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Saturday, August 11, 2012


   John 6:41-51

         The Israelites stayed for 430 years in Egypt  as slaves (Ex. 12:40).  Three days after crossing the Red Sea, they started to complain to God because there was no water in the desert (Ex. 15:22).  A month and a half later, they complained to Moses because they were hungry (Ex. 16:2-3).  They rebelled and tested the Lord saying “Is the Lord among us or not?” (Ex. 17:7)  After the Lord provided them with manna, they still complained because they wanted to eat meat (Num. 11:13).  The height of their complain was when they wanted to go back to Egypt (Num. 14: 4).  These were the people who had just experienced the wonders of the Exodus when they crossed the Red Sea after being slaves for more than four centuries in Egypt.  How could they forget the Exodus so easily?
         What is Egypt?  It is the symbol of anything that is unholy and ungodly that takes our freedom away and makes us slaves. It also represents the many forms of addiction, old ways of life and our sinfulness.  Why did the Israelites still complain after they left Egypt?  Because during their journey in the desert, they were still carrying Egypt with them!  There was no real conversion in their hearts hence their lack of faith in God who took them out of Egypt and brought them to the desert. 
         In the same manner, the Jews who witnessed the miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fish complained to Jesus.   Their physical hunger was satisfied and had their fill but their hearts were never converted.  They stayed in the level of the material and the worldly so they wanted to make Jesus their king.  They saw the miracle but they never understood the sign.  When Jesus offered them something greater than the bread and fish they ate, they could not understand Him.  They murmured, they complained!  How could they forget the multiplication of the loaves and fish so easily?
         In our journey through life, what is our own Egypt? Have we been addicted to some forms of enslavement?  How did God save us?  What is our Exodus?  Unless there is a real conversion, like the Israelites during the time of Moses, like the Jews during the time of Jesus, we will also find ourselves complaining.   Sometimes our slavery becomes our comfort zone and we find it hard to get out of it.  The enslavement is even harder when it becomes part of our life just like a second skin.   Outside the confines of our own Egypt everything becomes unfamiliar and even unfriendly so we cringe in the sight of change and freedom.  Even if we get out of Egypt still it is hard for us to trust God because Egypt has never left us and we carry it through the deserts of our life.   And if we ever  meet Jesus in the desert, like the Jews we will murmur and complain because we just want to eat the bread that we are used to. 
         Who says that conversion is not hard?  But our life in Egypt is not easy either.  Jesus is our freedom!  He is our Exodus!  If He ever brings us to the desert, we just have to trust in Him.  Just as God fed Elijah with bread for forty days and forty nights until he reached Mt. Horeb and the Isrealites with manna for forty years until they reached the Promised Land, Christ will also feed us in our journey with His Body and Blood until we reach the home of our Father, the New Promised Land.  
            Can we stop complaining?


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