After Jesus fed the five thousand in John 6, the crowds were seeking Him, and Jesus knew why: “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (John 6:26). The only reason they were seeking Jesus was because He gave them food. They had their stomachs filled, and they wanted more. They were desiring a fullness only Jesus can fulfill.
Jesus did not say that their craving for food was inherently bad. Rather, He wanted to address how they were seeking to fulfill that craving. He said to them, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life . . .” (v. 27).
God Created us to Crave
God created us with desires, needs, and cravings in our lives. Genesis 2:15 says,
The LORD God took the man and put him in the garden of Eden to work it and keep it. And the LORD God commanded the man, saying, “You may surely eat of every tree of the garden, but of the tree of the knowledge of good and evil you shall not eat, for in the day that you eat of it you shall surely die.”
In the garden, Adam needed food. God created him that way. Sometimes we mistakenly think that man had no needs in the Garden of Eden. That’s not true. Man had a need for air, a need for food, and, as we find out later in Genesis 2, a need for companionship (v. 18). So, then, God created man with cravings and needs, with an empty stomach to fill. And these cravings were intended to be met only by God and in His appointed way, which leads us to the problem of sin in Genesis 3.
Sin and Satisfaction
Notice how Eve was tempted by the serpent to eat from the tree that God had forbidden:
When the woman saw that the tree was good for food, and that it was a delight to the eyes, and that the tree was to be desired to make ones wise, she took of its fruit and ate, and she also gave some to her husband who was with her, and he ate. (Genesis 3:6)
The language of desire is all over this verse. Eve saw that the tree was good for food and that it was a delight for the eyes. For the first time, we see the cravings of a man driving him to meet his needs outside of the Creator. Don’t miss the trigger of sin here—looking to the things of this world to satisfy us apart from our Creator. The reality is that nothing is good if it does not come from God. It may seem desirable, but it is bad.
We commit sin because we think it will be good. Whether it’s lust, greed, materialism, adultery, gossip, or any other sin, we convince ourselves that it will be good, desirable, and delightful. But in the end, it destroys us. It turned Adam and Eve away from the One whom their souls needed most. And that’s exactly what the craving of the crowds did in John 6. They were desiring a satisfaction only Jesus can fulfill.
The Bread of Life
When Jesus told the crowds to labor for the “food that endures to eternal life” (John 6:27), they began comparing Him to Moses, pointing out that bread had been provided miraculously through Moses when Israel was in the wilderness (v. 31). But Jesus reminded them that it was not Moses but God who provided the bread. Jesus said that His Father gives “the true bread from heaven,” and this bread is the one who “gives life to the world” (vv. 32–33).
Jesus then makes an astounding statement: “I am the bread of life . . .” (v. 35). He was essentially saying, “I am the provision of God. I am the one who satisfies your needs. I am the one who fulfills your cravings.”
True satisfaction is not found in gifts but in the Giver. God has wired us and created us to be satisfied in Him. This is why I hate the so-called “Prosperity Gospel,” which is no gospel at all. You don’t come to God to get stuff; you come to God to get God. He’s better than all the things in this world put together. And He is not a means to an end. He is the end, the One whom our souls desire and long for.
Believing this truth radically changes the way we live because now we realize that even the best things in this world do not compare with the satisfaction that’s found in God. And let’s be honest: when we look at our lives, our churches, and our culture, clearly we do not believe God is enough for us. We think need more, bigger, and better things. But we don’t. We have God. True satisfaction is not found in gifts but in the Giver. Jesus alone can fulfill our desires.
This article is an adapted excerpt from David Platt’s sermon titled “The All-Satisfying Christ.”