14 When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, “This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!” 15 Perceiving then that they were about to come and take him by force to make him king, Jesus withdrew again to the mountain by himself. Jn 6:14-15
God’s intent for His people is always to reign over every area of their lives as their Lord. Jesus taught us to pray for His kingdom to be established in our lives in exactly the same manner as it is in heaven Math 6:10.
However when His people are not broken and are ruled by their bellies, their motives will not align with “Thy kingdom come on earth, as it is in heaven”. Thus a dichotomy between God’s mind and the mind of His people is created.
During the course of Jesus’s ministry we see the multitude often wandering about like sheep without a shepherd. They were eager for the promised salvation by “He that should come” Luke 9:20. One such area they sorely required salvation was from hunger. And so in John 6:1-15 Jesus deliberately performs the miracle of feeding the 5,000 men. Not in an attempt to show off, or just because He could, but rather to re-orient the people’s expectations of salvation to God’s eternal master plan in the personage of the one who was before their very eyes.
Did the people get it?
No. Not entirely. They had just received their salvation for their need of the hour, but instead of producing the ultimate reaction to such a spiritual encounter (total surrender & worship) as it did in Mark 10:52 with blind bartimaeus who “followed Jesus in the way”, they beheld Him with ‘a veiled face’ choosing rather the perverse sequence of inteding to force Him to follow them in their own way. (According to their minds and selfish lusts).
In Jesus they had found a genie whom they intended to bottle, one whom would solve all of their earthly problems and needs without them giving any thought to what He would require of them. (‘take my yoke upon you’)
What would Jesus do?
Jesus withdrew himself from them unto a mountain by himself.
Jesus did not always expressly forbid people from coming up the mountain to Him. But ascension unto spiritual maturity in the things of God requires a price which when the multitude gaze upon that mountain; they will be reluctant to deny themselves and their flesh the comfort it demands. Choosing Zoar’s path of compromise en-route to an insignificant and tepid christian life. Gen 19:18-20.
Their intent in making Him king wasn’t according to the Spirit but according to the flesh. In Christ they saw a physical messiah who would do for them exactly the same thing their forefathers demanded of Samuel in 1 Sam 8:19-20
.….“Judge us, and go out before us, and fight our battles”….
Whilst God is committed to doing these things and much more for His people, Christ will not be enthroned over our lives on the basis of His salvation alone, but His lordship also!!!
Christ is not unkind. “For we have not an high priest which cannot be touched with the feeling of our infirmities; but was in all points tempted like as we are, yet without sin” Heb 4:15 . He is touched by the needs and sufferings of His people, and will always be moved with compassion to solving their needs. However people often confuse His provision and help in their lives with His ‘continuous’ presence. The tendency will always be for Christ to withdraw himself from the multitude who merely seek to make Him king on their own terms no matter how justified and legitimate those needs are.
In following Him not because they saw the signs but ‘because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled’ John 6:26, many sadly engage in Christianity without Jesus. Even more grievious is the blatant ‘exploitation’ of His yearning people by new age versions of pastor’s Joel, Abiah, Hopni & Phineas who use the lure of filthy lucre (prosperity teaching) to lure many into a form of godliness that hath not the power of conformation enshrined therein. They draw us in with ‘the come and be richly blessed’ themes, but water down the crucial issue of our response and personal responsibility merely to offerings, tithes, and sowing in general.
» Are you in the multitude? Or have you chosen to be a true disciple who would deny himself daily, carry his cross and ascend the mountain to ‘be with him that you may truly know Him, with the intent of going for Him’? Mark 3:13-14.
»Have you taken His yoke upon your neck by primarily living for his purpose and kingdom? Or is Christ merely a genie whom you rush to whip out when there is a pressing need?
»Are you at ease with having His salvation firmly in your grasp without the establishment of His lordship in every area of your life?
This season offers the perfect opportunity for a reboot, and chance to reconnect with Him.
May they Lord open our eyes to His truth.
Grace to us all.