The disciples set off by themselves
'After Jesus had fed the five thousand, his disciples saw him walking on the water. Next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side saw that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not got into the boat with his disciples, but that the disciples had set off by themselves. Other boats, however, had put in from Tiberia, near the place where the bread had been eaten. When the people saw that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into those boats and crossed to Capernaum to look for Jesus. When they found him on the other side, they said to him, 'Rabbi, when did you come here?" Jesus answered:
'I tell you most solemnly,
you are not looking for me because you have seen the signs but because you have had all the bread you wanted to eat. Do not work for food that cannot last, but work for food that endures to eternal life, the kind of food the Son of Man is offering you, for on him the Father, God himself, has set his seal.' Then they said to him, 'What must we do
if we are to do the works that God wants?' Jesus gave them this answer, 'This is working for God: you must believe in the one he has sent.' John 6:22-29
Reflection This passage of scripture offers me some important points for reflection:
The miracle of the feeding of the five thousand continues to pervade the atmosphere and is followed by Jesus' walking on water. These miracles must have raised many questions in the hearts of both the disciples and the people who had benefited from the benevolence of God when they had their human hunger satisfied. The disciples set off by themselves to an unknown destination. One wonders where they they were going and why they had not followed Jesus to wherever he had gone. Having shared a journey with him and witnessed all that he has done, do they now feel filled with the Holy Spirit and ready to branch out on their own to spread the Good News or do they need time and space to process all that has taken place and see where their lives are now leading them. I feel that Jesus may have wished to step aside to have time alone with his father to reflect and pray on all that had taken place, to rest, renew and discern the next step of his ministry.
I am reminded that my life or ministry will not bear fruit for the kingdom of God if I do not ask Jesus to accompany each step of the way. I may lose my way and not hear God's call to a daily deeper belief in him. From this quiet, contemplative place, I will be able to discern how to live in ever deepening relationship with God and others and do the works that he wishes me to do for the glory of God.