Impacting Cities & Communities thru Prayer
A Community of Prayer Champions, Praying Churches, Prayed-for Communities
We were amazed when we saw Jesus heal the sick. We decided then to become his disciples. We led a multitude that grew larger at every village along the sea until we came to where Jesus had gone to the far side of the sea with some of his disciples. He amazed us even more by feeding everyone there with what looked to us like a little boy’s lunch. We wanted to make him king. But we hardly had time to tell him of our devotion when he went back up the mountain alone. Soon his closest disciples left in their boat, and Jesus was not with them.
Several of us lit a bonfire and kept watch through the night, but we never saw Jesus. In the morning we were ready to eat again. We sent a man up the mountain to look for him. He said he saw where Jesus had been, but Jesus was not there. We were still puzzled over where he could have gone when a boat from Tiberius landed near where Jesus had blessed the bread and fish to feed everyone. We couldn't find Jesus, and we knew his disciples weren't there. Several people climbed into that boat. Other boats soon came along. More of us boarded them and headed back across to Capernaum. Looking for him in town seemed futile to me. I was tired and wanted to go home. But several men insisted that we go on hunting for him. Sure enough we found him in the synagogue. We interrupted his teaching to ask how he had come there.
He said, “You are not seeking me because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill and were satisfied. Do not live for the bread that will perish. Seek the bread that will endure to eternal life which only the son of man can give you. The signs that you see are the Father's seal upon him.”
We thought about this for a few minutes. Then I asked, “What must we be doing to do the works God demands?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is to believe in the one whom He has sent.”
One of us asked, “What mighty work will you do that we may see and believe in you. Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” This didn’t make sense to me. We had seen amazing signs. But we had not eaten since the day before, and they thought this was a fairly persuasive argument for him to feed us.
Jesus answered. “I am telling you the absolute truth. Moses did not give you bread from heaven. My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
The man said to him, “Sir, always give us this bread.” Others of us didn’t think Jesus was talking about food for our stomachs.
Jesus answered, “I am the bread of life—whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst. But you have seen and still do not believe.
“I did not come from Heaven to do my own will, but the will of the One who sent me. And it is His will, that I not lose any of those who come to me. It is my Father’s will that everyone who looks on the Son and believes should have eternal life. I will raise that person up on the last day.”
Well, many people complained about this. Some of them said, “This is Jesus the son of Joseph. We know his father and mother. How can he say that he came down from heaven?” I didn’t know how to answer this. But I had seen amazing miracles at his hand. I didn’t think Jesus answered them very well.
He said, “It is written in the prophets, ‘And they shall all be taught by God.’ Everyone who listens to the Father and learns from Him comes to me. I will raise him up on the last day. Not that anyone has seen the Father except he who came from the Father. He has, of course, seen him.'” This was offensive. He didn't have to say we had never heard from God, although, I suppose we had not.
Then he said, “I am telling you the truth, and you had better pay attention. Whoever believes has eternal life. I am the bread of life. Your fathers ate the manna in the wilderness and died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven. Whoever eats it will never die. I am the bread of life. This bread that I give for the life of the world is my own flesh.”
The others answered, “How can he give us his flesh to eat?” I was still troubled because of the miracles he had done in our presence. But I did not know what to say to this.
Jesus said, “I will dwell in whoever feeds on my flesh and drinks in my blood, and that person will live in me.”
Most of the others were saying this was too hard to accept. They decided that they could not follow him any more. And what could I say? If he said things like this,.we would never again gather a crowd to make him king. So I left with the others.
This story was drawn from John 6:22-65.
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