I have figured out the secret of life. I am serious. I honestly believe the secret to life is to keep Jesus the center of your life at all times. Keeping Jesus at the center of your life can be very difficult because we are very often distracted by what life brings our way. You never know what is going to happen in life. You never know what challenges may come your way. In dealing with life’s challenges it is extremely important to focus on the greater concept of Christ’s teachings and leadership than to focus on the minor circumstances that are currently at hand.
There is a story in the book of Mark that clearly illustrates this point. In Mark Chapter 8, 13-21 Jesus is trying to teach his disciples to be aware of the teachings of the Pharisees. He also warned them to be aware of the teachings of Herod. (Mark 8:15). What Jesus was trying to teach them was very important. He didn’t want them to become distracted by knowledge from outside influences. He didn’t want the knowledge of the Pharisees to steer the disciples in the wrong direction. Jesus was trying to keep them focused on Him, not on what the world taught or on what the current religious leaders taught. Jesus knew that both the world and the religious leaders would steer them in the wrong direction.
While Jesus was trying to teach them this very important fact the disciples suddenly noticed that they didn’t have any bread. Instead of focusing on what Jesus was teaching them they focused on their need for the day, bread. Jesus then questioned them and asked them if they remembered being with him when he fed the 5000 people. (Vs.19). They remembered that miracle. Jesus asked them if they remembered when he fed the 4000. (vs.20). They remembered that miracle too. Jesus even asked them after he fed the five thousand and the four thousand if they remembered how much extra food was provided. The disciples remembered that there were 12 extra baskets when he fed the 5000 and 7 extra baskets when he fed the 4000.
Jesus then challenged them with the following question, “Do you not yet understand?” (vs.21). What Jesus was challenging them with was the idea that they were with him during two of the greatest miracles that he had performed; feeding the 5000 and 4000, and they knew with certainty that he could perform miracles with food. Even though they had that knowledge they were still concerned with the fact that they didn’t have any bread for the day. Jesus questioned them and asked why they still did not understand what he was capable of doing and why were they so concerned about not having food?
Jesus wanted to challenge them with the fact that they weren’t staying focused on him. They were focusing on their immediate concerns for that day, which was bread. The lesson here is the fact that we can all be like the disciples in one way or another in our lives. We can very easily become consumed by our care for the day and in doing so we forget about everything that we have learned from Jesus. We “do not yet understand.” We worry about small issues or the “bread” in life. We forget that Jesus taught us to pray to him for our daily bread and to trust him with every aspect of our lives.
This idea of focusing on our issue for the day is the very thing that distracts us from keeping Christ at the very center of our lives. It is in our distractions that we start to lose focus on what is really important, our relationship with Jesus.
What is the bread in your life? Do you forget to understand that Jesus is the one who can provide it to you? What is it that you do not yet understand about his teachings and ministry? Keep Jesus the center of your life and your “bread” in life will be given to you. Jesus is the bread of life.