Does this cause you to stumble?
John chapter 6 starts out with Jesus feeding over 5,000 people at which point he fled before they could initiate his earthly reign by force. Jesus returned while the disciples were crossing the sea of Galilee, by walking on the water. The crowds soon followed and they asked a great question, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” However, their later question in verses 30–31 get to the heart behind the question, they demand another sign like bread from heaven. It is likely that several people from this crowd were at the feeding of the 5,000, but not all. These newcomers want to see Jesus’ magic trick too—and they’re hungry.
Instead of repeating the miracle for more people to see, Jesus explains the purpose behind that miracle so that they may understand and believe. God is not in the business of proving Himself over and over through signs and wonders; but that we may understand and believe, he often tells us what he will do (prophecy), does it (fulfillment), then explains it so we can understand. Thus, John 6:26–58 is the explanation.
In Jesus’ explanation, he is using another food metaphor based on his previous miracle and alluding to the manna during the time of Moses. Jesus explains that he is the bread from heaven that will give eternal life, he is the foretold Son of Man from Daniel 7:13–14, likewise, he is the Son of God the Father, and it is through him that those who believe may have eternal life. When the people ask for a sign, Jesus basically responds “I am the sign!”
After all this, the people say, “This is a difficult statement; who can listen to it?” To which Jesus responds, “Does this cause you to stumble?”
Jesus’ refusal to perform for the crowd, as well as his “difficult” words caused many to withdraw (66). Yet those that remain offer the words that we cling to today, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have believed and have come to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (68–69)
In the comments answer the question:
Why do you think it was more important for Jesus to explain the miracle he had performed than to do another miracle for a new audience?
By: Tyler Short