Sabbatical 2017

Sabbatical 2017
Arc de Triumph

Sunday, October 16, 2016

Chronological Reading Plan for Oct 17, John 6

Today's reading is Jn 6. Tomorrow's readings are Mt 15-16, Mk 7-8.

John 6 is an incredibly important chapter for reasons that can be easy to gloss over.

The spectacular feeding of the crowd is there in detail. John reveals that the crowd, having been fed, calls Jesus the Prophet (Dt 18:15). They think He's Moses!  They mean it to be an honor and a compliment but it falls woefully short of who Jesus really is. No one has ever done the works that Jesus has done. Based on their incorrect perception of who He is, Jesus rejects their idea of kingship.

The multiplication of the food demonstrated Jesus' power over matter. Walking on water and transporting the boat to the shore indicate He has power over the forces of nature and the laws of physics as well.

Having given abundant proof of who He is, Jesus teaches. As He does, He reveals an incredible series of theological truths:
  • He is the bread of heaven that gives life (vs 32-33). True enough...but how does that life come?
  • The Father gives it (vs 37)
  • No one comes to Him unless the Father draws him (vs 44)
  • This is an act of God alone (vs 63)
  • No one comes to Him unless it is granted by the Father (vs 65)
It is clear that no one comes to Jesus apart from an act of God alone. Jesus has performed these incredible signs to prove the veracity of these statements.

He also teaches that those who are truly His will eat His flesh and drink His blood, both symbolic of the eucharist which is, in itself, symbolic of the crucifixion. Jesus is telling them they must become one with Him if they are to be saved.

The crowds misunderstand, once again. They all leave, except for the twelve.

It is curious that human nature can be so fickle. As long as Jesus performs sensational miracles and blesses people, they are wild about Him. When the crowds find out that the miracles and blessings lead to some pretty heavy doctrinal teaching, they leave. It seems some folks are following Jesus because of what they expect to get from Him, not because of who He is. 

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