I once asked, “Where is the Lord’s Supper?” I had read through the gospel of John and although it had many accounts of the life of Jesus, I noticed the reality that no account of the Lord’s Supper with His disciples was found. The other gospels had it. Why not John’s? Goodness, John was actually there. How could he not include it? Then, the Holy Spirit gently nudged me to look closer . . . look earlier in the gospel . . . look into chapter 6.
It is no coincidence that chapter 6 begins with a reference (v. 4) to the Jewish Passover Feast being near. Another gospel nuance to show the context of what follows…incredible, abundant miracles of food and faith!
Right away I find myself sitting down the disciples on a mountainside and I too, sad to say, would have probably asked the same question Philip did in response to Jesus testing him. Notice how Philip’s response is really not an answer to Jesus asking, “Where…” Soon, I see Jesus taking some bread and fish and making it multiply to feed 5,000 men, not to mention the women and children that were there! Unbelievable! Now some Christians reduce this miracle to simply an act of kindness; that Jesus simply caused the crowd to share their food (which they had with them, perhaps hidden in their cloaks) with one another. But v. 13 destroys that watered down interpretation and gives full credit to a true miracle of Jesus. Yep. Unbelievable!
The disciples then set sail across the lake. Jesus retreats from the people as they want to make Him a King (by force). That evening, the Twelve found themselves in the midst of a strong wind and waves. The other gospels tell us they were basically stuck, not going anywhere. (Interesting, people without Jesus are really not going anywhere. Hmmm.) Anyway, Jesus comes to His disciples by walking on the water. What a sight! Crazy! Unbelievable!!
Soon the crowds find Jesus and some of the most incredible, unbelievable teaching commences in all of Scripture. Don’t miss this!!! The rest of Chapter 6 reveals the work of God, the Father, through His Son, Jesus, to bring life to all who receive Him in faith. Connecting time and time again to Moses and the Bread of Heaven, Jesus reveals that He, Jesus, is indeed the Bread of Heaven that has come into the world. Sounds abstract, but then Jesus pushes it further saying, “I am the living bread that came down from heaven. If anyone eats of this bread, he will live forever. This bread is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.” (v. 51)
The Jews begin to argue! Not surprising, eh? “How can this man give us His flesh to eat?” Jesus, follows with another unbelievable statement, “I tell you the truth, unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink His blood, you have no life in you. Whoever eats my flesh and drinks my blood has eternal life and I will raise him up at the last day.” (v.53-54)
CRAZY! UNBELIEVABLE!!! And yet, the TRUTH!!! Alleluia! Yet, most of the people surrounding Jesus left Him. Too crazy of a teaching. Jesus’ words are just unbelievable! Jesus looks at the Twelve (and to me) saying, “You don’t want to leave too, do you?” I love the great profession of faith, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life.” (v.68)
PRAYER: By Your Spirit, O Lord, grant me Faith to believe the unbelievable each day and when I gather around the altar to partake of Holy Communion. Amen.