In John chapter 6 of the Bible, we find a large number of Jews following Jesus. They were following Him because they had seen Him heal the sick. And as they followed Him, Jesus performed another miracle, He provided more than enough food to feed over five thousand people when all that was available was five barley loaves and two small fish. Because of these miracles, the people started claiming that Jesus was the Prophet (a reference in Jewish law to the coming Savior King). But Jesus knew their intentions to take Him by force to make Him king, so He left them.
However, the next day, motivated by what they had seen and experienced, the people searched and found Jesus. At this point, Jesus confronts the crowd with the truth about their motives.
- John 6:26 Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled.
Jesus was telling them, ‘You have seen the miracles, but you are missing the miraculous!’ He wanted them to see beyond the obvious physical miracles to a clear understanding of the miraculous spiritual truth about Him!
- John 6:51 I am the living bread which came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever; and the bread that I shall give is My flesh, which I shall give for the life of the world.”
But because these Jews were so focused on finding a savior who would address their temporary earthly troubles, they couldn’t see that Jesus was indeed the promised Messiah who was sent to meet their eternal spiritual needs. With love and compassion for these lost souls, Jesus spoke to them using graphic physical imagery to express a critical spiritual reality.
- John 6:53 Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to 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 him up at the last day.
But they didn’t understand what He was saying to them! They weren’t willing/able to accept what seemed to be appalling statements about eating His flesh and drinking His blood. So, Jesus tells them plainly that He is speaking about spiritual, not physical things.
- John 6:61-63 When Jesus knew in Himself that His disciples complained about this, He said to them, “Does this offend you? 62 What then if you should see the Son of Man ascend where He was before? 63 It is the Spirit who gives life; the flesh profits nothing. The words that I speak to you are spirit, and they are life.
- NOTE: The word ‘disciples’ in this verse literally means ‘students’. Here, Jesus was referring to the people in the crowd who were hearing His teachings, not the 12 disciples He had chosen earlier in His ministry (see John 6:67 and Mark 3:13-19). The 12 disciples were those who spent 3.5 years in close relationship with Him and continued to spread the truth about Him after His death, resurrection and ascension.
And then we read, what is to me one of the saddest scriptures in the Word of God.
- John 6:66 From that time many of His disciples went back and walked with Him no more.
Those who walked away from Jesus had seen with their own eyes His healing power. They had eaten the bread and fish that He multiplied. They walked away from the very Messiah for which they went searching. They walked away from God!
Seen the Miracles
But They Were
Missing the Miraculous
Christians, pray for those who don’t know Jesus as Lord and Savior. Pray that they will see the truth of WHO HE IS AND WHAT HE HAS DONE!
If you are not a follower of Jesus, pray for the one true God of the universe to reveal the truth about Jesus to you.
- Romans 3:23 for all have sinned and fall short of the glory of God,
- Romans 6:23 For the wages of sin is death, but the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.
- Romans 5:8 But God demonstrates His own love toward us, in that while we were still sinners, Christ died for us.
- John 3:16-17 For God so loved the world that He gave His only begotten Son, that whoever believes in Him should not perish but have everlasting life. 17 For God did not send His Son into the world to condemn the world, but that the world through Him might be saved.
- 2 Corinthians 5:21 For He made Him who knew no sin to be sin for us, that we might become the righteousness of God in Him.
- John 3:36 He who believes in the Son has everlasting life; and he who does not believe the Son shall not see life, but the wrath of God abides on him.”
Father, may the truth of Your Word and the conviction of Your Spirit encourage believers and draw the lost to You through Jesus. Thank You for Your perfect love and Your amazing grace. I pray these things in the powerful name of Jesus. Amen.