The Gospel reading set for today is from Chapter 6 of John’s Gospel. In this reading, Jesus declared himself to be the bread of life and that all who come to him in faith would never be hungry and that those who believed in him would never be thirsty. But it was clear that the disciples still doubted, despite the fact that they had only just witnessed Jesus both walking on the water and feeding the five thousand with five small loaves and two fish.
I think that if I had personally witnessed just these two miracles, I’m not sure whether I would have had doubts. But that’s with the benefit of 2,000 years of Christianity and thousands, if not millions of stories and studies into the New Testament. I wonder if we today are less sceptical than the original disciples? We are all very familiar with the stories surrounding Jesus both during his lifetime and also in the immediate aftermath of his crucifixion. But does that make us nowadays greater believers than the original disciples?
Christians today have so much academic study to guide us in our faith. But I also think that if today we were to witness these miracles, we would almost certainly be sceptical that there were some magic tricks being sprung on us, similar to the acts of stage magicians. I wonder if that is why the disciples just couldn’t take in the enormity of the reality of these miracles and, perhaps, had doubts about Jesus’ actions and whether they were being tricked in some way.
I think that we today need to faithfully believe in what Jesus did when he was performing miracles and prayerfully try to overcome any doubts that we may have that what took place was no ‘magic’ trick but demonstrated that Jesus was indeed the Son of God and had power given to him by his Father. If we can overcome any nagging doubts about the reality of these miracles, I believe that we will then become more faithful Christians.