I’m a grumbler. I confess. I have this terrible habit of grumbling my way through my most difficult and stressful situations. It’s from a lack of confidence. Misplaced confidence. I see it in this chapter as Jesus has just spoken the most clear and emphatic truths, eternal truth about Himself. To the hungry crowds He tells them He is the Bread of Life. Come to Him and never be hungry. Believe in Him and never thirst. He shall never reject those who come. He does the will of God His Father who sent Him. That will is to lose nothing, but raise it up on the last day. What is the will of God? “This is the will of My Father, that everyone who beholds the Son and believes in Him, may have eternal life; and I Myself will raise him up on the last day.” ! Wow, now that’s a mouthful. Jesus clearly reveals Himself to them and what must be done to have eternal life and who He is. How do they respond?
Grumbling – because of bread. Because they knew His parents and it did not make sense. Because Jesus called Himself ‘Bread from Heaven’. Jesus, who just miraculously fed them bread in the wilderness. They did not understand. They did not believe. They doubted His word, on the simple first part and thus rejected the entire message.
Their grumbling indicated they may not be among those who are drawn by the Father to Him. You have to both hear and learn. You can hear something and not learn it. You can sit in church and not learn.
Jesus does not back down. He continues to declare the message they cannot grasp. He is stirring up their emotions. They are feeling cut out. They want the free food but they don’t want to believe. They want the miracles but not the beliefs. Just like the ancestors who ate manna in the dessert died, if they reject the Bread of Life (reject Jesus) they will die.
There is no lack of clarity here. This is the day Jesus comes out. He tells the whole truth. “I am the bread of life.” “The bread which I shall give for the life of the world is my flesh”
He gets specific. “unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in yourselves.”
Communion with God. Abiding in God. Jesus lives as the living Father sent Him so we live because of abiding in Jesus.
Stop grumbling and eat.