We now come to Chapter 6 in our Journey through John—a chapter full of activity and discourse, hope and disappointment, enthusiasm and abandonment
Two more signs open this chapter: the feeding of the 5,000, and Jesus walking on water and overtaking his disciples in their boat.
These are two incredible signs! Surprisingly, they do not lead to faith. When the crowd approaches Jesus, they ask him to perform another sign and remind him that Moses gave their forefathers manna. Perhaps they are hinting at a desire to be fed again—maybe they wanted something more than ordinary bread, or to be fed regularly, or on a larger scale.
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. Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life..."I tell you the truth, it is not Moses ...but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world"...Then Jesus declared, "I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty....I tell you the truth, he who believes has everlasting life. I am the bread of life. Your forefathers ate the manna in the desert, yet they died. But here is the bread that comes down from heaven, which a man may eat and not die. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. (John 6:26 ff.)
Here again, Jesus presents Himself as the Lifegiver, the source of eternal life. Here again, we are called to belief.
The crowd swings from wanting to make Jesus king when their bellies are full to abandoning Him when their appetites aren't catered to.
From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him.
"You do not want to leave too, do you?" Jesus asked the Twelve.
Simon Peter answered him, "Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know that you are the Holy One of God." John 6:66-69
What about you? Will you follow after the words of eternal life?