There were times in His ministry that Christ taught some things that the crowd didn’t like, mostly because they didn’t understand it. As a result, a lot of people left Him, even some of His disciples. These are some of the Lord’s most important teachings.
I want to take a few posts to look at one such section. Here’s some background to help you understand what’s happening in this passage of Scripture. Jesus had just miraculously fed 5000 people.
They were all on a hillside listening to Jesus and hadn’t eaten all day. The disciples found someone with five loaves of bread and two fish. They took this meager provision to the Lord. Jesus then broke the fish and bread and fed the whole crowd with what started out as just a little bit.
He then sent the disciples out on a boat to cross the lake and meet Him on the other side. As they were in the middle of the crossing a huge storm came up and the disciples feared for their very lives. In the midst of the storm, Jesus comes to them walking on the water and gets them safely to the other side.
Now, on the far end of the lake, the crowd catches up to the Lord on foot. They were surprised at how fast He got there. Of course, He went straight across. He didn’t have to go the long way around!
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.”
Here we see Jesus going right to the heart of the matter. “Why do you care where I go and how I get there? The reason you’re following Me is for what you can get materially. You only want a free lunch.”
The trouble with the crowd was that they didn’t want to hear and obey His teaching. Instead, they liked the spread He put on. They weren’t following Him because He had the words of eternal life.
It’s a sad truth, even in Christian circles today. If you throw a church dinner everybody comes. If, on the other hand, you call for a week of special fasting and prayer you get a lot fewer people involved. It’s easy to see that the desires of the flesh haven’t changed in 2000 years.
Question: Why does it seem so hard to deepen our spiritual walk?
© Nick Zaccardi 2013