Hello, I’m Daniel Westfall on the channel “Pray With Me”.
In John chapter 6, a large crowd followed Jesus into the wilderness. Jesus said to Philip, “Where will we buy bread for these people?”–clearly a trick question, because Jesus wasn’t planning to buy bread at all. Philip said, “That’s expensive. We don’t have enough money.” On hearing this, Andrew said, “There’s a boy with here five buns and two small fish.” So Jesus multiplied the fish and buns to feed the crowd. There were baskets of leftovers and the people said, “Wow. Free lunch. We like this prophet.”
They liked him so much that they followed him the next day. Jesus said, “All you want is another free lunch! But what you really need is the bread of God that comes from heaven and gives life to the world.” The crowd replied, “Is that like free lunch every day? We’re in!”
Then Jesus dropped a bombshell. He said, “I am the bread of life that came from heaven. Anyone who comes to me will never go hungry. Anyone who believes in me will never be thirsty. The bread you need is my flesh, which I will give for the life of the world.”
The people said, “That’s crazy talk. What kind of bread are you? You’re not from heaven. We know your father and mother and your home in Nazareth. You are just a peasant like us. We’re not cannibals; we can’t eat your flesh.”
Once again Jesus’ teaching led the people into mystery and confusion. Some of the things Jesus did were really attractive– making wine, providing free lunch, healing the paralyzed. But some of his sayings are just crazy: be born again, eat my flesh, drink my blood, take up your cross and follow me.
Jesus, we’re never sure how you move from literal meanings to metaphors. We understand free lunch. But when we come back the next day, you stop the food truck and suggest we eat your flesh. If you were a salesman, we’d press charges of false advertising or bait-and-switch.
Jesus, so much of our life is physical. We eat and shave and sleep and shop. But how can we connect with the spiritual world? Will Donald Trump teach us how to cut a deal with you? Will Justin Trudeau coach our smile and and furnish our wardrobe? We need your metaphors, Jesus, to guide us into a spiritual life, to give us a vision of the kingdom of heaven. In our darkness, shine your light. In the silence of the universe, speak your word. When we are hungry, feed us with your body. When we are thirsty, help us drink your water.
Help us to see through your impossible metaphors to the new experience you offer us, to the new relationship you invite us into. Jesus, we receive your words as gifts. Help us to be born again, to eat your flesh and drink your blood. In our daily routines of eating and sleeping and working and playing, help us live a new life in the spirit.
I’m Daniel on the channel “Pray with Me”.