Cue the chorus of angels - Ahhhhhh Hallelujah! It's Saturday!!! My favourite morning of the week. This is the morning where we don't have to rush around trying to get 2 small beings ready for all their "stuff". Did you remember ______? - Why don't you want grapes in your lunch? - Stop hitting your brother/sister and get changed for school! - Go get some clothes on! You can't go to school naked! - You know, the "stuff". None of that this morning! I didn't even bother to set an alarm because I went to bed late AND I didn't have to get up for anything this morning. As a result, I crawled out of bed around 10 am.... ahhhhhhhhhhhhhhh, awesome.
Once again, I read off my phone, but I felt fresh as a daisy and let me tell you, I was excited for this reading. Chapter 6 starts off with Jesus feeding the five thousand... men. That doesn't include women and children in the count. I think it's safe to assume that you could say there was maybe even 8,000-9,000 people in general. He did this with 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish... and there were leftovers! Can you imagine? I'm going to sit down with Jesus and engorge myself with him and roughly 7,500 other people on only 5 loaves of bread and 2 fish. Then, when he realizes these people now want to forcefully make him a king, he leaves. He doesn't want that. He has come to show how to serve and to love. He has come as an example of what humble submission should look like.
After feeding the people and leaving the disciples get into a boat and as a result they witness Jesus walking on water over to them, calming the storm as he goes. Have you ever had that in your life? There is a storm raging around you and then if you open yourself to Jesus and pray over it, it just gets so much more manageable. He has a tendency to calm the storm of life.
When this crowd wakes up they go searching for Jesus and find him on the other side of the lake. There is a very interesting conversation about manna and the bread of life. God provided manna that kept His people alive for the day, but now He has provided his Son to offer eternal life. Sadly people can't understand the direct correlation between these things and a lot of disciples leave Jesus. If you think back and put yourself in the shoes of these people, how do you think you would have responded? The Sunday school answer is that you would have stayed, and I hope that I would have stayed. But we have the bible to provide the answers to our questions. The most these people had was the Old Testament. We have hindsight. They were living in the moment. Let's face it, sometimes I even get confused by what Jesus is teaching. If it wasn't for commentaries and church and discussion, I'd likely have a hard time too.
One of the very last things in this chapter is the proclamation from Jesus that one of his 12 closest followers is a devil. That person also doesn't believe and will betray him to his ultimate sacrifice. W-h-o-a. That. Is. Deep. Imagine if you were there when he said this. You'd be like, well it isn't me, is it you? There could even be a sense of paranoia. Who is going to betray Jesus? Perhaps even a sense of judgement. I'm going to find out who it is and kill them before they can betray Jesus. Maybe it'd be like an episode of Survivor. Making alliances and trying to figure out who the ultimate betrayer is. I don't know what I'd do. It would certainly be hard to trust anyone but Jesus at that point. What if my best friend was the betrayer?
What do you think the atmosphere would have been like at the end of Chapter 6?
Above all, this passage to me reflected communion. We partake of the bread and the wine or juice because it represents the body and blood of Jesus. We do this in remembrance of who Jesus was and what he did for us by dying on the cross so that we could have eternal life. Jesus said that God's people were given manna each day but by taking the bread and drinking the wine/juice God has provided us with life, even after our existence on this earth is over. It's such a passage of hope and promise.
How are you doing on the challenge? Let me know in the comments.
You know the saying, the grass is always greener on the other side? This is my attempt to find greener grass right where I am in my life.
BTW - I'm the one on the right, just in case you didn't already know that.