Sustained by God’s Word of Love
John 6:22-40: The day after Jesus miraculously fed the people, the crowd goes looking for him. When they find him, Jesus explains the difference between the manna that their ancestors ate in the desert and the “real bread from heaven.”
“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.”
22Next day the crowd which had stayed on the other side of the lake realized that there had been only one boat there. They knew that Jesus had not gone in it with his disciples, but that they had left without him.23Other boats, which were from Tiberias, came to shore near the place where the crowd had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks.24When the crowd saw that Jesus was not there, nor his disciples, they got into those boats and went to Capernaum, looking for him.
25When the people found Jesus on the other side of the lake, they said to him, “Teacher, when did you get here?”
26Jesus answered, “I am telling you the truth: you are looking for me because you ate the bread and had all you wanted, not because you understood my miracles.27 Do not work for food that spoils; instead, work for the food that lasts for eternal life. This is the food which the Son of Man will give you, because God, the Father, has put his mark of approval on him.”
28So they asked him, “What can we do in order to do what God wants us to do?”
29Jesus answered, “What God wants you to do is to believe in the one he sent.”
30They replied, “What miracle will you perform so that we may see it and believe you? What will you do?31 Our ancestors ate manna in the desert, just as the scripture says, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
32“I am telling you the truth,” Jesus said. “What Moses gave you was not the bread from heaven; it is my Father who gives you the real bread from heaven.33For the bread that God gives is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
34“Sir,” they asked him, “give us this bread always.”
35“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “Those who come to me will never be hungry; those who believe in me will never be thirsty.36Now, I told you that you have seen me but will not believe.37Everyone whom my Father gives me will come to me. I will never turn away anyone who comes to me,38because I have come down from heaven to do not my own will but the will of him who sent me.39And it is the will of him who sent me that I should not lose any of all those he has given me, but that I should raise them all to life on the last day.40For what my Father wants is that all who see the Son and believe in him should have eternal life. And I will raise them to life on the last day.”
Why did the crowd go looking for Jesus (verses 22-24)? After Jesus tells the crowd that God wants them “to believe in the one he sent” (verse 29), the people demand a miracle. Why? Reread verses 31-35. How does Jesus contrast himself as the “bread of life” with the manna that was given to the people’s ancestors in the desert? What does Jesus as the “bread of life” mean to you?
Lord Jesus, you are the true bread of life that has come down from heaven to give life to the world. I hunger and thirst for your Word each day and trust in your promise that all who believe in you will be raised on the last day. Amen.
Those who bake bread for the celebration of the Lord’s Supper
John 6:41-71: Jesus’s words offer eternal life.