Daily D – John 6:30
They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do?” JOHN 6:30 (NLT)
People love magicians. They know that real magic is not taking place, but they love the experience of illusions and sleight of hand. A well-known magician died yesterday from complications of COVID-19.
There is a preacher on television offering miracle cures for COVID-19. For the right price, you too can claim your miracle.
Jesus fed over 5,000 people by multiplying a little boy’s lunch. Those people ate all they wanted and left twelve baskets full of leftovers. The next day they sounded like Oliver Twist, “Please sir, I want some more.”
They looked for Jesus where they last saw him. He wasn’t there. He had gone to the other side of the lake. He took a little walk across the stormy sea (vv. 16-21). The well-fed crowd from the day before experienced growling stomachs and chased down Jesus for another miraculous meal. Jesus knew their motive. “I tell you the truth, you want to be with me because I fed you, not because you understood the miraculous signs,” (v. 26).
Jesus pointed beyond the bread to what it indicated. The crowd wanted more proof. And more bread. And they didn’t say, “Please.” Their request was a bit more demanding than that. They even threw down the gauntlet of Moses providing manna from heaven, daily bread.
In other words, give us daily bread, keep us well fed, and we are all in. It’s amazing how quickly loyalties shift for full bellies and entertainment. Rome figured this out with their bread and circuses. Now that the toilet paper crisis has been solved, people would like to get this COVID-19 thing over in time for late summer and fall football. Some things never change.
So, once upon a time, the crowd of people who experienced the one miracle recorded in all four gospel accounts asked God Incarnate, “What can you do?”
In John’s Gospel, Jesus speaks seven I AM statements. These statements declare who he is.
- “I am the bread of life.” (John 6:35, 41, 48, 51)
- “I am the light of the world.” (John 8:12)
- “I am the door of the sheep.” (John 10:7,9)
- “I am the resurrection and the life.” (John 11:25)
- “I am the good shepherd.” (John 10:11, 14)
- “I am the way, the truth, and the life.” (John 14:6)
- “I am the true vine.” (John 15:1, 5)
Jesus was so much more than a magician. He was the one through whom all things were created (1:1-4). He who created the world from nothing, who spoke it into existence, who formed a man out of dust, and a woman from a man, was so much more than a meal dispenser.
Where Jesus wanted them to see the greater reality the miracle pointed to, they stopped at full bellies. A tuna fish sandwich was all it took to win their loyalty. To keep their loyalty, Jesus would have to keep it up every day. A magician is only as good as his last illusion. A miracle worker is only as good as his last miracle.
Keep reading in this chapter and you find that the multitudes melt away when it becomes apparent there is no more miracle bread. Jesus even asked his closest followers if they wanted to find a new gig. They made the wise choice to look beyond miracle bread and walking on water and healing all kinds of physical ailments to see increasingly clearly who Jesus was. They also stuck around to see the miracle of all miracles, the resurrection of Jesus after his brutal execution.
Wait until you see his next trick. It’s a real world stopper.
I will look beyond the signs to the reality they point toward.
Our Father, let us never content ourselves with bread and entertainment. Let us content ourselves only in knowing you and experiencing you more each day. Let us never follow you only for what you can do, but for who you are. You are all we need. May you become all we want. Amen.
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Genesis 26:26-31 Meanwhile, Abimelek had come to him from Gerar, with Ahuzzath his personal adviser and Phicol the commander of his forces. 27 Isaac asked them, “Why have you come to me, since you were hostile to me and sent me away?”
28 They answered, “We saw clearly that the LORD was with you; so we said, ‘There ought to be a sworn agreement between us’—between us and you. Let us make a treaty with you 29 that you will do us no harm, just as we did not harm you but always treated you well and sent you away peacefully. And now you are blessed by the LORD.”
30 Isaac then made a feast for them, and they ate and drank. 31 Early the next morning the men swore an oath to each other. Then Isaac sent them on their way, and they went away peacefully.
Genesis 22:13, 14 Abraham looked up and there in a thicket he saw a ram caught by its horns. He went over and took the ram and sacrificed it as a burnt offering instead of his son. 14 So Abraham called that place The LORD Will Provide. And to this day it is said, “On the mountain of the LORD it will be provided.
Genesis 21:1-3 Now the LORD was gracious to Sarah as he had said, and the LORD did for Sarah what he had promised. 2 Sarah became pregnant and bore a son to Abraham in his old age, at the very time God had promised him. 3 Abraham gave the name Isaac to the son Sarah bore him.
Genesis 17:1 When Abram was ninety-nine years old, the LORD appeared to him and said, “I am God Almighty; walk before me faithfully and be blameless.
Genesis 6:9 This is the account of Noah and his family.
Noah was a righteous man, blameless among the people of his time, and he walked faithfully with God.