Jesus is performing miracles of healing and the people are following him. After he feeds the five thousand, he leaves the area but the crowds seek, and find him. In John 6:26 Jesus replied to them and said, “Truly, truly I say to you, you seek me not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were satisfied!” Jesus begins to explain a spiritual truth in John 6:35 “I am the bread of life” and goes on to say in John 6:40 “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks at the Son and believes in him would have eternal life”. As Christians, we sometimes focus our attention on the gifts of the Holy Spirit, and they are an important part of our life and witness for Jesus Christ. Our primary mission though is the “work of God” which Jesus described in John 6:29 “This is the work of God: that you believe in the one whom that one sent”.
Jesus Was Not There
This is the Work of God: That You Believe
The crowds were looking for Jesus because he had done miracles in Jerusalem and taught them on the mountainside in Galilee and fed the thousands of them with five barley loaves and a few fish. They saw his disciples leave by boat but Jesus had not been with them. Then “on the next day” in John 6:22 as the crowd was looking for Jesus in
John 6:24 So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and came to Capernaum seeking Jesus.
the crowd inquired when he got there in John 6:25 and Jesus responded, not by answering their question, but by pointing out their motivation in
John 6:26 Jesus replied to them and said, “Truly, truly I say to you, you seek me not because you saw signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were satisfied!
Jesus had fed them the day before, and now, where is breakfast? Jesus had come to heal and set the captives free and he was doing good by feeding them, but he wanted them to look beyond the miracles and understand that in
John 6:29 Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God: that you believe in the one whom that one sent.”
they respond with “Then what sign will you perform, so that we can see it” in John 6:30 and have missed the spiritual impact Jesus wanted to convey. Jesus then uses another miracle saying in John 6:32 “Moses did not give you bread from heaven” in other words, the Lord fed them with manna that fell from the sky and nourished them physically, but this was just that, physical nourishment. Now Jesus brings them the truth they need to understand about God’s kingdom, that they should believe in Jesus Christ in
John 6:33 For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
The One Who Believes Has Eternal Life
Jesus has laid the groundwork for understanding, he is not talking about natural miracles of healing or multiplying natural food to feed them. There is a spiritual truth that has eternal implications in
John 6:35 Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. The one who comes to me will never be hungry, and the one who believes in me will never be thirsty again.
Jesus calls himself “the bread of life” and just as natural bread sustains our life and we die without it, so it is in the spirit realm. Now Jesus goes on to make his main point, that eternal life is available to them in
John 6:40 For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks at the Son and believes in him would have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day.”
There are three important points that Jesus makes here:
- It is God’s will for us to have eternal life. Jesus is not doing this on his own but “this is the will of my Father”.
- Each person must see “the Son”. No one else can do this for you but “everyone who looks at the Son” or it also says in Acts 15:7 “hear the message of the gospel” so whether we see or hear, the point is clear, we individually must have an encounter with Jesus Christ as the Son of God.
- Each person must choose whether they will believe in Jesus Christ as the Son of God or not. So that “everyone who looks at the Son and believes in him would have eternal life”
Jesus goes on to say in
John 6:47 Truly, truly I say to you, the one who believes has eternal life.
and it is God who validates our choice as it says in
Acts 15:8 And God, who knows the heart, testified to them by giving them the Holy Spirit, just as he also did to us.
I Am the Living Bread That Came Down From Heaven
The Spirit is the One Who Gives Life
You Have the Words of Eternal Life
Jesus has used bread as a way to convey himself as the bread of life, as a necessary part of sustaining life. He then goes a step further and says in
John 6:56 The one who eats my flesh and drinks my blood resides in me and I in him.
at the first hearing, the Jews were forbidden from eating blood and would not have thought to eat human flesh, but Jesus had been using his flesh metaphorically. The Jews would have understood the blood as part of the sacrifice, and eating the flesh of the sacrificial animal was part of their way of life. Yet it seems that no one, even Jesus disciples, understood the connection, the sacrifice that Jesus was to make with his own life. So, in
John 6:66 For this reason many of his disciples drew back and were not walking with him any longer.
Jesus disciples may not have understood these statements, but they did recognize Jesus as the Son of God in
John 6:68–69 Simon Peter answered him, “Lord, to whom would we go? You have the words of eternal life. 69 And we have believed, and have come to know, that you are the Holy One of God.”
No One Does Anything in Secret
- John 6:25–34 This is the Work of God: That You Believe
- John 6:35–48 The One Who Believes Has Eternal Life
- John 6:66–71 You Have the Words of Eternal Life
- John 6:22-71
- John 7:1-5