Daily Readings in John – Day Twenty
October 24, 2017
John 6:22-40 (NRSV)
22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 24 So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” 26 Jesus answered them, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. 27 Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.” 28 Then they said to him, “What must we do to perform the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Then Jesus said to them, “Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave 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 that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. 36 But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. 37 Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; 38 for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. 39 And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. 40 This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.”
This conversation reminds me of Jesus and the Samaritan woman in John 4. She’s thirsty, and Jesus is like, “No, you’re thirsty.” She’s talking about water, and Jesus offers living water.
Here, Jesus says they think they’re hungry for bread, but really they’s hungry at a deeper level.
The crowds think: wait, this reminds us of those stories from so many centuries ago, when old hero Moses summoned that magical bread called “manna” to keep feeding our ancestors. Jesus says: I am the manna. I am God’s food for the whole world.
Interestingly, the word “manna” for the food God provided in the desert meant something like, “What is this?”
And that is the question at this point in John regarding Jesus. Who or what is this man?
Some of what Jesus has to say:
- Bread of heaven
- Make you never-hungry and never-thirsty
- Sent from God
- Giver of life
- Never driving anyone away
- Never losing anything or anyone
- Doing exactly what God wants
- Extending life forever, even after death
That’s some list, isn’t it? How does this list relate to the best or worst experiences in your own family or cultural history?
Are you inclined to do what Jesus calls “the work of God,” to trust Jesus to be these things for you and yours?