Contemporary English Version (CEV)
When people are engaged in a true covenant-based relationship, something amazing happens. It's no longer just about what you can get out of it -- but you're willing to sacrifice for the benefit of the relationship. It becomes more than two separate people, and it builds each and every day into something deeper.
Jesus is trying to teach the disciples that God wants to be in such a relationship with them. Many of the people in the crowds come for the miracles and the free food, but they leave when things get challenging. Jesus is trying to show us how staying faithful in the hard parts leads us into something wonderful, something indescribable, where God is for us and with us and we bring honor to the God of the universe by serving and loving him.
It's a hard concept to grasp, selfless love committed to something that often comes across as ambiguous and hard to describe. But Jesus shows us the depth of the Father's love and then invites us to trust him that it will be far greater than anything the world has ever known.