In Jewish religious folklore, there is the story of the student of the Torah who announced to his teacher that he felt qualified to be a rabbi. “What are your qualifications?” the teacher asked. The student answered, “I have reached a high degree of asceticism. I have disciplined my body so that I can sleep on the ground, eat the grass of the field, and allow myself to be whipped three times a day.” To which the teacher replied, “See that yonder white donkey, and be mindful that it sleeps on the ground, eats the grass of the field, and is whipped no less than three times a day. Up to the present, you may qualify to be a donkey, but certainly not a rabbi.”1
In today’s Gospel Lesson, as Jesus addresses a crowd of His fellow Jews, they question His qualifications. They “murmured at Him,” John tells us, “because He said, ‘I am the Bread which came down from heaven.'” At this point,…
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