“Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.’” John 6:35
Bread was on their mind. Jesus was talking to a crowd of people who had come to find him after witnessing and being a part of the miracle of the feeding of the five thousand. Jesus had fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Afterward, He had withdrawn from the crowd because they had gotten overzealous and were about to try to make Him king. Jesus withdrew from them and went to the mountain by himself. (John 6:15)
That evening the disciples had set out in their boat to Capernaum with no Jesus with them, but Jesus had walked on water to get to them.
The next day some of the crowd that he had fed was looking for Him and when they couldn’t find Him they got into boats and went to Capernaum themselves. When they found Him they began to question Him. Jesus knew however that the reason they were looking was they wanted a repeat performance from the day before. It wasn’t that they wanted Him as much as they wanted more bread! They wanted another miracle just like that one!
Oh how many times have I tried to get Jesus to give me a repeat performance of something He has already done for me? How many times have I been in some worship service that I felt Him so strongly that I wanted somehow to reconstruct that service, instead of seeking Him from that service? Apart form that service? How many times have I been seeking Him to answer some prayer for me that, maybe He has done something similar in the past, so I want to dictate to Him how I want it answered in the here and now. But Jesus didn’t want to just perform miraculous signs for them. Jesus wanted them! And He wanted them to want Him, not just His signs and wonders and miracles! He wanted their hearts. And Jesus doesn’t want me to reconstruct a worship service or to tell Him how to answer my prayers. He wants my heart and He wants me to seek Him, not just what He can do for me.
He was speaking to them about bread here because that was what was on their mind. They also would have been no stranger to the happenings of Moses and the Israelites who ate the manna in the wilderness. So He was able to correlate His story to Moses. God gave the Israelites the Manna from heaven. And God has given His son to be the bread of life. In answering them the way He did, he had hoped to change their thinking from the materialistic here and now to kingdom thoughts of what they would gain from seeking Him. Not just what He can do for them.
Now let me say here, I have had Jesus answer prayers for me, but I have also had Jesus delay the answers to prayers or not to answer them in the way or the timing that I so wanted Him to. But what I have always found when I pray is Him. And the nourishment I receive from Him is far better and far outweighs anything I can receive from Him.
Oh Lord, may I not just seek answers to my prayers but may I seek your heart and may I find you when I seek you with all of mine.