25They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26Jesus answered, “I tell you for certain that you are not looking for me because you saw the miracles, but because you ate all the food you wanted. 27 Don't work for food that spoils. Work for food that gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give you this food, because God the Father has given him the right to do so.”
28“What exactly does God want us to do?” the people asked.
29Jesus answered, “God wants you to have faith in the one he sent.”
30They replied, “What miracle will you work, so that we can have faith in you? What will you do? 31 For example, when our ancestors were in the desert, they were given manna to eat. It happened just as the Scriptures say, ‘God gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”
32Jesus then told them, “I tell you for certain that Moses wasn't the one who gave you bread from heaven. My Father is the one who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33And the bread that God gives is the one who came down from heaven to give life to the world.”
34The people said, “Sir, give us this bread and don't ever stop!”
I am the bread that gives life! No one who comes to me will ever be hungry. No one who has faith in me will ever be thirsty. 36I have told you already that you have seen me and still do not have faith in me. 37Everything and everyone that the Father has given me will come to me, and I won't turn any of them away.
38I didn't come from heaven to do what I want! I came to do what the Father wants me to do. He sent me, 39and he wants to make certain that none of the ones he has given me will be lost. Instead, he wants me to raise them to life on the last day. 40My Father wants everyone who sees the Son to have faith in him and to have eternal life. Then I will raise them to life on the last day.
The crowds thought they knew what they wanted and needed. Just like we so often do. We need money, food, a job.
What the crowds saw in Jesus was the deal of a lifetime. They thought he would provide for their needs, perhaps even run a government on miracles, and finally bring justice to the governing system. They saw the “little” miracles but the missed the “real” one.
Jesus himself was the “real” miracle. He was there to offer them a relationship with himself, and with his Father. He was there to offer them forgiveness and eternal life.
But they wanted free food. They wanted something to fill their bellies, not the bread of life.
Christian worship artists Deluge Band sing a song entitled “Open Up the Sky”. They sing, “Open up the sky, fall down like rain, we don’t want blessings, we want you… we don’t want anything but you.”
We are challenged to evaluate this in our own hearts. Do we want Jesus for the miracles, the food, the house, the job, the baby, or some other thing we desire? Will we be like those in the crowd who turned away from the Blesser because they wanted the blessing more? It’s not wrong to want to be blessed and have blessings, but when the blessing becomes our god instead of the Blesser, we have missed the miracle.
Jesus offers us an eternity with him. He offers us an intimate relationship with God the Father. What he offers is more miraculous than supplying all the crowds, and you and me, with food until the day we die. He’s offering that bread of life, eternal life, to you and me. That’s the real miracle!
Father God, thank you for providing not only my daily bread, but also the bread of life. I thank you for the miracle of an intimate relationship and eternity with you. May I sing with all my heart, I don’t want blessing, I want you. In Jesus’ name. Amen.