Our fathers did eat manna in the desert - Their argument seems to run thus: Thou hast, we grant, fed five thousand men with five loaves and two small fishes; but what is this in comparison of what Moses did in the desert, who for forty years fed more than a million of persons with bread from heaven: do something like this, and then we will believe in thee, as we have believed in Moses.
Our fathers - The Jews who were led by Moses through the wilderness.
Did eat manna - This was the name given by the Jews to the food which was furnished to them by God in their journey. It means literally, “What is this?” and was the question which they asked when they first saw it, Exodus 16:14-15. It was small like frost, and of the size of coriander-seed, and had a sweetish taste like honey. It fell in great quantities, and was regarded by the Jews as proof of a continued miracle during forty years, and was incontestable evidence of the interposition of God in favor of their fathers. The manna which is sold in the shops of druggists is a different substance from this. It is obtained from the bark of certain trees in Armenia, Georgia, Persia, and Arabia. It is procured, as resin is, by making an incision in the bark, and it flows out or distils from the tree.
As it is written - The substance of this is written in Psalm 78:24-25.
He gave them - This was regarded as a miraculous interference in their behalf, and an attestation of the divine mission of Moses, and hence they said familiarly that Moses gave it to them.
Bread from heaven - The word “heaven,” in the Scriptures, denotes often the region of the air, the atmosphere, or that region in which the clouds are. See Matthew 16:3; “The sky (heaven) is red and lowering.” Also Matthew 3:16; Luke 4:15; Luke 5:18. The Jews, as appears from their writings (see Lightfoot), expected that the Messiah would provide his followers with plenty of delicious food; and as Moses had provided for the Jews in the wilderness, so they supposed that Christ would make provision for the temporal wants of his friends. This was the sign, probably, which they were now desirous of seeing.
Christ's disciples were much impressed by His prayers and by His habit of communion with God. One day after a short absence from their Lord, they found Him absorbed in supplication. Seeming unconscious of their presence, He continued praying aloud. The hearts of the disciples were deeply moved. As He ceased praying, they exclaimed, “Lord, teach us to pray.” COL 140.1
In answer, Christ repeated the Lord's prayer, as He had given it in the sermon on the mount. Then in a parable He illustrated the lesson He desired to teach them. COL 140.2
“Which of you,” He said, “shall have a friend, and shall go unto him at midnight, and say unto him, Friend, lend me three loaves; for a friend of mine in his journey is come to me, and I have nothing to set before him? And he from within shall answer and say, Trouble me not; the door is now shut, and my children are with me in bed: I cannot rise and give thee. I say unto you, Though he will not rise and give him because he is his friend, yet because of his importunity he will rise and give him as many as he needeth.” COL 140.3Read in context »
This chapter is based on John 6:22-71.
When Christ forbade the people to declare Him king, He knew that a turning point in His history was reached. Multitudes who desired to exalt Him to the throne today would turn from Him tomorrow. The disappointment of their selfish ambition would turn their love to hatred, and their praise to curses. Yet knowing this, He took no measures to avert the crisis. From the first He had held out to His followers no hope of earthly rewards. To one who came desiring to become His disciple He had said, “The foxes have holes, and the birds of the air have nests; but the Son of man hath not where to lay His head.” Matthew 8:20. If men could have had the world with Christ, multitudes would have proffered Him their allegiance; but such service He could not accept. Of those now connected with Him there were many who had been attracted by the hope of a worldly kingdom. These must be undeceived. The deep spiritual teaching in the miracle of the loaves had not been comprehended. This was to be made plain. And this new revelation would bring with it a closer test. DA 383.1Read in context »
The work of keeping before the people the common things transpiring around us, the news of the day, is not the work of present truth. Our work is to fill every page of printed matter with spiritual food. What is the chaff to the wheat? All these common things are very cheap, and often are but stale food to those who are starving for the heavenly manna.—Manuscript 95, 1898. PM 223.1Read in context »
Those with whom the Christian comes in contact have a right to know what has been revealed to the follower of Christ, and he is to make it known both by precept and example. The Christian is to publish the good news of salvation, and he is never to weary of the recital of God's goodness. He is continually to draw with Christ, and continually to draw from Christ, eating the flesh and drinking the blood of the Son of man, which Jesus declares are His words, that are spirit and life. Thus he will always have a fresh supply of heavenly manna. Every Christian, high or low, rich or poor, learned or ignorant, is to talk of the kingdom of God, to speak of Christ and Him crucified, to those who are in ignorance and sin. You are to speak to sinners; for you know not but God is moving upon their hearts. Never forget that great responsibility attaches to every word you utter in their presence.... PM 285.1Read in context »