This question of belief has always been a difficult issue. In our time in our western societies, the thought that an individual could have faith in an idea without any kind of solid, scientific proof, seems faintly ridiculous. Many, many people who have heard the Gospel of Jesus have wished they could believe. But they will have overruled themselves because long ago their society convinced them that in order to know and believe in an idea, you need to be able to show how, and why it is true. I talk about our time because this is the world we live in today. However it is clear in today’s passage, from the gospel of John, that many people who Jesus actually met, also dearly wanted Jesus to prove that he was who he said he was before they were prepared to believe in him.
Jesus had to correct the crowd’s misconceptions regarding the source of power behind his miracles and the miracles of old. First and foremost Jesus reminds us that it is not Moses or Jesus who gives the people bread from heaven but the Father. Secondly Jesus tells us that in the past the Father provided miraculous bread from heaven and water from the rock in order to meet his people’s physical needs. Now Jesus is saying that he himself is the bread and water of heaven. He is saying that everything we need to live can be found in him, and if we choose to follow in his footsteps, we will never be hungry or thirsty, in any respect, ever again.
John 6:29-35 NLT
Jesus told them, “This is the only work God wants from you: Believe in the one he has sent.” They answered, “Show us a miraculous sign if you want us to believe in you. What can you do? After all, our ancestors ate manna while they journeyed through the wilderness! The Scriptures say, ‘Moses gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ” Jesus said, “I tell you the truth, Moses didn’t give you bread from heaven. My Father did. And now he offers you the true bread from heaven. The true bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” “Sir,” they said, “give us that bread every day.” Jesus replied, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in me will never be thirsty.
My goal today is just to believe. When I was a child and my parents told me they loved me, I just believed them. I didn’t ask for proof. When my friends say thank you when I help them, I know they are grateful, I don’t need them to prove it. When I first heard the gospel, I believed it was true, but I didn’t believe I could live it out, so I overruled the truth in my heart with the facts in my head. Today I have read the gospels through several times, and I can no longer overrule the truth I found contained within them. I will do the only real work God wants from me. I will believe in Jesus, the one he has sent.
1 Samuel 8:1-9:27, John 6:22-42, Psalms 106:32-48, Proverbs 14:34-35