Reading: John 6
Summary: The series of events recorded in today’s reading serves as a microcosm of what the interaction between Jesus as God’s Son and humanity is all about. It begins with the miraculous feeding of the 5,000, that same crowd misunderstands and misapplies what His miraculous power meant, they pursue Jesus the following day based on less than the best motives, they’re unwilling to be led by Him to understand what following Him really means and consequently cease to follow any longer. Some, though, resolve to continue to do so.
Don’t Let a Good Relationship Go Bad
It all looked so good but turned out so badly. The fact is, our relationships, even with Jesus, can quickly and easily go wrong.
What was good? Upon seeing His signs (healing the sick and feeding the multitude) a very large crowd followed Him and even concluded that He was “the Prophet who is come into the world” (John 6:2,14). At this point everything was exactly as it should be—but not for long.
They immediately wanted to forcefully make Him a king, based on their mistaken ideas about God’s purposes for the Messiah and His people (John 6:15). The next day Jesus told the crowd their interest in Him really wasn’t motivated by the signs they’d seen, but by the fact that He had fed them (John 6:26). He encouraged that their concern be for “food that endures to eternal life” instead of “food that perishes” (John 6:27). They didn’t embrace that encouragement, to say the least. Instead of following Him more closely as a result of His further instruction, many “turned back and no longer walked with Him” (John 6:66).
Just because some people began by “seeking Jesus” (John 6:24), it doesn’t mean, by any means, that they would end up being His disciple. All the elements were present for the best outcome: the signs to induce faith, the instruction to clarify understanding, the encouragement from Jesus to get priorities straight. But all was for naught.
That’s just how it is with following Jesus, though, isn’t it? For us to be blessed as God wants to bless us through His Son, we have to follow Him all the way. We have to get past the initial “rush”. We have to accept correction in our thinking and understanding. We have to adopt His priorities as our own. We have to understand what Peter confessed, if we turn away from Him we have rejected eternal life (John 6:68).
We would do well to ask, exactly which direction is my relationship with Jesus headed right now?