From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. John 6:66
Last year, friends and I prayed for healing for three women battling cancer. We knew God had the power to do this, and we asked Him to do so every day. We’d seen Him work in the past and believed He could do it again. There were days in each one’s battle where healing looked like it was a reality, and we rejoiced. But they all died that fall. Some said that was “the ultimate healing,” and in a way it was. Still the loss hurt us deeply. We wanted Him to heal them all—here and now—but for reasons we couldn’t understand, no miracle came.
Some people followed Jesus for the miracles He performed and to get their needs met (John 6:2, 26). Some simply saw Him as the carpenter’s son (Matthew 13:55–58), and others expected Him to be their political leader (Luke 19:37–38). Some thought of Him as a great teacher (Matthew 7:28–29), while others quit following Him because His teaching was hard to understand (John 6:66).
Jesus still doesn’t always meet our expectations of Him. Yet He is so much more than we can imagine. He’s the provider of eternal life (vv. 47–48). He is good and wise; and He loves, forgives, stays close, and brings us comfort. May we find rest in Jesus as He is and keep following Him.
Thank You, Jesus, that You are the kind of Savior we need. Wrap us in Your love and bring us confident rest in You.
I trust in you, Lord; I say, “You are my God.” Psalm 31:14
John 6 forms a critical turning point in Jesus’s public ministry. Following the feeding of the five thousand and walking on water, Jesus presents His “bread of life” message. While opposition from the religious community had been rising, Jesus’s followers responded to this message with a massive defection. They defected because of three factors. First, they demanded a sign from Him (vv. 30–31) after He had just given them a sign in the miraculous multiplication of bread and fish. Then they misunderstood Jesus’s origin (vv. 41–42), and finally they misunderstood the important realities of His message (v. 52). Because they didn’t understand who He was, they would never be able to embrace what He did or taught.