John 6 is a great example of the total disconnect between Jesus, and what he had to offer, versus the people following Jesus, and what they wanted.
The chapter starts with Jesus feeding 5000 men. (I don’t even have space to discuss Jesus’ walking on the water right after that miracle.) Once his followers enjoyed a free meal, they wanted more. The chapter then has this recurring theme where the people want more food, and Jesus wants to focus on something more eternal.
I’ll paraphrase the story:
Jesus: You’re only following me to get more food. You shouldn’t focus on food that spoils, but the food that I’ll give you that will endure eternally.
People: Do a miracle for us. Moses fed our ancestors in the desert. (Hint)
Jesus: I’m the true bread from heaven to give life to the world.
People: Feed us.
Jesus: 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.”
Jesus: 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.”
People: Grumble about eating Jesus’ flesh.
Jesus: 54 Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day. … 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.”
People: Desert Jesus.
Jesus then asked the twelve disciples, “Are you going to leave too?”
I love Peter’s answer, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God.”
In Jesus’ day, I assume the people had to work pretty hard to acquire food. If Jesus could have just supplied all the food they would have needed for the rest of their lives, life would have been so much easier. After all, God wants us to have an easy life, right?
Jesus was focused on doing God’s will, and looking forward to the resurrection. Four times in this chapter, Jesus repeats that he will raise people up at the last day. Five times he talks about eternal life.
How often do we focus on (and pray for and long for) God making life easy for us? Jesus is clearly pointing out that we just need to “believe in the one he [God] has sent.” Live for Him, and look forward to the resurrection.
So, where will you focus today?