So when the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they themselves got into the boats and went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus. When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you come here?” Jesus answered them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves. Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on him God the Father has set his seal.” Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you do you perform? our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as i is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly I say to you, it was not Moses who gave 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.” They said to him, “Sir give us this bread always.” Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life; whoever comes to me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in me shall never thirst.”
Summary – This passage showcases Jesus’ classically instructive manner of discoursing with His questioners. Followed by a crowd, He points out that this crowd has only followed Him to see Him do magic tricks that fill their bellies. When they ask then what they are supposed to do instead, the answer is simply to believe in the Christ. Appealing to Israel’s history, the rejoinder is, “Why should we believe you since our fathers had manna in order to believe God?” Jesus, instead of providing them just another entertaining and filling trick of feeding 5000, gives them virtually the same answer: believe in me, I am the bread from heaven that the manna prefigured.
Insight – We are people that want to have things proved to us. Why should I believe that the stove will burn me if I touch it? Why should I believe that the knife will cut me? Maybe we know someone who had something really out of the ordinary happen to them which provided for their needs or answered their prayers in a special way. Maybe we wish that would happen to us so that we would have proof that God cares, or proof that God wants us to do a certain thing. But when people came to Jesus saying that, He simply told them they’re looking in the wrong place. Those special things that may happen, like how the Israelites were miraculously provided manna, are great, but really all they do is point to God. Don’t spend your time, Jesus told them, focusing on those out-of-the-ordinary things; focus on ME.
Child Catechism – What must you do to be doing the works of God? Believe in Jesus.
Discussion – What are some areas you wish you had concrete proof of?
Prayer – Father, we are so often distracted by the world and by our unbelief. Cause us to cling to belief in Jesus Christ whom you have sent, that we may never hunger and never thirst. Amen