Scripture: John 6: 16-27
Key verses: (25-27) 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.”
Reflection: Bread, of course, is the symbol for that which sustains and maintains life. We get that. The feeding of the five thousand is easy to understand. It was a long day. There was no place to get food. Jesus fed them. When Jesus says, “I am the bread of life,” the crowds think they get it. When we are hungry, you will feed us.
I love when those following Jesus get confused. It validates my confusion! It is very clear in the Gospel of John that these people greatly misunderstood who our Lord was, what he was doing, and what he said to them. No other passage of Scripture more clearly reveals the confusion in the average person’s mind about Jesus than this discourse in John.
Jesus accused the crowd of having come to him just for free food, while ignoring the fact that he was the bread of life. In other words, they saw Jesus in purely material terms, as the expected Messiah, the king who would free them from Rome and provide for their physical needs. These were significant signs and they missed it! Jesus was offering more.
You cannot go anywhere without finding people hungry for something more than a full belly. There is a restlessness about us that does not hesitate to ask for more regardless, of what is being offered. Jesus recognized this. Everyone in this crowd wanted whatever it was he was offering. They did not understand what it was, but they wanted it and so do we. I do not hesitate to say I still get it wrong and, on most days, I am confused. But in my confusion, Jesus reminds me to believe in him.
Prayer: Lord, I believe. Help my unbelief. Amen. (Mark 9: 24)
Author: Michelle Thomas-Bush
[Scripture quotations are from New Revised Standard Version Bible, copyright © 1989 National Council of the Churches of Christ in the United States of America. Used by permission. All rights reserved].