When we read the Bible we always want to be careful and pray that God would not let us just run on autopilot. We want to seek what God has for us.
In the gospel reading from John, Jesus has just warned the Jews that they have made an idol of the Scriptures. They think eternal life is in them divorced from the One who gave them. But they point to Him. He says He knows they’re doing this because they don’t recognize Him, they don’t believe Him. In this way, even though they claim to be loyal to Moses, Jesus says that Moses condemns them.
It’s in this context that Jesus crosses the Sea of Galilee and goes up on a mountain right around the time of Passover. Given the context, it doesn’t seem like too much of a stretch at all to suggest that John wants us to think about the first Exodus: Moses leading Israel through the Red Sea to Mt. Sinai. And Jesus plays the part and invites Philip and the other disciples to join Him, assuming the people will be hungry and sets about to feed them, like Moses in the wilderness.
But there are a couple of important differences. First, John has Jesus feeding the people on the mountain. In the first Exodus, the law was given on the mountain, but here food is given on the mountain. Second, Jesus anticipates the Last Supper which also happened at Passover, and the Last Supper is our Lord’s Supper.
If we take all of this together, we need to understand that God’s Word is supposed to be our food. But it’s our food precisely by being the life of God given for us, by pointing to the broken body and shed blood of Jesus, by calling us to leave every Egypt, to defy every Pharaoh, to be washed, to be forgiven, to become new people. So when you read your Bible think Passover. Think new world. Think new King. And leave the old world behind.