though Jesus was teaching them about himself as the bread of life, the crowd believed only in the bread they could see and eat.
Faith, then, does not reduce God to a religious concept, or a catechism, or a set of doctrines. Faith does not content itself with traditions and rites. Faith is not a sentiment that can be set aside. Faith is a lived reality.
People often think that if someone does not believe something, what they need is more proof, more information. But Jesus said this was not the problem.
As I study John’s gospel, I keep feeling as though the scientific method of enquiry is not enough to understand spiritual things. Whereas those who are intellectual may well be called to pursue the finer points of systematic theology and to organize the many philosophical strands of a particular doctrine, it is not enough.
Just as Jesus was one with the Father’s will and God’s power, so you and I, the more we willingly meld our wills with the Lord’s, will receive God’s vision, all the things God has planned for us, and the power to do it all.
The rabbinic tradition said, “God still does two works on the Sabbath: He creates and He judges.” And, the Psalm clearly said the Lord never rests but is always watching over and caring for God’s creation. Jesus was on solid theological ground, so what made the religious rulers so beyond enraged they were prepared to commit murder?
Such splitting of hairs had lost sight of God’s purpose for the Sabbath, and had, with heavy irony, made the Sabbath an onerous burden for the people.
Jesus spoke with intensity, one word, layered with meaning. For it implied getting up from a sickbed, but it also intimated arising from slumber, or perhaps even stupor. Finally, it was a demand to literally get to his feet.