John 6 is fascinating to me. I wrote my Master’s Thesis in seminary on John 6, so needless to say, I’ve been waiting for this one. Robert Farrar Capon wrote that the feeding of the five thousand was the pivotal turning point of Jesus’s ministry, or at least how he saw himself, and how others saw him.
What is so interesting to me is that everyone there is hanging on his words, they gather to see and hear him, to be healed. They’re hungry for far more than a meal, whether they’ve quite realized it or not.
Based on how they respond to him (and how he responds to them), it really seems that the way they aimed to go about being fed would only make them hungrier in the end. Jesus seems to have no interest in patch-work redemption, he wants the whole thing. When we get that, all that is left to do is “…sit down” and receive some bread that we didn’t buy, couldn’t pay for, and feast.
5,000 hungry 5,000 empty stomachs All fed With 5 loaves of barley Everyone hungry All of us starving Trying to buy the Bread With 200 denarii But the Bread is already here No need to pay No need to buy When the Bread has risen Anyone Everyone Even the least Come and eat! The Son of Man became a feast