“At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?” John 6.41-42
Grumbling. Doubt. Unbelief. Jesus makes a proclamation and the Jews present immediately begin to question his words.
Now it’s natural to doubt, to grumble and to question. It’s normal to be critical as humans when someone makes a claim that’s outrageous. But was Jesus’ claim really that far fetched? He had already fulfilled many prophecies made about the Messiah through his birth, was affirmed by John the Baptist as “the Lamb of God who takes away the sins of the world.” Not to mention his miracles and his teachings. There was a good amount of evidence to believe him to be who he said he was — Messiah, Christ, One with the Father.
But the grumbling came for two reasons — first, he said he was the bread that came down from heaven, and second, he was known to them as the son of Mary and Joseph. The first being a claim of his divinity, the second in support of his humanity. Just because they knew him doesn’t mean he can’t be who he claimed. (See Luke 4.24, “a prophet is not without honor except in his hometown…”)
If those present with Jesus doubted, then what chance do we have who believe by faith? If those who witnessed his miracles, knew his family and heard him speak in person questioned then what about us? But Jesus answers this question in response to his disciple Thomas who himself doubted — ” “Because you have seen me, you have believed; blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed.”
The truth of the matter is this — we either choose to believe or choose to doubt. Faith comes by hearing the Word of God (Romans 10.17). We can decide to accept God’s Word or reject it.
The choice is ours.
“O Lord God, thank you for the gift of faith! Thank you for allowing me to believe in your word and walk in your ways. I love you Lord for your grace abounds and your mercy is true. Come now, Holy Spirit, fill me with your power and love. Help me be a light in this dark world and to convey your truth to all I meet. Thank you for your faithfulness even in my time of unbelief and for your salvation regardless of my sin. For you are good and your love endures forever.” Amen