(1 Kings 19:4-8; Psalm 34:2-9; Ephesians 4:30–5:2; John 6:41-51)
“The Jews murmured about him.” (John 6:41)
Let’s face it. We all murmur and grumble. It’s one of the most popular ways we humans have come up with for expressing our disagreement or displeasure over something. Elijah grumbled as he sought protection from Jezebel’s anger. He had just seen God perform a spectacular miracle, and still he complained: “This is enough, O Lord! Take my life” (1 Kings 19:4). Somehow, he lost sight of all God had done for him and could focus only on the immediate threat. It’s as if the problem before him was too big for God to handle!
More than anything else, grumbling is a sign of unbelief. Elijah found it hard to believe and trust that God would continue to take care of him. Similarly, the people in today’s Gospel reading couldn’t believe that Jesus had the power to bring them spiritual salvation. They had just feasted on an overabundance of bread and fish that Jesus miraculously provided, but this sign simply was not enough to convince them that he was something special.
This passage shows us how easy it is to doubt God when he says something hard to accept—no matter how many other miracles we have seen in our lives. And when we grumble, we risk missing out on what he is prepared to do for us today. We are so busy building arguments against God that we don’t have any time to build an argument for him.
Jesus is the Bread of Life, and he wants to feed us with his grace today. He wants to show himself to us so that we never have a reason to grumble or doubt him. So receive him in faith today. Be like Mary, who willingly accepted God’s plan for her to bear the Son of God. Or be like Peter, who, despite the grumbling around him, told Jesus: “You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and are convinced that you are the Holy One of God” (John 6:68-69).
“Jesus, teach me to trust in you more deeply today.” ~WAU