fall. Who hasn’t heard of their material luxury, their home in Palm Springs, the gold plumbing in their bathroom, the heated and air-conditioned dog house? (I’m all for that last one.) Well, as you probably know Jimmy went to prison for awhile but is now out, married again and back to his ministry again. On television he has said he used to think and preach that God rewards our good deeds with material things in this life, but now he knows differently. It is the spiritual we should seek and expect from him.

That’s what Jesus was trying to tell the Jews. They should “not be working for perishable food but for food that remains unto life eternal.” May we never misinterpret the purpose of Christ.


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