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John 6:22-34, Bread from Heaven

Tuesday, February 13

Bread From Heaven

Narrative Lectionary Daily Devotions written by Daniel D. Maurer from Clergy Stuff.

 Bread from heaven

As is typical in the Gospel of John, the crowds simply don't have a clue what Jesus is saying . . . at least at first. Craig Koester, one of the founders of the Narrative Lectionary has much to say on the topic of comedy in the Gospel of John. It's easy to brush off the literary tools we see in scripture, even when they're right in front of our noses. However, John's Gospel uses humor—nearly all the way through the text—to drive home the point that the current audience for Jesus' dialogue and actions DOES get it. (That includes us.)

In this story, Jesus sees through the crowd's self-justifications. He knows they live from their bellies. At the same time, the crowd essentially demands a miracle from Jesus as the Israelites had received in the wilderness. Jesus knows that he is the embodiment of the Father's love. Jesus IS the Bread of Life, incarnate.  

Narrative Lectionary Text: John 6:22-34

The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the lake saw that there had been only one boat there. They also saw that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. So when the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.

When they found him on the other side of the lake, they said to him, ‘Rabbi, when did you come here?’ Jesus answered them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’

Earlier Event: February 12
John 6:16-21, Jesus Walks on Water
Later Event: February 14
John 10:1-18, The Good Shepherd