Seeking the Things of God
John 6:14 (ESV) … “When the people saw the sign that he had done, they said, ‘This is indeed the Prophet who is to come into the world!’”
This notable miracle (feeding of 5000) is met with a popular response (vv. 14). That Jesus is a prophet is the reported response of the crowd as described in the synoptics (Mark 8:28 and parallels). However, John deliberately describes Jesus as the Prophet, which is the designation of Moses in Deuteronomy 18:15 and the like of which God promised to raise up.
The last verse in this passage is very significant for our understanding of Jesus. It is reported that the crowd, once they began to realize that Jesus was the Prophet like Moses, wanted to make him their king. It was for this reason that Jesus had to withdraw. It is well known that the hills around Galilee harbored a number of Zealot garrisons.
It may be that we have here an attempt by the Zealot community to elect Jesus as their leader. We know that Jesus had at least one Zealot among the Twelve, that he was crucified between two possible Zealots and that the superscription on the cross declared the charge ‘the king of the Jews’. There appears to be a real reticence on Jesus’ part to be identified with a political cause. His kingdom is not of this world.
During Jesus’ ministry, nationalistic fervor was high; the people wanted a king, a leader who would free Israel from Rome. The people expected this of the coming Messiah-King. When Jesus realized their intentions, he left. Jesus’ kingdom would not be an earthly one; his kingdom would not be established by a ground swell of popularity. This same opportunity for political power had already been offered to Jesus by Satan in the wilderness (Matthew 4:1–11). Jesus knew that the immediate opportunity was nothing compared to what God had planned.
Jesus sets a good example to not get trapped into the loving the things of this world more than the things of God. We will always do well to follow our Heavenly Father’s plan for our lives than what this world has to offer us. Pray today that your mind, heart and body is set on what God wants for us than what Satan might offer.
McFadyen, P. (1998). Open Door on John: a gospel for our time (p. 41). London: Triangle. Barton, B. B. (1993). John(p. 126). Wheaton, IL: Tyndale House.