In the Gospel Reading today Jesus refers to himself as the “Bread of Life.” Further, to establish his point, he refers back to how in the past God provided manna for the Israelites in the wilderness after their exit from Egypt. The Jewish people were happy and overjoyed that God provided for them in their time of trouble. But there was greater trouble that they would face other than food! In fact, this was a problem that all of mankind was facing but no resolution was in sight—sin. This is why Jesus refers to himself as the “greater” bread that comes down from heaven that provides eternal life. The Jewish people could not see, or recognize, that Jesus was greater than the manna that was provided thousands of years ago.
A quick summary of what happened in this Gospel is that the Pharisees accuse Jesus of casting out demons through the power of demons, and Jesus responds with two answers. The first answer shows the error of the Pharisee’s logic, but I want to focus on His second answer; that answer is from verses 28-30. “‘Assuredly, I say to you, all sins will be forgiven the sons of men, and whatever blasphemies they may utter; but he who blasphemes against the Holy Spirit never has forgiveness, but is subject to eternal condemnation’— because they said, ‘He has an unclean spirit.’”
In the narrative of the Feeding of the Five Thousand, presented today in the Gospel Reading, taken from Luke 9: 10-17, we can observe how the many thousands of people who were following Christ found themselves in a deserted place in the evening with nothing to eat. The disciples become ever so concerned with the multitude of people and their need for food. So, they asked Christ to tell the people to go away and get food and drink in the nearest town before the sun set. Christ’s reply to this request is interesting and should be noted. He tells them, “You give them something to eat.” It is my inference, here, that Christ was challenging the disciples, putting them in an impossible position, because they had no way of getting food (enough for everyone).