Yesterday we discussed that Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst” (John 6:35). To fully understand His meaning, we must look at this verse in context.
The day before a great crowd of people “followed Him, because they saw His signs which He performed on those who were diseased” (John 6:2). When Jesus saw the large crowd approaching He asked His disciples how they were to feed the multitudes, as a test because Jesus already knew what He would do.
Jesus blessed a small lunch that one boy gave, and when He blessed the lunch it fed all the crowd but there was also twelve baskets left over of the barley loaves (John 6:13). Let’s not skip over the lesson of God’s abundance. He takes whatever we can offer Him in time, ability, or resources and multiplies its effectiveness beyond our wildest expectations for His glory and for His kingdom work. God’s grace is abundant and is more than sufficient for our needs (2 Cor 12:9), so that glory for His kingdom shines through for all to see.
We should also not miss that His disciples who walked with Him daily did not understand the implications when Jesus was able to create more than enough food for 5,000 men (which equated to about 20,000 people including women and children) from a boy’s small lunch. Because later when they were on the sea and a storm arose, they were afraid (John 6:16-21).
Jesus was not only able to walk on the rough seas, find them in the dark, but when He got in the boat they were immediately taken to the shore. Their efforts weren’t required. So in a short period of time, Jesus’s disciples had witnessed many miracles of healing, feeding a great multitude, walking on rough seas, calming the seas, and immediately taking His disciples and their boat safely to the shore. Even after all they had witnessed, they were afraid of the storm and weren’t prepared for Jesus’s help. Faith is a mind-set that expects God to act; when we walk this out in our daily lives, His faithfulness overcomes our fears.
When the crowd gets to the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?” (John 6:22-25). “Jesus answered them and said, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.’ Then they said to Him, ‘What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?’ Jesus answered and said to them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.'” (John 6:26-29)
Jesus understood that the people wanted earthly physical healing, food, and things that Jesus could give them to satisfy them temporarily. Jesus wants to give us eternity in heaven and to have a relationship with us. Many people look to use religion to gain prestige or comfort. Jesus tells the people that what He offers is better and is eternal.
Our Lord is so patient with me because far too often I’m unable to remember what He just showed me before I ask for more signs. He certainly was with the crowd when they asked for more signs, because the healing of the sick and the feeding of the multitudes didn’t seem enough for them. “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert” (John 6:30-31).
“Then Jesus said to them, ‘Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ Then they said to Him, ‘Lord, give us this bread always.’ And Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe.’” (John 6:32-36)
Jesus never worked independently of the Father, because they are One (John 10:30). Jesus came to earth as fully man and fully God in order to do the will of the Father. “All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.” (John 6:37-40)
Jesus invites us to spend time with Him, to feed on His Word, and to have faith that He will do all that He said. Those who put their faith in Christ will be resurrected from physical death to eternal life with God when Christ returns. “For the Lord Himself will descend from heaven with a shout, with the voice of an archangel, and with the trumpet of God. And the dead in Christ will rise first. Then we who are alive and remain shall be caught up together with them in the clouds to meet the Lord in the air. And thus we shall always be with the Lord.” (1 Thess 4:16-17)
Will you be raised with Him on that day to be with Him in all eternity? He says, “Behold, I stand at the door and knock. If anyone hears My voice and opens the door, I will come in to him and dine with him, and he with Me.” (Rev 3:20) Will you answer the door to the Bread of Life? As we read earlier, Jesus has done all the work to call us to Him, and to justify and sanctify us before the Father. “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.” (John 6:29) If you haven’t already, I pray you answer His call today.