THE BREAD OF LIFE
Today’s Gospel has the crowd asking Jesus three questions. First, “When did you get here,” to which Jesus responds by rebuking them for their failure to grasp his miracle as a “sign,” an occasion to put faith in him. Their second question about accomplishing the “works of God” has Jesus respond that faith is the “work” that God wishes. Many scholars believe this is John’s answer to the faith-works dichotomy emerging in the early Christian community. Faith is the work of God in the believer, John would have us understand. The third question asked by the crowd is a request for a “sign” that would allow them to put faith in Jesus, as the manna in the desert allowed the Israelites to put faith in the Lord God. Jesus answers by revealing himself as the “bread of life” that “comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
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