Summary: Have you ever asked a question and not gotten the answer you were looking for? I think we all have. The fact is, that just because a person is asking a question, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re looking for an answer. Especially if the answer goes ag
Have you ever asked a question and not gotten the answer you were looking for? I think we all have. Many times we will even ask a question with an answer already in our heads that we are looking for. Sometimes, we will even frame the question in such a way that even the way we ask it is designed to get the answer we want. The fact is, that just because a person is asking a question, doesn’t necessarily mean that they’re looking for an answer. Especially if the answer goes against what they were looking for. That’s what happened in the passage we’re looking at this morning. A group of people asked Jesus a series of questions. But they didn’t ask them because they were honestly seeking answers. They were looking for the answers they already had in their heads. The problem was, the answers they already had in their heads were wrong. And Jesus let them know it. Remember what has led up to this point. Jesus had just finished feeding the multitude with five loaves and two fish. They were stuffed and happy to have been fed for free. And because of that, they saw Jesus as their meal ticket. They wanted Him to feed them forever for free. They could have all of their needs provided for and never have to work another day in their lives. That’s what they thought, so they wanted to take Jesus by force and make Him their king. But Jesus wouldn’t have anything to do with that. Because that’s not the kind of King He came to be. So, He ran them all off. Then He sent the disciples off in a boat to Capernaum by themselves and He went up on the mountain to pray. Then the storm and the walking on water that we talked about last week happened. But that was kind of behind the scenes. The crowd of people who had been fed didn’t know anything about that. All they knew was that they had witnessed a sign. And they wanted more. Word travelled fast, and people from all over the area heard what had happened. So, by the time the next day came around, people came from all over the area to see Jesus. But, of course, when they got to the place where Jesus fed the 5000, He was nowhere to be found. All of that happened on the eastern shore of the Sea of Galilee the day before. By now, Jesus and the disciples were in the area of Capernaum on the northwestern shore. The people quickly figured it all out when they saw that a boat was gone, so they headed that way. Look with me at verses 22-24:
Notice what it says there in verse 24. What was this massive crowd of people doing? They were seeking Jesus. But once again, we find that they were seeking Jesus for all the wrong reasons. They were seeking Jesus for what He could do for them. They saw that He could make food for them. They liked having their bellies filled for free. So they sought Jesus so that He could be their meal ticket. Don’t think that these were people who were seeking Jesus to save them from their sins. They weren’t seeking Jesus as the Way, the Truth and the Life. They weren’t seeking Jesus as their Lord and Master and Savior. No, they were seeking Jesus only for the things He could do for them. And throughout the rest of this passage, we see how Jesus responded to them. Throughout history, this passage has come to be known as the Bread of Life Discourse. You will notice that it follows a particular theme. Jesus had just finished feeding the people a seemingly endless supply of bread the day before. And as soon as they got hungry again, the people came back to Jesus looking for bread again. They came looking for physical bread, but this time Jesus didn’t give them any. Instead, this time, Jesus turned the discussion away from physical bread to spiritual bread. The people wanted to talk about food, and even went so far as to bring up the manna in the wilderness. But Jesus kept turning them back to Himself. That’s the theme of the passage. The pattern of the passage is very interesting, too. The people came to Jesus asking questions. As a matter of fact, they ask Him six questions. But their questions weren’t honest, seeking questions. The people already had the answer that they wanted in their mind. And Jesus didn’t give them the answers that they were looking for. And with each answer that Jesus gave, the people became more and more irritated. Instead of bending their wills toward Jesus, they stiffened their resistance toward Him. Sadly, that’s the same thing that happens today. Many times, people are looking for a Jesus who will do things for them. But then as they seek Him for those things, He shows Himself for who He is. And as Jesus shows Himself for who He is, many times people don’t like it and resist Him. To this day, people come to Jesus looking for the food that perishes. But what Jesus gives is the food that endures. As we look at this passage, we’re going to see six questions that the people asked from the perspective of food that perishes. And then we’ll see how Jesus answered them from the perspective of food which endures. The first question they asked is in verse 25 and Jesus’ answer is in 26-27. Look there with me.