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Son of Man 41: Exploring Satisfaction
Have you noticed that it is possible to be around food and drink but not be hungry or thirsty? Countless cookery programs and books invite you to explore, learn and understand but they are not necessarily all about survival.
There is a vast difference between satisfying hunger and learning about cuisine. In fact hunger will get in the way of such learning. This is illustrated by going to a supermarket when you are hungry and finding that you overspend and obtain inappropriate items because you are driven by hunger not planning!
You are looking at satisfaction. The Son of Man is offering himself as satisfaction – living bread. But having a satisfied hunger pang does not mean you stop searching, exploring or seeking. It does not preclude learning and growing.
Here is another insight about satisfaction. If you are satisfied you can explore with security. If you are satisfied you can be adventurous in safety. You will see this in more detail when we look at “I am the gate”. But for now may I invite you to reflect on the combination of satisfaction and seeking?
The Son of Man constantly invites you to seek, to follow, to learn and to crave more of him; his life and his ways. But his invitation is to do that from a place of profound satisfaction.
This satisfaction generates within you a safe and secure space in which your questions and searchings can survive. The Christian life is not smug, self-satisfied complacency where all answers are on the plate. It is a dynamic, honest, continuous search for ever deeper more complex and integrated thoughts, feelings, actions and behaviors.
You do not need to be threatened by uncomfortable questions this week. You do not need to be afraid of difficult dynamics.
The satisfying One always satisfies every day and at the same time advises you to keep asking, to keep growing, to keep learning.
So you don’t know how to solve this work problem. You don’t know how to handle this difficult person. You don’t know how to act in this situation. But you tackle it from a place of satisfaction.
So you can say, “I am satisfied” and still say “I am searching”. In fact, “my satisfaction gives me the freedom to search”.
If you wonder how this emerges from, “I am the Bread of Life”, the clue is in the offer for itself.
Neither you nor I can know how someone can be living bread. I don’t know how he can quench my thirst from two thousand years distance.
There is huge mystery in the Son of Man. That’s the point. He satisfies and invites you to explore further mysteries.
So when it gets tough this week you can say to yourself “I am satisfied” and “I am exploring”.
How much you say that out loud will depend on your situation. But it’s hard to hide those two truths anyway.
Nobody has it all figured out at your workplace, do they?
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’[a] Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died. 50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
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© Geoff Shattock February 2015
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