John 7:25-36

25 At that point some of the people of Jerusalem began to ask, “Isn’t this the man they are trying to kill? 26 Here he is, speaking publicly, and they are not saying a word to him. Have the authorities really concluded that he is the Messiah? 27 But we know where this man is from; when the Messiah comes, no one will know where he is from.”

28 Then Jesus, still teaching in the temple courts, cried out, “Yes, you know me, and you know where I am from. I am not here on my own authority, but he who sent me is true. You do not know him, 29 but I know him because I am from him and he sent me.”

30 At this they tried to seize him, but no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come. 31 Still, many in the crowd believed in him.  They said, “When the Messiah comes, will he perform more signs than this man?”

32 The Pharisees heard the crowd whispering such things about him. Then the chief priests and the Pharisees sent temple guards to arrest him.

33 Jesus said, “I am with you for only a short time, and then I am going to the one who sent me. 34 You will look for me, but you will not find me; and where I am, you cannot come.”

35 The Jews said to one another, “Where does this man intend to go that we cannot find him? Will he go where our people live scattered among the Greeks, and teach the Greeks? 36 What did he mean when he said,‘You will look for me, but you will not find me,’ and ‘Where I am, you cannot come’?”
(John 7:25-36 NIV)

Jesus is at the Feast of the Tabernacles, standing in the temple courtyard, publicly teaching.  Jesus has begun the third year of His ministry, and the Jewish religious leaders have turned against Him.

If today’s Scripture passage were a sermon, an apt title might be “Misunderstandings and Mayhem”.  John records that no matter what Jesus says, the crowds misunderstand Him.

In verses 25 – 26, the crowd listening to Jesus is asking why the Jewish religious authorities are not doing anything about Jesus.  Why has no one arrested Him?  Have the authorities decided that He is Messiah?  What are they to believe?

In verse 27, the crowd contradicts itself.  They open the door to thinking Jesus might be the Messiah in verse 26, followed by the logic of their tradition which assumed that Messiah would drop into time and space supernaturally as an adult.  Jesus couldn’t be Messiah because they had known Him since He was a baby.

In verses 28 – 29, Jesus told the crowds in a frustrated and exasperated tone, “Of course you know me!”  Jesus was implying that they knew Him physically, but they did not know Him spiritually, nor did they know the Father, who had sent Him.  If the crowds didn’t know the Father, there was no way they would recognize the Son.

Verse 30 is key to understanding this passage.  John records that “… no one laid a hand on him, because his hour had not yet come.”  Even though the Jewish leaders secretly wanted to kill Jesus, God protected His Son and prevented the authorities from taking action.

Notice the shift in John’s writing as he describes units of time.  Starting in John chapter 1, John begins by talking about eternity past and eternity future.  As John progresses, he uses time descriptions like “seasons” and “days”.  Now John is slowing down again as he talks about days and hours.

With each change in time perspective, John also narrows his camera focus a little more, with Jesus as the focal point.   John the Baptizer was in the picture and is now out; the massive crowds following Him were in view and have now left Him.  John continues to focus on Jesus.

The misunderstandings continue in verses 33 – 36.  Jesus alludes to His death and resurrection; the Jewish officials think Jesus is talking about leaving Israel and preaching to the scattered Jews and the neighboring Greeks.

So much of what Jesus had to say in chapters 6 and 7 of John’s Gospel are reflected in the prophet Isaiah’s description of Messiah (Isaiah 55).  Verse 6 especially parallels verses 33 – 34 in today’s passage:

Seek the Lord while he may be found;
    call on him while he is near.
(Isaiah 55:6 NIV)

John’s shift in time perspective is a huge reminder that I need to redeem my time, to use the days the Lord has given me for His glory and not my selfish interests.

I choose to invest my time in Him and others, that they may invest their time in the Lord and others, to pass along the greatest gift the Lord has given us – His Son Jesus, the Messiah.

Blessings,
~kevin

John 7:14-24

14 Not until halfway through the festival did Jesus go up to the temple courts and begin to teach. 15 The Jews there were amazed and asked, “How did this man get such learning without having been taught?”

16 Jesus answered, “My teaching is not my own. It comes from the one who sent me. 17 Anyone who chooses to do the will of God will find out whether my teaching comes from God or whether I speak on my own.18 Whoever speaks on their own does so to gain personal glory, but he who seeks the glory of the one who sent him is a man of truth; there is nothing false about him. 19 Has not Moses given you the law? Yet not one of you keeps the law. Why are you trying to kill me?”

20 “You are demon-possessed,” the crowd answered. “Who is trying to kill you?”

21 Jesus said to them, “I did one miracle, and you are all amazed. 22 Yet, because Moses gave you circumcision (though actually it did not come from Moses, but from the patriarchs), you circumcise a boy on the Sabbath. 23 Now if a boy can be circumcised on the Sabbath so that the law of Moses may not be broken, why are you angry with me for healing a man’s whole body on the Sabbath? 24 Stop judging by mere appearances, but instead judge correctly.”
(John 7:14-24 NIV)

From yesterday’s study, we see Jesus going to the Feast of the Tabernacles on His own, not traveling with His brothers.  Halfway through the festival, Jesus breaks His anonymity and begins teaching publicly in the temple.courts.

The Jewish crowd is amazed at Jesus’ teaching.  Jesus is teaching with hope and power and authority; He is not quoting the same old tired mantras from the renowned rabbis (Mark 1:22).  Jesus sees the crowds’ faces and hears their whisperings.  He stops and gives credit where credit is due – to His Father (v. 16).

In verses 17 – 18, Jesus uses this opportunity as a teachable moment.  Jesus challenges the crowd to examine the motives of teachers, including Himself.  Why do they do what they do?  Are they merely trying to gain a following and increase their personal glory, or have they been sent from God on a mission and with a message?

If Jesus’ brothers were in the crowd, they would have gotten the answer to their assumption that Jesus was trying to build a following (vv. 3-5, from yesterday).  Jesus was clearly not about amassing a fan club and making life all about Himself.  Jesus was there to honor His Father and do His Father’s will.

In verses 19 – 20, Jesus accuses everyone in His hearing (especially the Jewish religious leaders) of breaking God’s Law, which is the very crime of which they were accusing Jesus.  Jesus knows the hearts of the Jewish religious leaders and verbalizes what they were thinking – they were threatened by Jesus and wanted to kill Him.  The crowd laughs at the idea and calls Jesus delusional, not knowing that Jesus’ statement is true.

Remember what happened in John chapter 5?  The incident at the Bethesda pool sets the stage for understanding verses 21-24.  Jesus healed the lame man on the Sabbath.  The Jewish religious leaders were still having a fit over that incident.  Jesus is claiming that He did not break the Law on the Sabbath, because what He did by healing the man was a demonstration of God’s grace and mercy, and was not “work”.  Jesus is again reminding them of what they knew was true – that God’s grace and mercy do not take a day off – they are in effect 24 x 7, which includes the Sabbath.

Verses 21 – 23 may seem a little out of place or disjointed, but in fact, are relevant to the point Jesus is trying to make.  Jesus reminds the Jewish religious leaders that they willingly break the Sabbath to keep Moses’ law of performing circumcisions on the Sabbath if that day happened to be the 8th day of the child’s life, but yet, they lose their minds when Jesus heals a man on the Sabbath.

What was Jesus’ point?  The Jewish religious leaders are willing to wound someone (via circumcision) on the Sabbath to keep Moses’ law, but not help someone on the Sabbath, which shows God’s character and love.  Jesus tells them to judge by God’s Law, not their traditions.  In other words, Jesus is telling these folks to look at the “why” before looking at the “what.”

I am again reminded to look at the “why” before looking at the “what” in my life as well as the lives of others.  The “why” reveals the heart, which is always Jesus’ focus.  Sometimes I do things for God’s glory; other times, I find myself doing things for my selfish interests.  When the Lord reveals my sinful “why”, I must stop and confess my selfishness and pride to the Lord and reconsider my motives.

Why do you do what you do?

Blessings,
~kevin

John 7:1-13

After this, Jesus went around in Galilee. He did not want to go about in Judea because the Jewish leaders there were looking for a way to kill him. But when the Jewish Festival of Tabernacles was near, Jesus’ brothers said to him, “Leave Galilee and go to Judea, so that your disciples there may see the works you do. No one who wants to become a public figure acts in secret. Since you are doing these things, show yourself to the world.” For even his own brothers did not believe in him.

Therefore Jesus told them, “My time is not yet here; for you any time will do. The world cannot hate you, but it hates me because I testify that its works are evil. You go to the festival. I am not going up to this festival, because my time has not yet fully come.” After he had said this, he stayed in Galilee.

10 However, after his brothers had left for the festival, he went also, not publicly, but in secret. 11 Now at the festival the Jewish leaders were watching for Jesus and asking, “Where is he?”

12 Among the crowds there was widespread whispering about him. Some said, “He is a good man.”

Others replied, “No, he deceives the people.” 13 But no one would say anything publicly about him for fear of the leaders.
(John 7:1-13 NIV)

As we open chapter 7, John provides a running narrative of Jesus’ life that we would not ordinarily see or understand.

In one short chapter (chronologically, in the course of two days), Jesus has gone from hero to zero.  Jesus fed the masses one day and lost most of His so-called followers the next.  If Jesus were trying to build a “brand” or gain a large following, He was going in the wrong direction.  Thankfully, Jesus was all about doing the will of His Father, so nothing else mattered.

From John’s chronology, we know that chapter 7 finds us in Jesus’ final year of ministry.  John records that this glimpse of Jesus’ life is around the Feast of the Tabernacles, which occurs in the fall (September / October timeframe).

John provides some insight into what it means to walk in Jesus’ shoes at this point in His ministry.  Jesus is in the northern region of Galilee, where life is more rural than urban, more relaxed and real than politically and religiously correct.  The Jews (specifically the scribes and the Pharisees) were after Jesus, and some even wanted to kill Him.  Jesus stayed away from the region of Judea, where the would-be assassins resided.  Jesus knew it was not His time to die – there was more ministry to perform, more examples to demonstrate to His disciples, more teaching to do, more hope to bring.

Jesus’ life was tough on the personal as well as the public fronts.  John gives us a brief but poignant insight into Jesus’ relationship with His earthly family. Verses 3 -5 record that Jesus’ brothers did not believe in who He was at this point in His ministry.  Based on His brothers’ comments, they assumed Jesus was trying to be a successful public figure as a rabbi/teacher.

Once again, Jesus was clearly misunderstood.  It’s one thing to be mistaken by strangers; it’s entirely another thing to be misunderstood by your family.  Even if your friends abandon you, a person hopes that their family will stand by them.  John parenthetically comments that Jesus’ brothers did not believe He is Messiah.

Jesus gives His brothers a pass when they invite Him to go to the Feast of Tabernacles with them.  Jesus tries to explain why He will not go with them; His words have no effect on them, and Jesus’ brothers leave without Him.  Jesus says He will stay in Galilee for a while (which He does).  John records that Jesus does go later, but privately and not publicly.

John ends this section with the murmurings of the Festival crowds.  Everyone was looking for Jesus, but He was not in attendance so far.  The festival attendees disagreed as to Jesus’ ministry, and the Jewish religious leaders wanted to know where He was so they could keep an eye on Him.

What are we willing to endure for the Gospel?

Lord, let me be more concerned about what You say and think about me than what others say and think about me. Faith is the willingness to look foolish in the sight of others to obey and follow You.  Help me to walk the narrow, hard path of life rather than the broad, easy path of destruction.

Blessings,
~kevin

John 6:60-71

60 On hearing it, many of his disciples said, “This is a hard teaching. Who can accept it?”

61 Aware that his disciples were grumbling about this, Jesus said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before! 63 The Spirit gives life; the flesh counts for nothing. The words I have spoken to you—they are full of the Spirit and life. 64 Yet there are some of you who do not believe.” For Jesus had known from the beginning which of them did not believe and who would betray him. 65 He went on to say, “This is why I told you that no one can come to me unless the Father has enabled them.”

66 From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.

67 “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve.

68 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.”

70 Then Jesus replied, “Have I not chosen you, the Twelve? Yet one of you is a devil!” 71 (He meant Judas, the son of Simon Iscariot, who, though one of the Twelve, was later to betray him.)
(John 6:60-71 NIV)

In our last session, John revealed that Jesus was teaching and interacting with the crowd in the Capernaum synagogue.  The group had tracked Jesus down after He fed the masses on the other side of the lake.  They were after free bread; Jesus offered them eternal life via Himself, the Bread of Life.

Jesus told the crowd that eternal life comes by eating His flesh and drinking His blood.  Jesus said this not once, but four times.  Jesus was talking about the spiritual; they heard the literal.  Jesus’ words were not exactly a pleasant Sabbath sermon.

Today we see the reaction from the crowd.  Verse 60 captures their response – a statement followed by a question that demands a negative reply.  Jesus knows what is in the hearts of these so-called “followers”, and He asks them directly, “Does this offend you?”.  The Greek word for “offend” is “skandalizō”, from which we get the English word “scandalize”.  Jesus was not worried that He had hurt the crowd’s feelings, or that some might leave.  Instead, He was asking if they were shocked and scandalized by what He said.

Jesus does not stop there.  He continues on:  “Then what if you see the Son of Man ascend to where he was before!”.  Jesus is again claiming that He came from heaven, and is the Messiah.  But the crowd knew Jesus since He was born – they knew His dad and mom and their families.  How could this be?  More crazy talk!

Verse 63 is the key to understanding what Jesus was saying.  He was talking about spiritual things, about eternal life, not about cannibalism or manna or anything else.  Jesus was reiterating Moses’ words from Deuteronomy 8:3, that life is not eating and drinking for the body, but for the soul.  True life, eternal life, is about being in community with God.

In verse 66, John captures the reaction of the crowd – they voted with their feet and left.

Jesus then turned to His chosen disciples, the Twelve, and asked them if they wanted to leave also.  Jesus’ question implies their answer would be the same as the others – that they would leave as well.

Peter speaks up on behalf of the Twelve with his timeless quote:  “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (verse 68)

Peter’s words were not victorious, hands-in-the-air, celebrations.  Instead, they were more words of quiet desperation, with no options left.  The Twelve knew that Jesus was Messiah.  They had to stay, even with Jesus saying things they could not understand.

John ends this chapter by recording that Jesus affirmed that He chose them, even though one would turn on Him.  John hints that Jesus is speaking of Judas Iscariot (though John has not gotten to that point in the story yet).

Jesus offers Himself as the Bread of Life.  May we take in His words as food for our souls.  May we let His Spirit permeate our being like blood through our body, bringing life to every part, from the largest issues to the smallest needs.

Blessings,
~kevin

John 6:52-59

52 Then the Jews began to argue sharply among themselves, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”

53 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life in you. 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.55 For my flesh is real food and my blood is real drink. 56 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood remains in me, and I in them. 57 Just as the living Father sent me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on me will live because of me. 58 This is the bread that came down from heaven. Your ancestors ate manna and died, but whoever feeds on this bread will live forever.” 59 He said this while teaching in the synagogue in Capernaum.
(John 6:52-59 NIV)

Jesus was talking to the group of people that had tracked Him back to Capernaum after Jesus fed the masses on the other side of the lake.  They were after free bread, and Jesus offered them the Eternal Bread of Life, Himself.

Then Jesus tells them something so scandalous they can barely believe He said it:  to receive this eternal life, they must eat Jesus’ flesh.  The crowd was still focused on the idea of manna, and Jesus starts talking about cannibalism!  In their natural minds, the group is utterly lost and bewildered.  They have no idea of what Jesus is speaking.  The crowds had been grumbling before; now it was pointed (sharp) arguments among themselves (v. 52).

Verse 53 begins with “Very truly I tell you…” (KJV – Verily, verily, I say unto you…; Greek – “Amen, amen…”).  “Listen up, people – what I am about to tell you is important!”

Jesus goes on to raise the bar even more – we must eat His flesh and drink His blood to have any life in us at all.  No wonder the people were confused!  These were kosher Jewish people that Jesus was talking to – obedience to God’s Law was of utmost importance to them.  To even consider such an act would likely cause an adverse physical response, with people running away and vomiting at the very thought of such an outrageous request.

So what was Jesus saying?  Was Jesus talking about literally eating His flesh and drinking His blood as a cannibalistic practice?   Or was there a deeper meaning?

Jesus’ statements were straightforward and profound in substance, and spiritual in nature.  Jesus was referring to the reference that Moses had taught the Israelites, that humanity does not live by bread alone, but on every word that comes from the mouth of God (Deuteronomy 8:3).

Jesus is telling us that eternal life cannot be earned, but must be received, just as the Israelites received the gift of manna from God.  Also, the manna had to be consumed to do any good.  Jesus is saying that we must eat His words, chew on them and digest them and let their goodness nourish our inward parts, our very souls,  just as food nourishes our body.

In verse 58, Jesus wraps us His thoughts by reminding the crowd that their ancestors ate manna and died.  The manna only extended physical life; it did not offer eternal life like the bread that Jesus offered.

John waits to add the final “rest of the story” detail to the end of the scandal:  Jesus said all these things while teaching in the Capernaum synagogue.  Jesus had publicly gone from hero to zero in the course of two days.  Jesus was misunderstood once again, and the tide of favor was turning against Him.

What is our reaction to Jesus’ words?  Are we willing to eat His spiritual flesh and drink His spiritual blood as He offers?  Do we yearn for eternal life and stick with Jesus, or do we turn away in disgust and disillusionment?

Are we “fans”, or “followers”?

Do we regularly feed on Jesus’ words?  Are we healthy, or are we malnourished?

Blessings,
~kevin

John 6:35-51

35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37 All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38 For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all those he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”

41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”

43 “Stop grumbling among yourselves,” Jesus answered. 44 “No one can come to me unless the Father who sent me draws them, and I will raise them up at the last day. 45 It is written in the Prophets: ‘They will all be taught by God.’  Everyone who has heard the Father and learned from him comes to me. 46 No one has seen the Father except the one who is from God; only he has seen the Father. 47 Very truly I tell you, the one who believes has eternal life. 48 I am the bread of life. 49 Your ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, yet they died.50 But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which anyone may eat and not die. 51 I am the living bread that came down from heaven. Whoever eats this bread will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
(John 6:35-51 NIV)

The day before this day, Jesus had fed the masses (approximately twenty thousand men, women, and children), then departed the area.  A smaller group of people sought Jesus and hired boats to take them across the lake to Jesus’ home base in Capernaum.

As expected, Jesus is there.  Jesus anticipates their question and rebukes them for why they are seeking Him – just for another free meal.  Jesus notes that the crowd is wanting physical bread, and offers them something far better – spiritual bread that leads to eternal life in Himself.  The crowd is hooked and asks where they can obtain the spiritual bread Jesus was offering.  Jesus is still misunderstood – the crowd is looking for manna while Jesus is talking about eternity and how to get eternal life.

As we pick up the dialogue today, Jesus answers their question.  Again Jesus points to Himself as the bread of life.  Just as the manna came down from heaven to feed the Israelites in the desert, so Jesus explains to the crowd how He has come down to be the bread of life for them, leading to eternal life.

In verse 40, Jesus uses another familiar analogy (the bronze snake on the pole in Numbers 21:7-9) to illustrate further His offer of salvation.  The crowd again completely misunderstands Jesus and gets hung up on another literal interpretation of His words.

The crowd is shocked that Jesus would say that He came down from heaven.  They knew this guy – his dad and mom and siblings.  They knew all about Jesus’ scandalous conception out of wedlock, and all the questions around His parents.  How could Jesus say what He said about coming down from heaven?

The word “grumble” (verse 41) and “grumbling” (verse 43) is the Greek equivalent of the Hebrew word Moses used to name the complaining spirit of the Israelites in the desert.  After all these generations and with Messiah standing right in front of them, the Jewish crowd still is the same as their ancestors.

Jesus then further describes this offer of eternal life He is making to them.  Jesus goes on with His analogy to describe Himself as the bread of life, and they must eat the bread (i.e., His flesh) which He freely offers to them, as it provides eternal life.

The crowd is scandalized by Jesus’ statements.  Again, taking Jesus’ words in the purely literal sense, they think He is talking about cannibalism.  But surely He is not – He would have to be crazy to suggest such a thing, right?

Does Jesus’ reference to Himself as the bread of life, and His offer to eat His flesh seem scandalous to you?  Jesus was not in the business of building a following.  In fact, He said hard things to separate His “fans” from His faithful followers.

How do we present Christ to others?  Do we encourage them to be “fans” or “followers”?

Blessings,
~kevin

John 6:25-34

25 When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi,when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you.  For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”

28 Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”

29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”

30 So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”

32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”

34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
(John 6:25-34 NIV)

As John continues his story, it’s the day after Jesus has fed the masses (estimated twenty thousand people) from a little boy’s lunch of five cracker-sized biscuits and two sardine-sized fish.

A subset of the massive crowd stayed over and was seeking Jesus.  They can’t find either Jesus or His disciples, so they charter some boats and head across the lake toward Capernaum, which is Jesus’ home base.

As expected, the smaller crowd finds Jesus in Capernaum.  They knew Jesus’ disciples had gotten into a boat and left at dusk the night before without Jesus, and Jesus had disappeared into the wilderness.

The first thing the crowd wanted to know was when Jesus arrived in Capernaum.  The group could not figure out how Jesus had gotten there ahead of them if He was on foot.

Notice that Jesus completely ignores their questions around what, how, where, and when and goes directly to the most important question of the moment: why.

Why were these people still seeking out and tracking down Jesus?  Jesus answers the why? question without asking them or waiting for their response, jumping straight to their motivation for finding Him.

The answer?  To get another free meal.

Jesus knows their selfish hearts and calls them out for it.  But He does not stop there and offers something far better that will last beyond this earthly existence:  eternal life.

Jesus packs in several key teachings in verse 27:

  • They have to work for their food.  They are no longer lost and wandering in the desert, dependent on God for their meals of manna.  The Israelites are in the land God promised them, the land flowing with milk and honey.
  • Physical food is essential, but their spiritual, supernatural food is more important than natural food.
  • Jesus is offering them this spiritual, supernatural food.
  • Jesus lets the crowd know that the Father had reviewed, approved, and blessed the spiritual food Jesus is offering them, just as a priest inspected the family’s food before they prepared it (to be sure it was “kosher,” as we would say today).

In verse 28, the crowd is all over the work part of Jesus’ teaching.  They still think Jesus is talking about real bread, and want to know how they can work and earn this kind of food for themselves.  They were still thinking Moses and manna; Jesus was talking about belief and eternal life.

In verse 29, Jesus tells the group to believe in Him.  In verse 30, the crowd asks for another sign, like sending manna from heaven again.  They were still stuck on real bread and filling their stomachs.

In verse 32, Jesus gets serious with the group.  He begins his response with “Very truly I tell you…” (KJV – “Verily, verily, I say unto you…”, Greek – “Amen, amen…”).  Jesus reminds them that God the Father gave their ancestors manna in the desert, not Moses.

Jesus was also reminding the crowd of Moses’ words to the Israelites that “… man does not live on bread alone but on every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord.” (Deuteronomy 8:3), and was offering them Himself, the Bread of Life, in person.

The group still was expecting manna.  They still misunderstood Jesus.

How often does Jesus offer us something far better and we dismiss it or completely miss it, looking for something else?

  • Do we focus on the “do”, when Jesus calls us to “be”?
  • Do we worry, when He calls us to trust?
  • Do we wait for a solution, when He calls us to take a step of faith?
  • Do we wear ourselves out trying to work a solution, when He asks us to give the issue to Him in humility and prayer?

May we be sensitive to God’s spiritual leading, offer, and priorities, and learn His better way of life that benefits not only this life but the one to come.

Blessings,
~kevin