22 On the following day, when the people who were standing on the other side of the sea saw that there was no other boat there, except that one which His disciples had entered, and that Jesus had not entered the boat with His disciples, but His disciples had gone away alone-- 23 however, other boats came from Tiberias, near the place where they ate bread after the Lord had given thanks-- 24 when the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, nor His disciples, they also got into boats and came to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, "Rabbi, when did You come here?" 26 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. 27 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." 28 Then they said to Him, "What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?" 29 Jesus answered and said to them, "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent." 30 Therefore they said to Him, "What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, 'He gave them bread from heaven to eat.' " 32 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. 33 For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world." 34 Then they said to Him, "Lord, give us this bread always." 35 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.
Questions to Consider:
Jesus was beginning to pile up an impressive list of miracles. He turned water into wine. He healed the nobleman's son. He healed a man who had some kind of infirmity for 38 years. He feed five thousand men, along with their families, by multiplying a few loaves of bread. He walked on water and calmed a storm.
Just imagine how it would be if Jesus was producing signs and wonders in our culture. Our culture is enamored with celebrities. We have celebrities whose only claim for being a celebrity is that they were or are on a reality television show. Jesus would be a one-of-a-kind, never-seen-before celebrity.
Based on the miracles alone, Jesus was quickly becoming the most well-known person in all of Israel. People were actively trying to be anywhere Jesus was going to be. However; Jesus was not always where the crowds expected Him to be. The crowds saw the disciples leave in their boat to travel to the other side of the Sea of Galilee, without Jesus. When they finally caught up with the disciples, Jesus was there with His disciples as if He had been on the boat. They asked Jesus, "How did you get here?"
This gave Jesus an opportunity to talk and to teach. He started by addressing the elephant in the room. "You are following me, because I fed you. but no bread lasts forever. I will give you food which will endure forever!"
The response by the crowd reveals that they did not understand what Jesus was offering. They wanted to do what Jesus had done; they wanted to do a mighty miracle...say like, feeding people. How cool would that be?
Jesus challenged them to do an even greater work. (Refer to John 14:12) v. 29. "This is the work of God, that you believe in Him (Jesus) whom He sent." Perhaps the greatest sign, and without question the greatest gift is that of faith. You believe, because God graced you with faith. (Miracles appreciated but not necessary for faith)
What does a crowd seek when they do not have the gift of faith? They seek signs and wonders that they might believe. They were following after Jesus on the basis of expectation, but they still wanted Him to perform miracles in order to believe. The crowd was expressing the same kind of doubt that Thomas expressed after the resurrection. "I'll believe Jesus is alive when I see the proof." After Jesus appeared to Thomas, and Thomas was convinced by the evidence standing in front of him, Jesus said, "Thomas, because you have seen Me, you have believed. Blessed are those who have not seen and yet have believed." (John 20:29)
Jesus was impressing upon them that the Father is a greater gift than manna and the Son is a greater gift than miracles. Jesus was and is the "Bread of Life."
Lead Teaching Elder: