“I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.” John 6.35
When you begin to encounter Jesus and His Gospel, you begin to realize how much following Him will cost you. The reason it is so difficult is because we are naturally selfish. I want to please me. I want what I want. And I want it now. I want cool stuff, more money, and everything else so I can please me and store up things for myself so I will never have to worry. This is the root of the American Dream—to make as much money as possible so I can splurge in my abundance.
Then Jesus steps in to introduce the offensive truth of the Gospel and expose our lie. You must serve others instead of yourself. Count others better than yourselves. Sacrifice to help the hungry, the poor, the widows and orphans. Die to yourself. Give to him who asks from you. Be last instead of first. Take up your cross and follow Me.
In the beginning, you may think Jesus is trying to ruin your life. Wouldn’t you be much happier if you could just live to please yourself, not thinking about others?
No. In fact, you would be miserable—just like the many people all over America and the world right now who already are. Jesus is not trying to ruin your life—He is trying to give you life. And He is life(John 14.6). He has designed us to live in perfect community with Him and with other people, to live selflessly and humbly before all. This is where joy and peace are found. Those who lose their life will find it.
So Jesus stands and beckons us: “Come my child. I am not trying to ruin your life—I have what is best in mind for you. I promise, you are going to love loving. You are going to love giving. You are going to love serving. Trust me, we’ll do this together. I designed you to experience the fullness of life with Me, and I am a God who serves. I want you to be happy, and I know that pursing your own desires will only leave you miserable and unfulfilled. I am the only thing that satisfies, the only thing that brings peace and joy. So come my child, drink deeply of my living water.”
May we daily have the courage to ask ourselves these difficult questions: do I really believe that Jesus is the only thing that can satisfy me? Do I believe that He is enough, no matter the circumstances? Am I willing to drink deeply from Him?