By Rev. Eric Brown
“Perceiving that they were about to come and take Him by force to make Him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by Himself.”
Now this was the sort of Messiah the people wanted! It was great. Think of all that could happen if you have a King who could just hand out free food whenever you wanted. The luxury, the ease that we could have! And so, the crowd basically started planning to kidnap Jesus and cage Him on a throne like He was the goose that laid the golden egg.
They missed the point. They didn't understand what sort of King Jesus would be. He's not a king of ease and leisure; He's the King who takes up a cross to battle Satan and sin and death. And just as He had provided manna in the wilderness for 40 years so the children of Israel could endure their struggles, Jesus had provided the 5000 bread so that they could endure their struggles. But that wasn't what the crowd wanted – no more struggles, Jesus! We want a luxury king, far removed from struggle! But Jesus will not be forced to play by the crowd's whims – instead He will go to the cross and win salvation.
We can be tempted to think like the crowd today as well. We can put more focus on getting more and more stuff and focus less and less upon the Cross. While it is true that Jesus provides earthly blessings for us, Jesus has a bigger goal than just that. He provides us bread, it's not for a life time of ease. Rather, He gives daily bread so that strengthened by Him we may face our vocations and tasks (which He gives as well), so that we may serve even in the face of our troubles. But that's not the main point; the Lord's Prayer doesn't stop at the fourth petition (“give us this day our daily bread”). No, the wants of our flesh don't distract Christ – instead He continues on and gives us the forgiveness He won for us upon the Cross, He leads us away from temptation by His Word, and He delivers us from Satan and Sin and every evil. And that is what we truly need.
All thanks be to our Lord Christ Jesus, who gives us what is truly good for us, not merely what we would want!
Rev. Eric Brown is pastor of Trinity Lutheran Church in Herscher, Illinois and the co-host of the HT Gospeled Boldly Podcast.
Created: March 20th, 2017