Show Us Proof
Give us this bread always – John 6:34
The crowd wants to pin Jesus down with specifics and tangible proofs of his power and their control over their own lives. “What must we do to perform the works of God? What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see and believe you? What work are you performing?” (John 6:28 -30).
It’s easy for us to claim we would not be like them; we would trust and believe without signs. However, if we look at the world around us, we are very inclined to demand proofs. This is especially true since the time when scientific method became common understanding. Society has become suspicious of what might be called supernatural or invisible. “How do I know there’s a God if I can’t see God? How can I prove to this great God that I’m worthy – what must I do?”
The questions accompanying that quest wonder whether we are measuring up to God’s standards. If I practice some set of rules, a certain pattern of behavior, a particular way of speaking about God, will I then be good enough? How do we stand with God? Are we justified?
Like the crowd, we point out that Moses gave bread to the ancestors in the wilderness. We ask, “What will you give to us, Jesus?” Jesus reminds them that it was not Moses who offered bread from heaven, but God who provided for their needs. Believe and trust in God.
Then Jesus pushes them further by reminding them that the bread of life which Jesus offers is not tangible, digestible food. It is enduring nourishment that goes beyond our brief lives and rules and standards. We can’t see or touch it, but it changes our lives forever. This bread is grace. We don’t control or manipulate God’s love and grace. We simply receive it with thanks.