After Jesus miraculously fed the multitudes with just a few loaves of bread and a couple of fish, the crowds of people following Him continued to grow. People were anxious to see what He would do next and hoping for His miracles to extend to them. But Jesus told them that they were searching for the wrong things. Providing food for their bodies was nothing compared to the food for their souls that He had really come to give them. They were missing the point.
“But don’t be so concerned about perishable things like food. Spend your energy seeking the eternal life that the Son of Man can give you.” – John 6:27 NLT
They were spiritually hungry and they wanted to please God but they didn’t understand how. For generations, they had been provided with a long list of rules and traditions that were put in place by the Pharisees. So when they asked Jesus what they could do to be on God’s plan, they were expecting a “to-do” list of required action items. But Jesus broke it down to the only thing that matters. Believe in Him!
Jesus answered, “This is the work of God: that you believe [adhere to, trust in, rely on, and have faith] in the One whom He has sent.” – John 6:29 AMP
Jesus gave them the entry-level expectation. They wouldn’t get any further in God’s plan until they acknowledged the fact that Jesus is the Messiah and that only through Him could they have eternal life. Apart from Him, nothing they did would meet the mark.
The same is true today. Many religions provide a checklist of things you must do in order to please their god, none of which can ever be done perfectly. But God knows that we will fall short, and that is why He sent Jesus to bridge the gap. Once you accept, believe and confess that Jesus is Lord, then God can begin the work that He has planned for you.
For we are God’s masterpiece. He has created us anew in Christ Jesus, so we can do the good things he planned for us long ago. – Ephesians 2:10 NLT
The people that had witnessed the miracles Jesus performed and had heard the words He spoke still weren’t getting it. They wanted to see a sign to help them believe. (Apparently, the water to wine, physical healings, and the miraculous feeding of thousands weren’t enough!) Their forefathers had been given manna from heaven to sustain them in the wilderness and they were wondering what Jesus would give them? (Exodus 16) They were looking for the physical things Jesus could give them, but Jesus wanted to give them so much more. He wanted to satisfy their spiritual hunger!
My soul languishes and grows weak for Your salvation; I wait for Your word. – Psalm 119:81 AMP
Jesus told them God had so much more for them, and He has so much more for us today! The things we accumulate on earth to satisfy our physical needs will grow old and lose their value. None of them will matter when we reach the end of our life. But Jesus is the Bread of Life. He satisfies the hunger and quenches the thirst of our eternal soul! He provides the assurance of salvation and the promise that we will be with Him in the presence of God for all of eternity. Once you put your faith in Jesus for salvation, you can put your hope in eternity regardless of what your earthly circumstances may be.
Jesus replied, “I am the Bread of Life. Whoever comes to Me will never be hungry again. Whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty…For it is my Father’s will that all who see his Son and believe in Him should have eternal life. I will raise them up at the last day.” – John 6:35, 40 NLT