With one skim through the gospels, we see, over and over again, giant crowds of people following Jesus everywhere he went, swarming him, and clinging to him, almost desperately. They couldn’t get enough of him!
That alone should tell us something about Jesus.
He was a guy who clearly had something about him that the people needed. And they knew they needed it.
Of course, we know that Jesus is the Son of God, God Himself, the Bread of Life. These truths about Jesus should cause us to cling to Jesus just as desperately as those crowds did in the gospels. But for some reason, many of us don’t seem to always grasp just how desperately we need Jesus.
We have a tendency to go to church, read the Bible, and pray more out of a sense of obligation than an actual desire and need to do so.
But if we’re doing all of those things–things to further our relationship with Christ–out of obligation, we’re missing something huge.
In Mark 6:33, Jesus was trying to get away from the crowds, just for a chance to eat with his disciples, but the people still followed him. Jesus describes them as “sheep without a shepherd.”
We all are (or have been, at one point) sheep without a shepherd.
This sentiment points back to our very creation. Genesis 1:27 says, “So God created human beings in his own image. In the image of God he created them; male and female he created them.”
We were created in the image of God. However, when we sinned, we were separated from God. We were separated from our Creator because of our sin.
But that separation doesn’t change a thing about who we were created to be. We were still created in God’s likeness and for God. We were created to be in communion with God. We were created to have a relationship with our Creator.
Which means that until we are able to have that relationship, we are sheep without a shepherd.
Jesus came to earth, died on the cross, and rose again on the third day so that we could have that relationship with God through Him. All we have to do is place our faith and trust in Jesus Christ.
It’s so easy for me to just be focused on going through the motions and never stopping to think about why I’m doing what I’m doing, who it is that I’m worshiping, or what it is God is trying to show me. I’ll go to church–and admittedly sometimes zone out through much of the service; and I’ll read my Bible–and quickly skim through a passage so I can check it off my list and go about my life.
And there are seasons in life. I do think it’s better to keep opening the Bible even when we aren’t feeling it and to keep going to church even when we’d much rather just sleep in, because it is through that consistent time with Him that God reveals to us bits of His nature and molds us more into the creation He planned for us to be.
But at some point, we should grasp just how desperately and completely we need Jesus.
We’re missing out on something vital if all we’re ever doing is going through the motions. At that point, we need to ask ourselves if our heart is really in it, or if we’re just doing these things for show, like the Pharisees did.
I love the C.S. Lewis quote: “If we find ourselves with a desire that nothing in this world can satisfy, the most probable explanation is that we were made for another world.”
We were made for another world. We were made to serve the King of the Universe. Without Him, we are empty. We need Him, desperately. The question is: Are we too busy trying to rely on ourselves that we refuse to acknowledge that?