“What did Jesus say that day,” and other questions.

Nancy and Saint John and I were sitting in the food court, talking about the story of the feeding of the 15,000. That’s what I call it.

“Maybe you can help me,” I said to John. “I’ve got a couple questions about the version of the story we read in ‘The Gospel according to Saint John.’ I’m guessing that talking to you is as good a chance as any to get answers.”

He smiled. “I’ll do what I can, though it’s almost like talking to yourself.”

I ignored him. “First question: why doesn’t The Gospel of John, or any of the other gospels, tell us what Jesus was teaching about that day? We learn about what happened at the end of the day, but we don’t even get an outline.”

“You need to read closer,” John said. “He had compassion, he talked about the kingdom of God, and he healed. But you need to understand. The Twelve had been on an internship for a few weeks. As soon as we got back, Jesus headed for the wilderness and was met by this huge crowd. None of the disciples were interested in taking notes. Not nearly as much as talking about what had been happening.”

I shook my head. “So the Twelve were more interested in themselves than in recording teachings for us?”

John laughed. “You could read it that way, I suppose. But if you actually took the time to read the whole story, you would see that the crowd scene is tied to a long teaching about being the bread of life. He gives a physical example, and then explains it.”

“Whatever,” I said. “Second question: why did Jesus avoid being made king by the crowd? Isn’t that what he came for?”

John leaned forward.

(to be continued tomorrow)

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