Blog # 263 Jn 6: 24 - 35
At the conclusion of last week's reading, Jesus, after having fed the vast crowd of hungry people, saw they would seek to make Him their King , so He fled back to the mountain alone. Jesus did not come, nor want to be, their King, to rule them. He came to give them more than a King could give, to give them a share in His own divine life, His eternal love.
In today's Gospel we find Jesus across the lake with His disciples. The people seek Him out. He is teaching in a synagogue. He expresses disappointment in knowing the people want from Him less than He has to give, less than He was sent by the Father to give. They want more bread for the body, gifts that are temporary, gifts that someone else other than He could give. Jesus wants to give them more, bread for their souls, "bread that will last unto life eternal".
This sounds attractive to them and they ask how to get it. Jesus tells them it is by faith they will receive such food. They do not like His answer and ask Him to prove Himself to them. In asking that faith be proven they are asking that it be destroyed.
The argument continues. "Do for us something like Moses did for our ancestors in the desert, giving them bread from Heaven to eat." I will paraphrase the thoughts of Jesus. "It was not Moses who gave them this bread, but my Father. The story of your ancestors in the desert is continuing now,in us. As for Moses in the desert, the bread he gave was from God and a sign of God's presence among them, His protection over them, and God's love for them. Just so, the bread I gave you yesterday is a similar sign for you of God's presence protection and love for you through me.
I am the Father's bread for you. This is what you must believe if you are to receive more than the passing gifts of ordinary 'bread', the good things of your temporary life on earth, things that you can receive from someone else other than from me.
And if you believe and receive in faith the bread Iwill give, you will never hunger or thirst for anything else again, for there is nothing, no pleasure, no value, no experience that is capable of nourishing and satisfying your soul as this bread will do. That is God's design! I have come to tell you this. The price I will pay for this bread is my greatest act of love, the giving of my life in your name unto the Father's will on the wood of Calvary. Please trust and believe me. Do not waste my love for the Father nor our love for you. You should not be working for perishable food alone, but also for food that remains unto life eternal".
This section of Chapter 6 gave me an invitation and opportunity to ask a few questions. What do I really want from life, and from God? What is it for which I am spending my money, time, energy, my life, my love? What did Jesus intend me to understand as the meaning, in concrete terms, of what He rreferred to as "food that remains unto life eternal"?
Are questions like this ever a part of your life? If not, how could God ever give you the "more" Jesus came to bring? I think they are good questions. What do you think?