Jesus told the crowds that He is the 'Bread of Life'v.34, and they struggled hard about this teaching. They knew Jesus had the power to offer ordinary daily bread, because they themselves had eaten the bread Jesus gave. When it came to the teaching, Jesus is the 'Bread of Life', they could not believe Him. There were several hurdles the crowds couldn't overcome. They all revolve around the crucial questions of having faith in Jesus, and focussing on Him alone, and the question of trying to understand His teaching.
First, the heart of the problem was having faith in Jesus. The crowds believed that Jesus was not God- Incarnate, but simply another prophet. They believed Jesus could perform miracles, but He was not the 'Bread of Life' as He claimed to be. They were at home to the idea, that God would send prophets to be with, and guide them, but the idea God- Incarnate was foreign to them. They took pride in being children of Moses, and other prophets. The crowds had seen the miracle of the loaves, and would hope to have more miracles. They seemed to have the 'selective believing' approach. They believed almost all Jesus' teaching, except the teaching about Jesus, the 'Bread of Life'.
The mystery of the Incarnation, that Jesus was God- Incarnate, Who gave the 'Bread of Life' was a great mystery that went beyond human capacity to explain. The vastness of the mystery was even deeper than the entire cosmos. The universe was part of God's creation, and God's creation would not be able to understand its Maker. We are part of God's creation. We would not be able to take hold of the mystery of the Incarnation. The mystery requires us to see with the eyes of faith, and faith comes from believing in Jesus' teaching. Apart from Jesus' teaching, there is no other reliable source of information, that helps us to know about the Incarnation. The more one tries searching for the meaning of the mystery of the Incarnation, the more his/her mind gets bogged down.
Second, most of Jesus' teaching we would feel at home with, but when it came to the mystery of God's love, and salvation, we had better believe what Jesus said, not merely try to make sense of His teaching. Jesus told the crowds that He was God- Incarnate, and what He had to offer was the 'Bread of Life'. The crowds failed to understand Him. In helping the crowds to make sense of what He said, Jesus openly told them, there was no other way, except having faith in Him. Trying to understand what He said would not lead to faith, but having faith first, understanding may gradually unfold. The benefits of having faith in Jesus for a believer would be, that s/he would never experience hunger or thirst again.
Third, instead of focussing on Jesus, Who was now amongst them, the crowds were focussing on Moses. They said Moses gave their ancestors bread from heaven. Jesus told them, prophets could not satisfy them. They carried God's message, but they themselves could not save anyone. The prophets acted as instruments in God's hands. Jesus told the crowds, it was not Moses, but His Father, Who gave them the manna to eat. In the past, God worked through Moses and other prophets. God, today now, works through God's only Son, Jesus, and those who have faith in Jesus would receive Him, the 'Bread of Life'. In next week's Gospel we will hear more about the dispute the crowds made about the mystery of God- Incarnate, the 'Bread of Life'.