The largest and perhaps most significant miracle of Jesus was the feeding of the 5,000. It is mentioned in all four gospels. It seems to be a reenactment of Exodus/Numbers with shared details like the Passover, the bread multiplied in the wilderness, the leader on the mountain alone, the crossing of the sea safely, and yes, much murmuring and grumbling too!
There were three reactions among the people to this major miracle:
1. The crowd was “… ready to force Him to be their king” (John 6:15). The crowd always follows the ones who deliver free food! But, Jesus left that crowd. He would not be used for their political agenda. Beware of people today who take the miraculous work of Jesus and turn it into social work. His miracles always point us to the message of eternal life and the kingdom that is not of this world. The crowd was putting politics before Christ.
2. The curious were offended at Jesus, saying, “… this is very hard to understand. How can anyone accept it?” (6:60). The day after they had eaten the miraculous loaves and fish, John 6:66 says, “…many turned back and no longer walked with Jesus.” The curious stay with the Lord as long as there was lunch, excitement, more crowds, and miracles. The curious never follow Jesus, just for Jesus. The curious find the cross offensive. They turn back when Christ wants to lead them forward into discipleship.
3. The convinced were eyewitnesses to the miracle, and they got the message. Peter says on behalf of the disciples, “…we know you are the Holy One of God!” (6:69). The disciples represented the few people that were convinced that Jesus, Himself, was the Bread of Life. The convinced know that there is nowhere to go in the world for eternal life but to Jesus.
Are you convinced that if you have Jesus, just Jesus, you have satisfaction beyond anything the world can offer?