This story is featured in a collection of Bible stories for kids called Take and Eat: Bible Stories for Kids about the Eucharist.
After the miraculous feeding of more than five thousand people, the crowds came in search of Jesus to learn more from him. When they found him, they had a lot of questions for him.
As you read this story, pay attention to the words that turn so many people away from Jesus.
It took the crowd of people some time before they could find Jesus after he miraculously fed the five thousand people. They had heard of his many other miracles, too, and went to follow him. When they finally found him, they asked, “Rabbi, when did you come here?”
Jesus replied, “Very truly, I tell you, you are looking for me because you ate your fill of the bread. Do not work for the food of this world, but for the food that endures for eternal life. The Son of Man will give this to you.”
“What sign are you going to give us, so that we may see it and believe you?” they asked him. “Our ancestors ate manna in the wilderness. God gave them bread to eat.”
Jesus replied, “It is my Father who gives you true bread from heaven. The bread of God that comes down from heaven gives life to the world.”
“Sir, give us this bread always,” they shouted.
“I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty,” Jesus said.
The Jews among the crowd began to complain. “Is not this Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can he say he has come down from heaven?”
Jesus heard this and answered them, “Do not complain among yourselves. No one can come to me unless the Father wills it, and I will raise that person on the last day.”
Jesus repeated again, “I am the bread of life. Your ancestors ate manna in the wilderness, but they died. This is the bread that comes down from heaven. If you eat of it, you will not die. The bread that I will give for the life of the world is my flesh.”
The Jews argued among themselves, saying, “How can this man give us his flesh to eat?”
Jesus said to them, “Unless you eat the flesh of the Son of Man and drink his blood, you have no life within you. Those who eat my flesh and drink my blood have eternal life, and I will raise them up on the last day.”
His disciples heard this and said, “This teaching is difficult; who can accept it?”
“Does this offend you?” Jesus asked them. “The words that I have spoken to you are spiritual but true. They will give you life. But among you there are some who do not believe.”
When his disciples heard this, many of them turned back home. They no longer wanted to follow Jesus.
“Do you also wish to go away?” Jesus asked his twelve apostles.
“Lord, to whom can we go? You have the words of eternal life,” the apostle Peter replied.
Bread of Life Reflection Questions
- What did Jesus say that led some of the crowd and even his disciples to turn away and leave him?
- Based on these teachings, why should you eat the bread of life and drink Jesus’s blood?
- When you are unsure of the teachings of Jesus or the Church, who do you go to for help with understanding?
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