“No one denies Jesus because of a lack of evidence, we deny Jesus from a willful unbelieving heart.”
The crowd had been fed and now wanted more. So the crowd searched out Jesus to whip up some more fish and chips. But Jesus warns them saying, ‘stop focusing on temporary pleasure that does not satisfy’ but “Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you. For God the Father has given me the seal of his approval.”
They replied, “We want to perform God’s works, too. What should we do?” Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the One He has sent.” They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (John 6:26-32)
Wait a second! Didn’t Jesus just feed this entire group of thousands from two fish and 5 barley loaves of bread? Had He not healed the lame man by the pool in Jerusalem and the royal official’s son just by commanding it be done? None of these ‘signs’ Jesus had already done were hidden from them, so what am I missing? Was not their meal something amazing that they didn’t just see or hear about, but they participated in…? They ate the fish and chips and were full; and, there were 12 baskets of food leftover! Having witnessed this sign the crowd said, “This is truly the Prophet who is to come into the world” (6:14). All the evidence was laid out before them, and just not in dusty scrolls or tales of old men, but they had witnessed and partaken of all that Jesus provided them. What more do they need…?
Jesus goes on to point out their faulty worldview, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did! And now He offers you the ‘true bread’ from heaven. The true bread of God is the ‘one’ who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
This problem is not new and is much the same with many today; Jesus’ reveals how they are trapped by their naturalistic Worldview that eliminates any understanding of God as a personal being who acts within His creation to provide for the true need of man in perfect love, grace, mercy, and justice. This is the food which ‘endures to eternal life’, but much like the women at the well who was focused on the physical water, and Nicodemus who couldn’t see past physical birth, the crowd couldn’t see past their physical desires to understand Jesus was offering himself as ‘the lamb of God who would take away the sins of the World.”
Because they are motivated by their willful desires, they still only ask for bread that would temporarily satisfy their physical hunger.
Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But you haven’t believed in me even though you have seen me”, and enjoyed what I have provided.
What stands between you and trusting God with all Your heart? What physical need are you trying to meet that blinds you to the Glory of God’s grace, the provision which endures to eternal life, which Jesus will give to all those who believe…?
Just like the manna that God provided Israel in the desert sustained them through their journey, Jesus, the Bread of life, has come down from Heaven, sent by God so that everyone who believes on Him will never hunger or thirst for eternal life again.
The evidence is all around you; God is at work meeting our every need. If only you would Lift your eyes above the noise and distractions and see His Hand is outstretched to you. God is Love and you are the object of His great love; accept His invitation to come to Jesus and find rest in Him the ‘Bread of life’.
“For the LORD your God has blessed you in all that you have done; He has known your wanderings through this great wilderness. These forty years the LORD your God has been with you; you have not lacked a thing; seeing (now) that His divine power has granted to us everything pertaining to life and godliness; through the true knowledge of Jesus who called us by His own glory and excellence.”
(Deuteronomy 2:7; 2 Peter 1:3)
Praying 4 U
Written by David Brown: David Brown is a husband, father, grandfather, Pastor with a Masters of Religious Studies and a Professor of Philosophy and Comparative Religions. Dave is the Associate Pastor of Pemberton’s First Baptist Church.