As I read, starting in verse 22, I watched as those who were fed woke up the next morning wanting their first meal of the day. Since Jesus was gone, they tracked him down in Capernaum and asked for some breakfast, please. Except they didn't say please. When Jesus didn't give them food, instead talking about eternal life given by the Son of Man, they had the audacity to question His authority to say such things by demanding, "Prove it! Perform a miracle so we can believe you!" I'm quite certain Jesus had proven Himself when He fed them just the day before.
In verse 32, I began to marvel at the patience Jesus shows this hungry group as He tells them about the opportunity for true and eternal satisfaction for those who come to Him and believe in Him. Completely unlike the temporary satisfaction of a full belly that will need to be fed in a few hours. To drive home His point, check out this passage starting in verse 48.
"I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness, and they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven so that anyone may eat of it and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread he will live forever. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is My flesh.” At that, the Jews argued among themselves, “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?”
So Jesus said to them, "I assure you: Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you do not have life in yourselves. Anyone who eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day, because My flesh is real food and My blood is real drink. The one who eats My flesh and drinks My blood lives in Me, and I in him. Just as the living Father sent Me and I live because of the Father, so the one who feeds on Me will live because of Me. This is the bread that came down from heaven; it is not like the manna your fathers ate--and they died. The one who eats this bread will live forever." (vv. 48-58 HCSB)Huh?
Eat flesh and drink blood?!?
It's not surprising that many who had traveled across the Sea of Galilee to find breakfast replied in this way,
Therefore, when many of His disciples heard this, they said, “This teaching is hard! Who can accept it?” (v. 60 HCSB)I'd say that's putting it mildly.
And this image immediately came to my mind:
Courtesy of TwilightSingapore dot com
Now, I've never read any of the Twilight books or seen any of the movies, but I believe it's a story (correct me if I'm wrong) about a guy who wants to drink the blood of the one he loves to survive. But he doesn't because he doesn't want to turn her into a vampire. Until later, when he does. But it's for her own good, so she wont die.
No, you won't find me standing in line catching the latest movie release, although I know several people who are fanatically devoted to these stories.
I think about posts I've seen on Facebook about standing in line for a midnight premiere, or watching an hours long Twilight marathon to get ready for the next movie.
What if my devotion to Jesus were as fanatic as others' devotion to Twilight?
Or...college football, Christmas shopping, hunting, our children's activities, work, keeping house...The list could go on. It's so much easier to be fanatic about just about everything except Jesus. It's acceptable.
But be fanatic about Jesus? Then people may look at me and say, "Gah! What a fanatic!" To most, that's unacceptable.
But that's what I want to hear. Knowing that He is the very thing that I need to live and to breathe and to overcome the struggles in this life.
Him, and Him alone.