The miracle day gives us insight into God’s character and heart. The day after the miracle tells us something about the character and heart of the ones who were recipients.
Let us follow the crowd on the day after the miracle of loaves and fish.
The night before, some of the crowd had seen the disciples’ head out to sea while Jesus headed up to the mountains alone. As the new day dawned, the same crowd who had come to the wilderness to see Jesus had a greater determination to make him their King. After the teaching and the miraculous meal, they were intent in their zeal to find him. They headed to Capernaum, the home of Jesus and the disciples at this time. They found Jesus in the synagogue.
When they found Jesus, they were curious about how he had arrived there. He did not have a boat. They did not know that Jesus had rescued his disciples from the storm and had walked upon the water. But, Jesus was always surprising them. That was part of the buzz that kept the crowds running after him.
Again, Jesus was always surprising people. All of these people who had spent two days away from home following Jesus had come looking for hope and power. When Jesus fed them miraculously, they must have believed the search was being validated. But Jesus surprises them with his response to their zeal.
Jesus sees through their religiosity and zeal. They had called him Rabbi to identify him, as teacher of God’s Law but wanted a king who would ‘put a chicken in every pot’ so to speak.
Savvy politicians understand that people want government that provides free services and overturns their corrupt predecessors who burdened them with heavy taxation, oppressive social policies and violence. Jesus presents a revolutionary option with a delicious, satisfying free lunch.
Jesus sees them as people who are motivated by ‘what’s in it for me?’ They are not really asking ‘who is doing this for me?’ They were missing out on the most important feature of the miracle. God was doing this for them.