It must have been quite a fascinating world back in the days of Jesus, suddenly this miracle man was being talked about far and wide which must have aroused quite an interest in all kinds of people, interests that were either sensational, critical, revolutionary, spiritual, magic, health related, hunger related, a threat to the status quo, a leadership challenge, you name it, everyone had some kind of an interest in Jesus, even if it was just a passing interest or even if they were wondering who He was, whether He was Elijah, or this prophet or that prophet, or whether He was of God or the Devil or whether He was outstepping His status in life or not because after all, He was just a carpenter’s son who lived just down the road…or could this be the very Christ and Son of God and long awaited Messiah! So all being said, a big explosion back then, the very Son of God was walking on the earth with two legs, two arms, a body, and a head, just like as we are and He was clearly a human being – the Word of God made flesh! So you hear many many stories of all these people that were seeking Jesus, no-doubt for various reasons, dependant upon their situation of course.
One of the most incredible miracles that Jesus performed is one that a lot of people used to hear about in Sunday School years ago and to a lot of people this story sounds like a fairy tale these days, it is the one where He fed the five thousand with five small loaves and two fishes, so quite a sensation back then. You hear that the miracle man is in town, you cross land and even sea to get to this miracle man and hey presto, He blows your mind by feeding five thousand people or more with five small loaves and two fishes. Well, the picture you get when Jesus did this was that people were awe-struck by these fish sandwiches, so much so that they went looking for Jesus the next day. Some thought that perhaps He was the new Moses so they crossed land and sea to find Him. The problem with these people was that they were seeking Jesus for the wrong reasons, their reasons being more to do with economics and fish sandwiches, they didn’t quite understand that Jesus was the very bread of life and that these miracles that Jesus performed were pointing to the very heart and soul of His whole purpose for being here on this earth. He was the very bread of life and yet here were these people seeking a mere fish sandwich so they had missed the whole point. So you read that Jesus said to these people,
“…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. Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.” (Matthew 6: 26,27)
So these people were purely motivated from a physical impulse rather than a spiritual impulse, the very words of Jesus that He no-doubt spoke that day were coming from the spiritual and the spiritual of course being the very Spirit of God and the miracles that He performed that day were purely coming from the same source, that source being the Spirit of God. So every miracle that Jesus performed and everything that He said was a demonstration of the spiritual realities that He was trying to get people into. The problem of course was that people were more wrapped up in the physical world and couldn’t quite grasp the spiritual realities that Jesus was trying to show them that, yes, there is a God and He exists in the realm of the miraculous and so everything that Jesus said and did was miraculous. Even if there was a physical manifestation in that five thousand people were being fed with five small loaves and two fishes, the point was that there very very much is
a miraculous dimension to life, there is a miraculous God that lives in this dimension and here they had the miraculous Jesus who’d crossed over from that dimension and into our dimension, he’d in this same sense come from eternity and here He was stood before them, the miraculous Christ whom God had sealed, or in other words, whom God had purposed to be the very door through which we could go through and so enter into the very miraculous world of the spirit and that world of the spirit being governed by the Father of Spirits in whom we live and move and have our being – or at least we should do – and here were these people seeking a mere fish sandwich and Jesus saying to these people that they should labour for the meat which endureth unto everlasting life. So Jesus was saying to these people that they were too wrapped up in the physical and thy were not seeking the spiritual meat, so He tried to make things clearer to them, so Jesus said unto them,
“…Verily, verily, I say unto you, Except ye eat the flesh of the Son of man, and drink his blood, ye have no life in you. Whoso eatheth my flesh and drinketh my blood, hath eternal life; and I will raise him up at the last day. For my flesh is meat indeed, and my blood is drink indeed. He that eateth my flesh, and drinketh my blood, dwelleth in me, and I in him. As the living Father hath sent me, and I live by the Father: so he that eateth me, even he shall live by me. This is that bread which came down from heaven: not as your fathers did eat manna, and are dead: he that eateth of this bread shall live for ever. (John 7: 53-58)
The people who Jesus had been talking to were more concerned with bread, they though Jesus could be like Moses because Moses had given them bread, or in other words, Manna in the wilderness. Jesus was trying to explain to them that they had missed the whole point in the miracles, on the one hand these people had no-doubt seen a miracle take place but you can’t help but assume that they saw this in the wrong sense, it would probably have been in the same sense that someone might see a magician. We all know that magicians have nothing to do with the spiritual so to these people the miracles were somehow or other besides the point, the point was as Jesus pointed out was that they hadn’t come because they saw the miracles, they didn’t see God in those miracles, they didn’t see the spiritual in these miracles, that they were indeed miraculous and had come out of the very hands of Jesus. Jesus had miraculously thanked God for the miracle that was about to take place and then distributed the loaves and the fishes to the disciples and then the picture you get was that the bread and fishes miraculously multiplied out of the disciples’ hands, they didn’t come from up their sleeves or out of a magician’s hat, they simply gave them to the people and more and more would appear out of their hands as if coming from nowhere. When you picture it like this then you would have to say that it was quite a miraculous miracle indeed, it was no conjurers trick, it was coming from the miraculous Christ and Son of God, Jesus, and the spiritual and the very Spirit of God was made manifest through all of this and yet all these people could see was a fish sandwich!
So when Jesus told them that they should eat His flesh and drink His blood, these people who were physically minded concluded that this was the last straw, it was not a straw of course, it was an extremely powerful statement that Jesus had made here, He was saying that He was going to lay down His life, He was going to give His very life up to the cross on which He died and that if they accepted this by believing in Him then they in this same sense would be eating His flesh and drinking His blood and so believing that He had given His life for them, then they would have eternal life, they too would have the eternal God living in them because they took Jesus’ life into their lives, if they would do this they would live by Jesus. Jesus lives by the Father and had said, “…He that eateth me, even he shall live by me.” In saying these words, Jesus was talking purely spiritually, they would have no-doubt thought that He was talking cannibalism and so we read “Many therefore of his disciples, when they had heard this, said, This is an hard saying, who can hear it?…From that time many of his disciples went back, and walked no more with him. Then said Jesus unto the twelve, will ye also go away? Then Simon Peter answered him, Lord, to whom shall we go? Thou hast the words of eternal life.”