“Simon Peter answered Jesus, 'Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that You are the Holy One of God."- John 6:68-69
I have a confession to make. I am a "Starbucks Snob". Now please don't get me wrong or judge me for this. It is not that I am rude while waiting in line. It is not because I am irritable and intolerable if I go a day without some Java. And it is certainly not based on having a special order that requires repeating it to the barista. My snobbery has to do with my favorite drink: Iced Vanilla Latte. The reason for my being so particular and putting my nose up, has to do with the discovery of one local Starbucks which consistently makes "my drink" to my liking more than the others. In fact, almost every other Starbucks has let me down, has caused me to frown at its interpretation and concoction of my sweet vanilla dream, and has even caused me to toss a half full cup into the trash. Although I have made many attempts and visits, none has equaled or satisfied my favorite stop on Newbury Road.
My delight in the one store and my disdain for all other coffee imposters, has me thinking about how perfectly satisfying it is to follow Jesus and how nothing else even comes close to who He is and what He offers. In the same way there is no other store I have found to make my favorite drink, there is no other source for us to experience the gift of salvation, the freedom from sin, and the blessing of peace. The above words from Peter come at a pretty confrontational moment. Jesus had just been sharing with a multitude of so-called disciples about the importance of following Him and being satisfied by Him. These followers had just experienced the miracle of Jesus multiplying the fish and the bread to feed 5,000 hungry souls. They came back wanting more of the same and were even willing to crown Jesus as king. But Jesus would have none of that as His desire was not in seeking an earthly position, and more importantly, He knew that the people's motives for this power play was to feed the monster of selfishness. Jesus takes them to a deeper place of devotion and reality. He offers them more than some fish and loaves, He invites them to partake of His very body and blood (speaking of His sacrifice). Talk about the ultimate Happy Meal! Ultimately, like others before and those that would come after, these crowds were confused by this notion as they were only listening to Jesus' words at a physical level. Despite Jesus' amazing invitation and unparalleled gift, many turned away for good. Earlier in this same chapter Jesus says in John 6:51, "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."
Despite the grand rejection of the crowds that takes place, I am super blessed by the great response of Peter, who basically says (to paraphrase), "There ain't no way I am ever leaving you or looking for another pathway. I have seen your miracles, I have heard your words, and I have watched your life before Yahweh...this is the real deal and all I need to have every need met, question answered, and dream realized!" Peter learned that nobody else could compare to Jesus, so that every other thing out there was not worth giving the time of day or a sniff to. Peter's nose was definitely "up in the air", not in pride, but in a precious and passionate faith in following the Living God! What God is offering is worth our complete pursuit and is the most wonderful possession known to man. May we be a people who discover that...
God's TRUTH leads us better than any other message, propaganda, theory, or reality out there!
"Then you will know the truth, and the truth will set you free."- John 8:32
God's PEACE comforts us more than any other application, treatment, or substance used to take the edge off!
"Peace I leave with you; My peace I give to you. I do not give to you as the world gives. Do not let your hearts be troubled and do not be afraid."- John 14:27
God's PROVISION answers our daily needs beyond a promotion, a bank account, a winning lottery ticket, or borrowing from a family member/friend!
"And my God will meet all your needs according to the riches of His glory in Christ Jesus."
- Philippians 4:19
God's HEALING penetrates every fiber of our being going deeper than any medication, procedure, or therapy could provide!
"Dear friend, I pray that you may enjoy good health and that all may go well with you, even as your soul is getting along well."- 3 John 2
God's HOPE sustains you as a firm anchor that has much more weight and trustworthiness than any savings account, inheritance, future dream, or promise made by a loved one!
"And hope does not disappoint us, because God's love has been poured out into our hearts through the Holy Spirit, who has been given to us."- Romans 5:5
God's LOVE never fails us and is far superior than any human expression of affection!
"See what great love the Father has lavished on us, that we should be called children of God!"
- I John 3:1
There is a Road (not Newbury Road, but a heavenly one) that leads to the greatest discovery and satisfaction you will ever find. Why don't you stop by each day, enjoy it, and never look back or look for an equal to it!