Summary: THIS MESSAGE DEALS WITH JESUS TELLING THE PEOPLE THAT HE IS MORE IMPORTANT THAN PHYSICAL FOOD.
25When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
26Jesus answered, “I tell you the truth, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. 27Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. On him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.”
28Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
30So they asked him, “What miraculous sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? 31Our forefathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32Jesus said to them, “I tell you the truth, it is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they said, “from now on give us this bread.”
35Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to me will never go hungry, and he who believes in me will never be thirsty. 36But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. 37All that the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. 38For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 39And this is the will of him who sent me, that I shall lose none of all that he has given me, but raise them up at the last day. 40For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in him shall have eternal life, and I will raise him up at the last day.”
THERE USED TO BE A SPORTS WRITER FOR THE TAMPA TRIBUNE, ON SATURDAYS AND/OR SUNDAYS HE WOULD BEGIN HIS COLUMN BY DESCRIBING IN GREAT DETAIL HIS BREAKFAST. FINALLY AFTER THIS LONG DESCRIPTION, HE WOULD WRITE ABOUT THE SPORTS EVENT THAT HE WAS SUPPOSED TO BE WRITING ABOUT. I OFTEN WONDERED WHICH WAS MORE IMPORTANT, THE FOOD OR THE EVENT. LET ME ASK YOU A QUESTION, HOW MUCH TIME DO YOU SPEND THINKING ABOUT FOOD? I WOULD GUESS THAT SOME OF YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT FOOD RIGHT NOW. PREACHER, YOU BETTER HURRY UP OR THE ROAST IS GONNA BURN. OR PERHAPS, ARE WE GONNA BEAT THE BAPTISTS TO SONNY’S TODAY. AND ISN’T IT INTERESTING, THAT SO OFTEN WHEN WE GO OUT TO EAT, WE SPEND OUR TIME TALKING ABOUT WHAT? FOOD OR OTHER RESTAURANTS. I COULD JUST STOP PREACHING AND WE COULD TALK ABOUT ALL THE BEST PLACES TO EAT, AND WE WOULD NOT BE DONE TIL ONE. NOW THAT YOU ARE THINKING ABOUT FOOD, LET’S TURN OUR ATTENTION TO THE TEXT.
THIS ACCOUNT IS ONLY RECORDED IN THE GOSPEL OF JOHN. THIS FOLLOWS IMMEDIATELY AFTER JESUS WALKING ON THE WATER, WHICH WAS PROCEEDED BY THE FEEDING OF THE FIVE THOUSAND. THESE EVENTS TOOK PLACE OVER A VERY SHORT TIME FRAME, A FEW HOURS.
SOMEONE ASKS JESUS, “WHEN DID YOU GET HERE?” THERE IS A HIDDEN PART TO THE QUESTION, HOW DID YOU GET HERE SO FAST? V 22 SHEDS SOME LIGHT ON THIS. THERE HAD BEEN ONLY ONE BOAT, AND JESUS HAD NOT COME ACROSS ON THAT BOAT. JESUS COULD NOT HAVE PHYSICALLY WALKED AROUND THE LAKE AND COVERED THAT DISTANCE IN THAT SHORT OF TIME. WHAT THEY DID NOT KNOW, WAS THAT JESUS HAD WALKED ON THE WATER.
INSTEAD OF ANSWERING THE QUESTION, JESUS AS WAS OFTEN THE CASE, CUTS RIGHT TO THE HEART OF THE MATTER. HE LOOKS AT THE MULTITUDE, AND W/O PULLING ANY PUNCHES, HE BRINGS THE ISSUE HOME. IN TODAY’S VERNACULAR IT’S THE ELEPHANT IN THE ROOM. WHAT ARE YOU HERE FOR? THIS IS ONE OF THOSE QUESTIONS THAT NEEDS TO BE ASKED AND ASKED OFTEN. WHAT ARE YOU LOOKING FOR? WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT? WHAT ARE YOU IN SEARCH OF? IT HAS OFTEN BEEN SAID, IF YOU DIDN’T GET ANYTHING OUT OF THE SERVICE, WHAT DID YOU PUT INTO IT? WHEN YOU WERE ON YOUR WAY HERE THIS MORNING, WHERE WAS YOUR THINKING? WHAT WERE YOU EXPECTING?
AGAIN, JESUS DOESN’T ASK THE QUESTION B/C HE DOESN’T KNOW THE ANSWER, REMEMBER HE KNOWS THE HEART; HE ASKS THE QUESTION B/C HE WANTS TO SHOW A SPIRITUAL TRUTH.
JESUS TOLD THE PEOPLE, “YOU DO NOT FOLLOW ME B/C YOU SAW MIRACLES, YOU FOLLOW B/C I FED YOU. DON’T WORK FOR FOOD THAT SPOILS, RATHER FOOD THAT ENDURES TO ETERNAL LIFE.” THE PEOPLE DID NOT UNDERSTAND, TO THESE PEOPLE, JESUS WAS A MEAL TICKET; THEY DID NOT GRASP THE DEEPER MEANING. THEY TASTED THE FOOD, BUT THEY DO NOT UNDERSTAND THAT JESUS IS GOD IN THE FLESH. WHAT IS REALLY IMPORTANT IS NOT THE FOOD IN YOUR STOMACH, IT IS ETERNAL LIFE.