John 6:31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
Jesus had just fed the 5000 and then traveled to the other side of the sea. The people were looking for him because of the miracle and they wanted to experience more. Suddenly greed was taking hold and they wanted what Jesus had to offer, but they didn’t want Jesus! Chrysostom tells us:
There is nothing worse, nothing more shameful, than gluttony, which clouds the judgment and reduces the soul to satisfying appetites. . . . For instance, nothing can be more unreasonable than their asking for another miracle, as if none had been given already. And they do not even leave the choice of the miracle to our Lord but would oblige him to give them just that sign that was given to their ancestors: “Our fathers ate manna in the desert.” . . . There were many miracles performed in Egypt, at the Red Sea and in the desert, and yet they remembered this one the best of any. Such is the force of appetite. . . . They do not mention this miracle as the work either of God or of Moses, in order to avoid raising Jesus on the one hand to an equality with God or lowering him on the other by a comparison with Moses. Rather, they take the middle ground, only saying, “Our fathers ate manna in the desert.” (Chrysostom, HOMILIES ON THE GOSPEL OF JOHN 45.1)
Expecting Jesus to perform for them on demand, they were disappointed for what he had to offer was was much more transformational, as he was the bread of life.
Life comes crashing in around us and we cry out to the Lord for help. The Lord supplies our need and we are grateful but somehow we become fixated on the thing that met our need, and not on Jesus himself. We pray earnestly for the things that we think that we want, but we don’t seek the face of God. We want just one more miracle and we promise that we will be satisfied but we don’t want God to rule in our lives. The struggle becomes very real as we refuse to confess that Jesus is Lord and instead hang onto every bit of power that we can.
Expecting one more miracle from Jesus, just so that he will perform at our whim, is manipulative. Jesus will not perform on demand and there won’t be just one more miracle. We are, instead, invited into the very presence of the one who will transform our lives and feed us with himself on a daily basis. Seeking the face of God on a daily basis we are transformed as we reflect Jesus in all that we say and do. This is the miracle and none other is required.
Lord, I seek you today and my desire is to be more like you. Amen.
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