Curiosity Killed the Cat. Don’t Let That Happen to YOU

An old saying goes, “Curiosity killed the cat.” Cousin Eddie confirmed that when he said, “If that cat’s got nine lives, Clark, he just used all of them.” As his ministry expanded, Jesus did some things that made folks curious. Because of their curiosity about who Jesus was, large crowds began to follow him. They were probably hoping to see a sign, or perhaps to get a free meal…


When he challenged them to make a commitment, their curiosity alone wasn’t enough to keep them around. John described this reaction from the large crowds that were following Jesus. “From this time many of his disciples turned back and no longer followed him. [John then brought the narrative closer to home.] “You do not want to leave too, do you?” Jesus asked the Twelve. Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom shall we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and to know that you are the Holy One of God.” (John 6:66-69 NIV)

Adoring Crowds or Accountable Commitment?

Jesus had just fed five thousand people with five loaves of bread and two fish. Many took it as a sign that he was the Messiah. And lots of curiosity-seekers hung around hoping for another free meal. Jesus then challenged all of them by teaching about the bread come down from heaven, and compared himself to manna.

Now, manna was God’s miraculous provision for Israel in the wilderness. They could connect the dots, and this would have been a claim that disturbed many of them. Each time they questioned him, he turned the conversation up a notch. He wasn’t there to satisfy their curiosity, He was on a mission. If you read through John 6, you can see the progression. When they asked Jesus how he got there, he challenged their motives for seeking him. When they asked him to show them a sign, Jesus claimed to be the bread come down from heaven.


Hard Sayings Create Hard Choices

When they murmured among themselves, He said that he had come to be a sacrifice, and that salvation was only possible by partaking of his body and blood. To the Hebrew mind and sensibilities, this concept was forbidden and revolting. It was akin to cannibalism at best and heresy at worst. As Jesus began to teach more explicitly about who he was, many of his followers took offense. This wasn’t the kind of bread they were looking for! The curiosity seekers left, which was perhaps to be expected, but so did a number of disciples, people who were more familiar with Jesus and closer to his inner circle.

After they left, Jesus turned to the twelve and offered them a chance to leave as well. At that point, they all had a choice. They could simply move on, or they could move beyond curiosity to commitment. Peter’s somewhat bold personal testimony about Jesus is important. First, it indicated his belief that this man was not just a carpenter from Galilee. Peter saw and heard Jesus every day. He ate and lived with him. And yet, Peter called Jesus “the Holy One of God.” To me, that’s very explicit evidence from an eyewitness about who Jesus was.

Second, it is the statement that shows why a group of fishermen left everything behind to follow Jesus. These ordinary citizens and even a tax collector became transformed men. Their dogged faith would one day spread like wildfire. They gave their testimonies and even their lives to follow Jesus. The disciples couldn’t have possibly foreseen that one day their actions would topple the existing world order and replace it with mere Christianity.

You can ignore the evidence and forget all about Jesus, if you want to. But to whom shall you go?

Are You Curious About Evidence?

It calls us with temptation, and it killed the cat, they say.
But sometimes curiosity can lead us all astray.
As far as selfish seeking, it can be a tempting witch
Who casts a spell that makes us hunger just to scratch that itch!
Be careful that your constant search for instant gratification
Does not preclude your taking part in your beatification...
Jesus told the twelve they had to make a choice because
Commitment to his mission showed them more of who he was.
If you look hard at what he did, I'm sure that you will see
That Jesus was much greater than a curiosity...

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Seven “I AM’s”, Starting With the Bread of Life

Over the last couple of days, I have mentioned the fact that Jesus made seven great “I am” Statements in John, so here they are: I am the bread of life; I am the light of the world; I am the door; Jesus said I am the good shepherd; I am the resurrection and the life; I am the way, the truth, and the life; and I am the true vine. Let’s take a look at them to see if perhaps they can tell us something more about who He is…

More Impressive Than a Big Mac

“Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty.” (John 6:35, NIV) This statement was made to an adoring crowd right after the miracle of the loaves and fishes. This is a miracle we take for granted a bit, but stop for a moment and try to imagine the impact it had on the people who were there. Jesus had just fed 5000 people with 5 loaves and 2 fish, and fast food was not yet available on every corner. Yes this rabbi was a pretty good preacher, but this crowd was now following him around hoping for another free meal.

bread of life

In verse 7 Philip said “It would take more than half a year’s wages to buy enough bread for each one to have a bite!” Food was not plentiful in occupied Judea, and many people lived hand-to-mouth. A miracle-working man who was able to feed a huge crowd became an instant magnet for curious crowds, and the people who had just been treated to an all-you-can-eat buffet were lining up for seconds. While the crowd is excited about another meal, Jesus redirects his followers from their stomachs to their hearts…

A Recipe for Life

The image of eating bread was certainly common enough in first-century Judea. It is one that everyone could relate to. It was a staple of life and certainly an important part of the nutritional pyramid there in Galilee. But a quick glance through Scripture reminds us that it was also a spiritual metaphor as well. It often referred to something other than what they served for lunch and dinner.

Unleavened bread had been a big part of Jewish meals since the Exodus. It was prescribed by the law of Moses, and it was part of every ceremonial meal celebrating the Passover. The connection of bread to life is something every Jewish person would have understood almost as if it had been part of their DNA.

When he was tempted by Satan in the wilderness, he told the devil, “Man does not live by bread alone, but by every word that proceeds from the mouth of God” (Matthew 4:4). He is talking here again about spiritual food, just as he was pointing the crowd to eternal sustenance that will never fail. He is reminding them of God’s provision of manna in the wilderness from Exodus 16, of Melchizedek’s offering of loaves and wine in Genesis 14, of David eating the show-bread from the temple in 1 Samuel 21, and of God’s fundamental connection to everyday life (“Give us this day our daily bread”, Matthew 6:11.)

Nutrition that Matters

Jesus offered himself as spiritual food to the crowd, and challenged them to move beyond the moment into eternity. He also offers himself to us, inferring that if we come to him, we will never go hungry. Jeremiah 15:16 says much the same thing: “Your words were found, and I ate them, and Your word was to me the joy and rejoicing of my heart.” What bread have you been eating lately? How’s your spiritual appetite? Have you been skipping meals? Or are you full? Perhaps it is time to sit at the feet of the Master, and eat.

Beggar’s Bread

He’s the bread of life we should eat every day;
He’s the light who helps us to find our way,
And the Door to the Kingdom that has no end:
Our Shepherd, protector, our guide and friend…
He’s the resurrection who overcame strife;
He’s surely the way, the truth, the life,
The Living Vine from whom we grow!
The Rabbi you should get to know…
He’s the Carpenter who became a Lamb,
He’s the Son of God, the Great I AM,
The One who came back from the dead
To offer us this Living Bread.
I believe every word He said.

To purchase my newest book Real People, Real Christmas: Thirty-one Days Discovering the Hidden Treasures of the Christmas Story, go here:
For Slaying Giants: Thirty Days with David, go here:
To buy my book, Beggar’s Bread, go here: