Rumor of Jesus coming to town brought people out of their homes “and a large crowd was following him, because they saw the signs that he was doing on the sick” (John 6:2). Jesus put on a good show, the crowd was expectant, and again, Jesus did not disappoint. A boy with five loaves of bread and two fish provided all that Jesus needed to feed the thousands who had been listening to him teach. From a small basket with a few loaves and fish, Jesus kept pulling out more and more, passing them to the crowds until all had plenty with leftovers. Now they were following him, “not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves” (John 6:26).
So Jesus told them of a better bread, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). Jesus said he is bread from heaven, claiming God as his Father. The crowd disagreed, “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know?” (John 6:42). Jesus said, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever,” and he invited them to “eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood” (John 6:51, 53). They knew what he meant, because they knew the Scriptures, “Man does not live by bread alone, but man lives by every word that comes from the mouth of the Lord” (Deuteronomy 8:3). Jesus is that Word of God; and “the Word became flesh and dwelt among us” (John 1:14).
The crowds had first followed because they were curious, then because Jesus was interesting, and finally because he filled their stomachs; but were they prepared to call the son of a carpenter Savior and Lord? “After this many of his disciples turned back and no longer walked with him” (John 6:66).
“You don’t want to leave, too?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Peter shook his head for all of them, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life” (John 6:68).
My Lord and God, Author of Life. Everything about why I am here, You are the answer. I love You and promise to follow You. I know it will be hard, because Your truth is difficult. People want to do things their own way, and You demand that we follow You to find full and everlasting life.
I choose to stand for You, to stand with You, God. Thank You for standing with me, because really, I am not that strong. (You knew that already.) But, in the power of Your Spirit by the authority of Your Son, I will stand for Your truth and live a life fully committed to You.