Submitted by Visitor (not verified) on Tue, 08/12/2009 – 14:32
Bible Book: Luke / Lukas
According to John 6:1-15 Jesus fed the multitude. “It is clear from this story that Jesus is deeply concerned about the multitude’s need for food and that even a young boy’s food parcel can be instrumental in the way He addresses these needs”, I wrote last week.
The day after Jesus fed the multitude the people again searched for Him – even though it meant that they had to travel to Capernaum by boat (v 24). However, when they found Jesus, it seemed as if Jesus did not share their excitement in meeting again. He confronted them with their concern about bread alone (v 26) and challenged them to work for “food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you” (v 27 – NIV). Jesus invited them to believe in Him as the One sent by God. “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent” (v 29 – NIV). The discussion that followed gives the impression that the people became estranged from Jesus.
Is there a tension between John 6:1-15 and John 6:24-35 – between what Jesus did when He fed the people and what He said to them the following day? Does the second passage overrule the first one? Do we have to conclude that “bread for our bodies” is actually not so important and that “bread for our souls” is the only real important issue?
No – there is no real tension, because both passages reveal Jesus to us. It is the same Jesus who speaks to us through the story of the feeding of the hungry people and who speaks to us through His conversation with the people he fed. To them and us He revealed that, “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” (v 35 – NIV).
It is clear from the gospel that Jesus is deeply concerned about the whole person. In Him we find true sustenance because we find our true, wholesome (healed) humanity in Him.
To think about or discuss: How can we minister to the whole person in the context of the HIV pandemic? Mother Teresa said: “There is more hunger for love and appreciation in this world than for bread.” Do you agree?
Author: N du Toit (Ds)