Next day the people, who had stayed on the other side, realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples; but rather, the disciples had gone away alone. Other boats from Tiberias landed near the place where all these people had eaten the bread. When they saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Master, when did you come here?”
Jesus answered, “Truly, I say to you, you look for me, not because of the signs which you have seen, but because you ate bread and were satisfied. Work then, not for perishable food, but for the lasting food which gives eternal life. The Son of Man will give it to you, for he is the one on whom the Father has put his mark.”
Then the Jews asked him, “What shall we do? What are the works that God wants us to do?” And Jesus answered them, “The work God wants is this: that you believe in the One whom God has sent.”
The way to a man’s heart is through his stomach. It is not surprising that people sought the Lord again, for bread and butter symbolizes basic needs (food, shelter and clothing). Being poor, they were more concerned with survival.
Our language too symbolizes hunger and thirst. A big cheese is a VIP, cool as a cucumber means to be calm, finger in the pie is to participate, full of beans is full of energy, and hit the sauce means to regularly drink alcoholic beverages.
“… When a lot of things start going wrong all at once, it is to protect something big and lovely that is trying to get itself born—and … this something needs for you to be distracted so that it can be born as perfectly as possible.”(Anne Lamott, Travelling Mercies: Some Thoughts on Faith) The people pursued Jesus not for something divine – the bread of life, but because their prime reason is to be bodily fed again. It was a total distraction from Jesus’ real intent for them: to seek for imperishable food. However, it was a blessing in disguise. Jesus used their waywardness, physical search to take them to the bread that lasts forever.
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