Summary: In the sixth chapter of John Jesus is interacting with "followers" who have been raised with and external, works-centered holiness. Jesus boils it all down to one simple action; an action which is not possible without the work of God Himself.
Please open your Bibles to John 6:25-42 which we will read in a few minutes.
As we prepare to read this text that Jesus has miraculously fed the five thousand with five small barley loaves and two small fish, and, after everyone had eaten their fill the disciples picked up twelve baskets of fragments left over from the five small barley loaves.
These people were following Jesus even before He fed them because they had seen Him heal a bunch of sick people.
Then we read the whole miracle of Jesus walking on the water and now He’s arrived on the other side of the lake but many have followed Him there looking for another free lunch.
With that in mind let’s go ahead and read: John 6:25-42
25 When they found Him on the other side of the lake, they asked Him, “Rabbi, when did You get here?”
26 Jesus answered, “Very truly I tell you, you are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.
27 Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on Him God the Father has placed His seal of approval.”
28 Then they asked Him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
29 Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the One He has sent.”
30 So they asked Him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe You? What will You do?
31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32 Jesus said to them, “Very truly I tell you, 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.
33 For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34 “Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
35 Then Jesus declared, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to Me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in Me will never be thirsty.
36 But as I told you, you have seen Me and still you do not believe.
37 All those the Father gives Me will come to Me, and whoever comes to Me I will never drive away.
38 For I have come down from heaven not to do My will but to do the will of Him who sent Me.
39 And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that I shall lose none of all those He has given Me, but raise them up at the last day.
40 For my Father’s will is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes in Him shall have eternal life, and I will raise them up at the last day.”
41 At this the Jews there began to grumble about Him because He said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.”
42 They said, “Is this not Jesus, the son of Joseph, whose father and mother we know? How can He now say, ‘I came down from heaven’?”
May God bless the reading of His Word.
Today I want to focus on verses 26-29 so please follow along in your Bibles.
John 6:26 NIV
“Jesus answered, ‘Very truly I tell you, you are looking for Me, not because you saw the signs I performed but because you ate the loaves and had your fill.’”
Jesus has just been asked, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
Jesus doesn’t even answer their question but He gets to the heart of why they are looking for Him; they want more food!
These folks had actually seen, with their very own eyes, the miracle of Jesus’ feeding of the 5,000 with two small barley loaves and two fish.
These folks had also been filled with the bread and fish that had been provided by this miracle and “if He did it once, He can do it again!”
They had seen the supernatural work of the Lord and they had eaten the natural, earthly result of that supernatural miracle.
They had experienced the divine and the natural.
Which were they seeking more of; divine or natural?
We love the natural, don’t we?
These folks had been hungry and had been fed and it felt great to be well fed!
Now it was morning time and they were hungry again.
OK, Rabbi, feed us again.
Think about your prayer life.
What does it consist of, divine or natural?
I mean, let’s look at the prayer the Lord Jesus taught the apostles.