The loaves and fish crowd were familiar enough with their ancient history to compare what Jesus had done to the miracle of manna being provided in the desert. They revered Moses and recounted his miracles. If this was a new Moses, they wanted more proof.
Jesus begins to change the focus of the story from God’s past provision to the present opportunity. The manna in the desert came through Moses. Jesus is not offering to repeat history, but to unfold something greater to them. The mysterious nourishing Bread of Heaven is here to bring the world to life.
God’s fine print is being articulated along with the price tag of commitment. Jesus puts himself at the center of God’s plan. He tells them he is this mysterious bread from Heaven. He is the one who will satisfy their hunger and thirst for God.
He had told them as much, but they had not yet believed what they were hearing. They saw Jesus perform miracles, but their previous understanding of God was being challenged and overthrown.
This was not a remote God from a distant past. Jesus was talking about God being active here and now. In fact, God will cause people to run to Jesus and be forever held in his grasp. Jesus claims to be sent to them from Heaven. The moments following this teaching would determine who would run to Jesus and who would run away.
Here is Jesus’ offer to receive us and nourish us with eternal life. It’s the same truth we remember at the Lord’s Table. His sacrifice feeds us in a lasting way. Have you run to Him? He promises that he will hold you and never let go.