As I read this chapter again this morning, I was disgusted at the people’s comments. Look at the progression:
14 When the people saw this miraculous sign, they exclaimed, “Surely, he is the Prophet we have been expecting!”
30 They replied, “You must show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What will you do for us?
34 “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day of our lives.”
41 Then the people began to murmur in disagreement because he had said, “I am the bread from heaven.” 42 They said, “This is Jesus, the son of Joseph. We know his father and mother. How can he say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
As long as they were fed and shown miracles, they would believe. The minute it required some kind of faith, they murmur (I love that word) and eventually deserted Jesus altogether.
Do you ever think about why God gave us the Bible in the first place? As I read it, sometimes I wonder why God chose to put certain verses in there for us. In this case, it seems obvious. If those people who saw the miracles and got fed by Jesus that day were so easily discouraged, what about us today? All we have is faith. We’ve never seen Him do a miracle. We’ve never seen His face. We’ve never sat before Him as He teaches. How do we keep the faith?
I go back to my four favorite words: “It’s Not About Me.” It’s not easy for me to understand, but Jesus says it a few times in this chapter:
44 For people can’t come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them to me, and at the last day I will raise them from the dead.
63 It is the Spirit who gives eternal life. Human effort accomplishes nothing.
I love Peter’s response when Jesus asks the disciples if they will desert Him, too – “To whom would we go?” No one else loves us like Jesus.
Lord, this seems like a difficult teaching – about faith, about communion with you. Increase my faith – and the faith of my brothers as we journey to know You better. Thank You again for Your Word.