Thursday, October 4, 2007

The Eucharist. The Real Deal. Part 3

We continue in John chapter six "So they said to him 'Then what sign do you do, that we may see, and believe you? What work do you preform? Our fathers ate manna in the wilderness; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat''" (Jn 6:30-31) The Jews want Jesus to preform a sign. Even tho Christ, the day before multiplied loaves of bread, they want a sign. This has to do with the manna in Exodus 16:4-5

Stephen K. Ray wrights in his book St. John's Gospel "The Bible sees the manna not as a natural phenomenon; rather, it transforms natural occurrences into acts of God, willed by him in support of Israel. Manna is thus, in the biblical view, literally lechem shamayim, the bread of heaven, a gift of God..." Stephen K. Ray also quotes F.F. Bruce in his book The Gospel of John "Let him give further evidence of being the second Moses (v. 14). If Moses had given their forefathers manna in the wilderness, let the second Moses vindicate his authority in a similar way- not by a once-for-all feeding but on a more lasting basis.... In later times the Rabbis taught that the new age would be marked by the restoration of the gift of manna...The loaves and fishes were a timely provision indeed, but they were earthly food, not bread from heaven. One who could give them bread from heaven would beyond all doubt be the prophet like Moses"

The Bible continues " Jesus then said to them 'Truly Truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven; my father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven, and gives life to the world.' They said to him 'Lord give us this bread always.' Jesus said to them, 'I am the bread of life; he who comes to me shall not hunger, and he who believes in me shall never thirst'" (Jn 6:32-35) Take note Jesus was getting more explicit, And the Jews begin to wine. The Jews understand Jesus to be talking metaphorically at this point.
The Jews were comparing Jesus to Moses. St. Augustine wrote in his Tractates on the Gospel according to St. John "But the Lord Jesus declared to be such an one, that He was superior to Moses. For Moses dared not say of Himself that He gave, 'not the meat which perisheth, but that which endureth to eternal life' Jesus promised something greater than Moses gave. By Moses indeed was promised a kingdom, and a land flowing with milk and honey, temporal peace, abundance of children... and all other things, temporal goods indeed, yet in figure spiritual; because in the Old Testament they were promised to the old man. They considered therefore the things promised by Moses, and they considered the things promised by Christ. The former promised a full belly on the earth, but of the meat which perisheth; the latter promised, 'not the meat which perisheth, but that which endureth unto eternal life.'" So asking Jesus for a sign wasn't exactly a lack of faith. Moses was the greatest prophet to date. When they point out Moses to Jesus, he let them know Moses didn't do anything. It was God that gave them the bread not Moses. Jesus is almost saying "You knuckleheads, you want bread from heaven! I came from heaven! I am this bread you want!
Talk at ya Later

No comments: