I tell you, I don’t always get this guy. I don’t really understand. He’s just an ordinary guy from Nazareth, but he is so, so different. He is wise and when he speaks, there’s a depth to him that I sure haven’t found in my Rabbi. But honestly, I don’t always understand what he says. I’m not sure I’m smart enough.
On top of that, I’ve heard of his healing people, ordinary folks, like me and he doesn’t ask a single sheckle from them. He only asks them to believe. It seems as if he delights in being able to help.
And then yesterday, I couldn’t believe it. I was so lucky. I was right up front, really close and I could hear all that he said to his disciples. I saw it with my own eyes. He took these five barley loaves and a couple of fish and he prayed over them gave thanks to God.
What happened next was astounding. I wouldn’t have believed it if I didn’t see it with my own eyes. His disciples started giving out the bread and the fish and we all ate of it. Honestly, this huge crowd of folks, we all ate until we were full. Oh, how good that felt. How hungry I was.
Not only that, they filled 12 baskets full of leftovers. We had not only enough, but more than enough.
And then he was gone.
It was late, so most of us just pulled our cloaks over our heads, laid down and fell asleep. We all somehow felt safe with one another.
When I woke up late this morning, Jesus and his disciples were not there. During the night, they somehow got over to the other side of the lake. Some folks told us where he had gone. So I jumped in Eli’s boat with some others and with a good headwind we got over to the other side quickly.
There was already a group of folks who had come and Jesus was talking with them. He was saying something about the manna that fed our ancestors when they were in the desert after Yahweh had freed them from slavery in Egypt. We all know that story, the one we recall at Passover every year.
But then he talked about his Father in heaven giving our ancestors this manna. What could he possibly mean by “his” Father? How could God be his Father?
Sometimes I think I’m just so slow, that I just don’t get it.
But then, he said something that just blew me away. My jaw dropped and I stood there with my mouth open.
You know what he said? “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me will never hunger, and whoever believes in me will never thirst.”
Bread of life? Never hunger? Never thirst? What could this possibly mean?
He said something else, something that even I who am not very smart, that even I knew that this was way different than anything I ever experienced. He said “Ego Emi,” the very words that God spoke to Moses at the burning bush. Whoa!
Honestly, I don’t understand all this. But somehow, because of who he is, I believe. I want to believe. He is not like anyone I have ever known. It is as if he is truth himself, that his very being is what he says he is, and that his relationship with God is different, very different.
I’ve got a stick around to hear more. Something is burning in my heart that I have never felt before. Jesus is speaking to me in a way that I have never known.
So hang with me, would you? I know he’s got so much more to tell us. Let’s try and get up front, close so that we don’t miss anything. Who knows what might happen next?