So little has changed; perhaps much is the same! – Monday, 3rd Week of Easter – Acts 6:8-15/ John 6:22-29
Read also https://www.pottypadre.com/hate-rid/ based on the first reading taken from the Acts of the Apostles.
The narrative of today is a continuation of the narrative on the multiplication of the fish and loaves. While the text of yesterday was a chronologic flow of Jesus’ life, the text of today is what a story book would entitle as, ‘meanwhile…”
Jesus has fed the five thousand and sent the twelve away….meanwhile the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea (the side where the multiplication had taken place) saw that there had been only one boat there. We are told in 6:41 that the ‘crowd’ is a reference to the Jews who not only noticed that that there was one boat but his disciples had taken the boat and gone away ‘alone’. They assume that Jesus is in the vicinity unaware that he has walked on the water to his disciples during the night. When boats were made available, they went to seek him in Capernaum.
It’s interesting to note that the Jews knew where to look for the Lord even though as we will be told in verse 26 that they don’t seek him as much as they seek the food he provided. Ironically, the children of light (hopefully that is you and me) also know when and where to seek the Lord. Sadly, and mostly the reality of our seeking him is when our stomach is empty or a need has to be fulfilled. So little has changed; perhaps much is the same!
Jesus is open in his confrontation (of the Jews and us). There is no ‘CAREfrontation’ for it is clear that Jesus does not believe in mollycoddling the Jews to appease them; that sadly seems to be the order of today; appeasement politics, both in government and in Church. Jesus is direct and decisive.
When Jesus confronts his ‘seekers’ he picks his words very carefully. “You are looking for me not because you saw the signs but because you ate your fill of the loaves.” They have missed the point of what Jesus was doing. They have seen the things that Jesus has been doing but have missed the ‘sign’; the deeper meaning behind what he did. The food they are looking for is not the food that counts and it is but this that they seek Jesus for.
For those who followed my teaching on the multiplication of the loaves and the fish, last Friday, will remember that I said that in the Gospel of John the multiplication is not a miracle as much as it is a sign. A sign points to something and in this case to Jesus the Messiah; the new Moses. Yet it is the food that ‘Jesus could provide’ (the human Jesus) and not the ‘Son of God who he was’ (the divine son of the father), that the Jews sought after. For them it is one not the other, for us it must be both and.
Jesus is emphatic; simply working for the food that perishes is futile but not if one also seeks the food of eternal life that endures. In the Gospel of John, in the bread of life discourse, Jesus will declare, “I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst.” (John 6:35).
Jesus asks us not just to ‘believe’ but to ‘believe in’. It is not just a question of accepting certain statements about Jesus and who he really is. ‘Believing in’ involves a total and unconditional commitment of the whole self to Jesus, to the Gospel and the vision of life that he proposes and making it part of one’s own self. This is where the real bread is to be found.