- This chapter begins with an apparently compassionate act of feeding 1,000’s of people. (vs. 10) This was a miracle that drew a lot of attention to Jesus. He avoids untimely kingship and escapes across the sea. (vs. 15) But the people find him. (vs. 24) Jesus discerns that their infatuation is not to worship, but for the novelty of the miraculous and the gluttony of bread. (vs. 26-27)
- Now the crowd seems to be digging in and acting interested enough to get Jesus to make more bread. Instead, Jesus intensifies his teaching to the point of offensiveness, calling them to view his body as bread and to “feed on his flesh”. (vs. 53-58) This is gross for anyone, but for Jews (in a synagogue – vs. 59), this was absolutely offensive! Many turn away.
- There seems to be an appropriate time and place to be so provocative as to expose false motives, misplaced desires, and idolatrous cravings. I am sure that Jesus did not desire to turn people away from him. (see vs. 67) However, for him to play their games of miracles and provisions would only help keep them distracted from the eternal life that they truly needed.
Jesus, teach me your ways. Help me to see you and your works clearly enough that, though I may be challenged , I may say “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (vs. 68) As someone who desires to minister for your glory, help me to discern when to compassionately provide for people’s perceived needs and when to challenge people’s idols. (Though, in this case it seems that Jesus knew that even his act of “provision” was just a set up for hard teachings to reveal hearts and point to eternal life. (see vs. 2-6 –> vs. 58)
VERSE 68 is key in that it humbly positions us to view Jesus as the source for eternal life…even when the teachings are hard to receive.
Categories: Words of Life