One year for Father’s Day, I took my dad to a sushi restaurant that offered unlimited sushi, made to order, for $22 per person. The sushi may not have been premium grade – certainly not at that wonderful price point! – but it was still a really fun experience to order roll after roll and have it whisked to our table in a matter of minutes.
Even though we couldn’t see the process, we were aware there were sushi chefs back in the kitchen cutting and constructing each roll. They didn’t simply appear. Now if a chef had come out to our table and pulled the rolls out of thin air, THAT truly would’ve been impressive.
That’s essentially what Jesus did when He fed the 5,000. One moment, there was merely five loaves of bread and two fish. Minutes later, there was enough grub to feed an army.
The people were amazed and responded, “Surely this is the Prophet who is to come into the world.” See, way back in Deuteronomy 18:15, Moses informed the Israelites that God would raise up a Prophet who would speak His words and should be obeyed. After waiting hundreds of years, the Jews (correctly) assumed Jesus was the guy.
But Jesus didn’t throw open His arms and say, “Yep, it’s me!” Rather, He “withdrew again to a mountain by Himself.”
That’s like a contestant winning an episode of Chopped and running off the set without taking the prize money.
The Jews didn’t understand His mission or who He was. They thought He would be a political king who would start an uprising and overthrow the oppressive Roman rule.
That wasn’t Jesus’ purpose. Rather than overthrow the Romans, He would be hung by their soldiers on a cross. He was the hero the people needed, but not the one they thought He was. For while they wanted someone to improve their earthly status, Jesus had come to cleanse their spiritual standing.
Everything Jesus did was to point people back to God. He did nothing to attract attention to Himself. So when the confused crowd tried to crown Him, He removed Himself from the temptation of the situation.
When people try to give you credit, remember that none of your talents, abilities, or successes come from yourself. They were given to you by a loving, all-powerful God. Resist the temptation to bask in man’s praise and reflect the spotlight back to Him.
Believing you can accomplish great things on your own is about as realistic as self-creating sushi. So why accept the praise that belongs to God?