“Then those men, when they saw the miracle that Jesus did, said, This is of a truth that prophet that should come into the world.”
These men, of which we are told nothing, confessed that Jesus was that prophet that Moses said would come from God unto the nation of Israel. Although they did not quote the entire passage, the reference indicates that they understood that this man was a prophet sent by God, that He was to come AFTER they had come into the land of inheritance which God had promised them and that the Word of God would be in Him. He would come from within their midst, be a brother of theirs and be like unto Moses himself. They also knew that the proof of this man’s office would be when He proclaimed the word and it came to pass for if that which was spoken did not come to pass, the man was a false prophet (Deut. 18:15ff). Jesus had come to do the work that was set before Him, to speak the word given unto Him and to do the will of the Father. As this true prophet ALL THESE THINGS MUST have come to pass or He “hath spoken presumptuously and thou shalt not be afraid of Him” (18:22). When He set before the people of Israel the memorial of iniquity, the judgment that accompanies the finding of guilt must also come to pass (Num. 5:27) and so it is that the righteousness of God has pronounced guilt upon the nation and therefore their “root is as rottenness” (Is. 5:24). Yet when these men had eaten their fill and had watched as the baskets were filled with the fragments, they were desirous to take Jesus, by force if necessary, and make Him king.
Everything that is presented as gospel in the neo-evangelical religious society is present here in this account. The disciples (missionaries) had gone forth with the testimony of the goodness of God and presented it to the people. They in turn, gladly received the testimony and were filled with the blessing. They then confessed with their lips that He is from God and gladly surrendered all unto Him to make Him Lord and King over them. Later they would diligently seek Him and, forsaking all, follow Him across the sea. Isn’t that the message of today’s gospel? And yet Jesus “having the knowledge that they would come and take Him by force to make Him king, departed again into a mountain Himself alone” (6:15). He did not need anyone of His disciples to inform Him of what was brewing for it was exactly as He had foreordained. We ask then, if an earthly Kingdom is what is preached today as being the only thing remaining, why would Jesus not establish that Kingdom when He had four thousand willing subjects standing right before Him who have bowed themselves to Him and called Him ‘Rabbi”? They did not even care if He wanted to be king; they were going to take Him by force. They were looking for a temporal kingdom here on earth to overthrow the Pharisees in Jerusalem, unseat the Roman Empire and restore the kingdom of Israel here on earth. Sounds to me like they were looking for exactly what is being preached today and in the same way. But instead of commending them for their efforts and blessing them for their obedience, Jesus rebukes these zealots.
“Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me not because ye saw the miracles but because ye did eat of the loaves and were filled” (6:26).
His kingdom is not of this world, it does not need the help or force of man to set it up and it is not manifested in the belly being full or any other satiation of the flesh. His kingdom is from everlasting to everlasting. Man and all his efforts are finite and temporal, therefore anything done by man is the same. The sign of the true Kingdom is that she already has her King, she has always been established, she is not polluted with the presence of the dust of the earth or sustained by the fruit of the land. She is in God for all eternity, her life, breath and all things come from, by and through Him and He sustains her. Jesus proclaims this when He said, “I am the bread of life”.
The father’s of Israel were given two things that sustained them through the wilderness, the water from the Rock and the bread from heaven. Nothing else was sufficient for their needs or could sustain them for forty years of wandering. These stood as types of the true Israel of our God who is sustained by that living water that flows from the throne of God and the body and blood of Messiah. He is that Living Water that quenches the thirst of those who thirst after righteousness. That water flows from the belly of each and every living stone hewn from that same Rock and it is indiscernible to the natural man. This water is not of the earth, the sons of Adam cannot drink it and they could not recognize it as it flowed right before their eyes.
So it is with the Bread of Life. These four thousand men were ready to usher in the kingdom of Israel based on what they had seen, handled and felt after the natural man but they murmured against that True Bread when He said He was that Bread that came down from above. Man reacted to a natural presentation with natural logic and natural intentions but they despised The Anointed of God when He said, “Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man and drink His blood ye have no life in you” (6:53). Conversely though, He said, that those which dwelt in Him already had eternal life and therefore they did eat His body and drink His blood. They are sustained in the Godhead just as the branch is sustained in the vine. The same way that the meat which sustained the Son, which was to do the will of the Father, the child is nourished and strengthened being in the will of the Father, who lives and dwells in them. Natural food and water attends to natural life. Spiritual food, which is the body and blood of Christ, pertains to eternal spiritual life. Man looks upon that which can bee seen and therefore cannot live by faith. The fruit of the Spirit is faith therefore the spiritual man lives and walks by faith. This is not indigenous to the sons of Adam for it is the gift from God and all men have not faith.
The disciples are also on display here, not to be criticized or judged any more that the Jews, but as another mirror in which we may see ourselves in Adam. They were experienced fishermen that knew these waters from their birth and yet when a storm arose upon the water at night they were sore afraid. When they saw Jesus walking upon the water, they were afraid and when the people began to depart from following Jesus, “many therefore of His disciples, when they heard (that if they were children of the household of the redeemed they did drink His blood and eat His flesh), said, “this is a hard saying, who can hear it?” and ceased walking with Him. Instead of looking for converts to increase His numbers and show forth the worth of His ministry, Jesus chased them off that “believed not”. He did not try to change their minds for He knew that they were none of His. All that were the Father’s were His and those the father drew unto Him. These are they whom He raised up in the last days when the Father raised Him from the dead, being well pleased with the sacrifice, and without this eternal unity of the Father, the Son and the children, NO MAN can come unto Jesus for anything. The Spirit quickens the FLESH PROFITS NOTHING (6:63).
Brethren we are saved by hope. Hope is not seen with the natural eye or discerned with the natural faculties. The things that are temporal and can be seen produce temporary responses and intentions. These shall fade away as they are consumed in the fire of the refiner but that which is eternal shall remain and shall be to the glory of God, precious, chosen and Holy.
Your servant in Christ,
(Elder) Chet Dirkes
July 3, 2011