Today’s Scripture: John 6:22-29
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the far shore saw that the disciples had taken the only boat, and they realized Jesus had not gone with them. 23 Several boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the Lord had blessed the bread and the people had eaten. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went across to Capernaum to look for him. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26 Jesus replied, “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs. 27 But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
28 They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
29 Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.”
“Tell me what I need to do!”
We are a nation of doers. We want to know the plan, get the job done, check it off our list. There are books and podcasts and YouTube channels all about how to do the things that we want to do. What steps do I take to be the best? What tricks and tips do you have to help me get this done? How do I accomplish _________ (fill in the blank)?
The people who followed Jesus across the lake in this passage from John were also all about the performance and the action and the getting things done. They ask Jesus “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?”
This question kinda reminds me of all the different church podcasts and blogs and webinars that come across my desk telling me how to have an awesome church filled with people (especially young families!), serving the community, growing in every way. And yes, as a pastor I confess sometimes saying “Tell me what I need to do!”
We can get this way in our individual spiritual lives as well. We think that there is some plan or program or book or podcast that’s going to show us what we need to do in order to have a vibrant spiritual life. And then we go about “doing” all those things to show God that we are really committed. “Maybe if I do THIS then I will be closer to God.”
But Jesus reminds us that it’s more about being than doing. In fact, there is only one thing to “do”: believe.
Maybe we should take a step back from our need to know the next step. Maybe we should listen to the voice of Jesus today and just be – just believe.
God we admit to you that we are a people who want to know the plan. We want to know what we are supposed to do. We want to know what we have to do. We demand a syllabus and yet you have given us a one-step direction: believe. Help us to set aside our desire for plans and call us to a deeper belief in Christ.