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The majority of this chapter has to do with bread – both the miracle of Jesus feeding the huge crowd with five loaves and two fish, and his detailed explanation of how he is “the bread of life,” who has come down from heaven so that people can live forever. Don’t miss the second miracle in vv. 16-21, and what it further reveals about Jesus as well. What Jesus is doing in these passages is helping people see that he does what only God can do – feed people from heaven, just like God did with the Israelites centuries earlier at the time of Moses and the exodus from Egypt. But, of course, something even deeper is going on here with Jesus than satisfying physical hunger. Are you grasping it?

The people seem to make that connection initially (v. 14), as they were expecting God to do something like this when the Messiah came, but ultimately they find Jesus’ teaching about himself hard to accept, and we are told that “at this point many of his disciples turned away and deserted him” (v. 66). This is an important moment for those of us who claim to be Jesus’ followers. We will not always understand what Jesus is saying or doing in our lives, and the question is: will we continue to stick with him even when we’re confused? Peter’s words in verses 68-69 let us know what following Jesus is really all about.