A crowd searched for Jesus after He fed the five thousand. Finally they found Him on the other side of the lake. Jesus was trying to elude them—He knew their hearts. But they were persistent. When they finally found Him, He said, I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill (John 6: 26). How alone Jesus must have felt.
They didn’t want Jesus—they cared nothing for Him. They didn’t love Him. All they cared about was what Jesus could provide for their bellies. The cravings of their belly blinded them to the fact that they were standing in the presence of the Living God, the Author of Life. One who could provide Spiritual manna, an everlasting well-spring of life that would create no addiction or craving, producing perfect contentment and full satisfaction.
Jesus was Life personified! Life in flesh. Yet they were utterly blinded by their own shallow hunger. Jesus stood among strangers who ought to have been His friends. What a lonely thought.
Yet from His generous love, He reached out to this blind crowd with words that could give sight. I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world (John 6: 51).
Astonishing words! Nearly all of His disciples left Him. They did not understand. Here stood before them the solution to every need and desire in their miserable lives. Yet, in self-deception, they turned their backs and walked away from the Author of Life. Clawing and grubbing in a dark, stank world for tidbits of pleasure, desperately hoping to find a balm to their painful, grumbling soul, only to find death. Jesus turned to His twelve disciples, with a look of pleading He asked, you do not want to leave too, do you?
You could feel His rejection. But as the disciples stood in a state of dismay, Simon Peter answered Him, Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We believe and know you are the Holy One of God. (John 6:68,69)
Peter saw Jesus as his only hope. He had left everything to follow Him, fishing, wife and children, the security of home and the warmth and comfort of bed—they were naked in a cold world. They had nowhere to go. Their only comfort—the Living God. Jesus was their all.
Going to Jesus when you are hungry is a step of faith. The crowd did not believe that He was Life. They were convinced that they could find fulfilment in this world and that Jesus was only a part of that picture. When we hold the empty cup of our soul to heaven, turning our backs to all that the world would provide, we explicitly proclaim Christ as being our sole Source of Life. It is an act of faith against which all of hell will war.