August 6, 2000

John 6:24-35 (CEV)

The people saw that Jesus and his disciples had left. Then they got into the boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. They found him on the west side of the lake and asked, "Rabbi, when did you get here?"

Jesus 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. Don't work for food that spoils. Word 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."

"What exactly does God want us to do?" the people asked.

Jesus answered, "God want you to have faith in the one he sent."

They replied, "What miracle will you work, so that we can have faith in you? What will you do? 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.'"

Jesus told them, "I tell you for certain that Moses wasn't the one who gave you bread from heave. My Father is one who gives you the true bread from heaven. And the bread that God gives is the one who came down from heaven to give life to the world."

The people said, "Lord, give us this bread and don't ever stop!"

Jesus replied: "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...."


1. "What exactly does God want us to do?" is a key question of life. It is important to know whether this is being asked rhetorically (to quote God in support of one's own agenda) or is being asked lightly (to keep a conversation going) or is being asked culturally (to get more goodies) or is being asked willingly (willing to move in the direction of what is heard).
     Say aloud, "What exactly does God want me to do?" How did that feel? How much do you want a response?

2. If you desire a response it won't have to do with the logic of history (moving logically from past to present to future, but will bring a radical break-through) and it won't have to do with measurable results (put this creed in and get a Mercedes out) and it won't have to do with feeding one hunger or addiction or another (loneliness, excitement, etc.). It will require the life-long development and redevelopment of spiritual/life disciplines. Ready? Good! Let's go.

3. The Christian Community Bible from the Philippines has this comment:

    Jesus becomes our bread when we believe in him.
     In the past, when the Israelites wandered in the desert and lacked everything, God gave them a provisional meal, the manna. They has to give thanks to him for his gifts. But, if God is only our benefactor and we go to him seeking favours, we will end up concerned only about what God gives us; we will hardly thank him, and later, we will ask and complain again.
     This is what happened with the Israelites who, after receiving the manna, rebelled against God and died in the desert. Material things, although they may come from heaven, do not make us better nor do they give us true life.
     For this reason, God now proposes something new. The bread that comes down from heaven, is not something, but someone, and that is Christ. That true bread communicates eternal life to us, but to receive it, it is necessary to take a step, that is, to believe in Christ and to make a personal commitment to him.

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