November 2, 2020

John 6:15 Jesus saw that in their enthusiasm, they were about to grab him and make him king, so he slipped off and went back up the mountain to be by himself. (The Message Bible)

About 70 years after Jesus was crucified, a writer named Juvenal penned a piece called Satire X about the Roman Empire in which he references bread and circuses: “Already long ago, from when we sold our vote to no man, the People have abdicated our duties; for the People who once upon a time handed out military command, high civil office, legions — everything, now restrains itself and anxiously hopes for just two things: bread and circuses.” Wikipedia goes on to explain, “In a political context, the phrase means to generate public approval, not by excellence in public service or public policy, but by diversion, distraction or by satisfying the most immediate or base requirements of a populace — by offering a palliative: for example food (bread) or entertainment (circuses)” (Both https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Bread_and_circuses). Jesus had just finished giving the masses bread. His teaching and works of power were at the very least entertaining. If Juvenal was right, Jesus had the people just where a politician wanted them. But Jesus wanted something else. He wanted faith from his followers. He wanted trust and love and personal devotion. If you paid attention to the ads for the election this year you may have felt like folks were offering bread and circuses. What is Jesus offering you? 

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