On the next day … the 5000 crowd saw that there had only been one boat! Like the magician who plucked a quarter from behind your ear, that observation must have had them in a buzz. The disciples had left alone, Jesus couldn’t be found, no one saw Him leave, they scoured the area…what the heck? So they jump in their own boats to follow the only lead they have…
Bingo! There He was – and their first question was “Rabbi (teacher), how did you get here?” They must have thought themselves clever but it strikes me Jesus is always ready to be found by anyone who is seeking Him. But I digress… ask a question of Jesus and very likely He will teach you something. To the seekers He explains, “It’s not the signs that brought you, it’s that you were hungry and were fed”. Umph! I thought it was the signs. They probably thought it was the signs but He redirects us. “Think about it…you were hungry and you ate your fill. You had a temporary need and I met it. Now consider your bigger need…the food for eternal life. That’s what I can really give you!”
“What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Boy, isn’t this typical? I guess God wants me to do something to get His favor and earn this imperishable food. No, this is the only work…”believe IN HIM WHO HE SENT.” (It’s not just belief but belief in a certain thing, a certain person – the One who has been sent.)
Seekers: Believe? Show us a sign. We get the bread thing…it’s like the manna Moses gave, right? (Brother, didn’t He just say this was not about signs?) They haven’t quite got it.
Jesus: Well, first of all, the manna didn’t come from Moses and second of all My Father gives you the true bread from heaven – the bread that gives life. Let me spell it out: I AM THE BREAD OF LIFE. You have seen me but don’t believe. I’ve come from heaven to do My Father’s will and this is it: those who come to me will not be lost and I will raise them up on the last day. (A little reference to resurrection?)
So the Jews grumbled…nothing new here. This guy is Joseph’s son…we know him. Jesus restates the whole story for their benefit with an added feature: “No one can come to me unless the father draws him.” Faith is a two way street. I’ve heard that God even gives us the faith to believe to start with. Since He also, doesn’t want anyone to be lost (2 Peter 3:9), maybe the faith to believe is there for the asking.
So the Jews dispute…wrangle, wrangle, try to figure it out… (well, at least they are considering). This is what they did at the Synagogue I think. It was an intellectual pursuit. They were open but only at the brain level. I’m reminded of a quote I wrote in Bob’s first Bible: “Do not seek to understand in order that you may believe, but rather, believe in order that you may understand.”
He is always ready to be found if anyone is seeking.
I like to think and figure it out. I would have made a good “Pharisee” but real truth is minded by faith not brain power.
About the World?
It is a mystery how we must believe but God must draw us to belief; how faith comes before truth; how to feed on the Bread of Life. Fortunately God is willing to reveal the mystery to anyone who simply asks.