People have some funny ideas about Jesus.
It’s remarkable the varied opinions on Jesus floating around. Politicians use His words. Pastors use His words. Movements use His words.
But how often are we just developing ideas about Jesus based on what we hear instead of what Scripture really said about Him?
After the feeding of the 5,000 men (plus women and children) (John 6:1-15), Jesus sent the disciples across the Sea of Galilee and He came to them walking on water (John 6:16-21). Jesus and the disciples are now on the other side of the lake as we pick up the story in John 6:22-42.
The next day the crowd that had stayed on the opposite shore of the lake realized that only one boat had been there, and that Jesus had not entered it with his disciples, but that they had gone away alone. Then some boats from Tiberias landed near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. Once the crowd realized that neither Jesus nor his disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum in search of Jesus.
When they found him on the other side of the lake, they asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”
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. 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.”
Then they asked him, “What must we do to do the works God requires?”
Jesus answered, “The work of God is this: to believe in the one he has sent.”
So they asked him, “What sign then will you give that we may see it and believe you? What will you do? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written: ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’”
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. For the bread of God is the bread that comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”
“Sir,” they said, “always give us this bread.”
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. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me. 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. 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.”
At this the Jews there began to grumble about him because he said, “I am the bread that came down from heaven.” 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’?”John 6:22-42
New International Version
The people who were so impressed with Jesus are still at it. Going in search of Jesus, they launch out on the lake and land in Capernaum to find Jesus. John 6:59 informs us the following conversation occurred in the synagogue in Capernaum where Jesus was teaching.
They were shocked to find Him because they were watching Him and didn’t notice His departure or arrival. Jesus’ response must’ve been startling—very different from the teachers of His day who longed to have a following.
“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. 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” (John 6:26-27).
The people who saw the sign of the multiplication of the loaves and fish missed the significance. They misunderstood Jesus and wanted to know how to do what Jesus did. They wanted to know what they had to do in order to do those works. When Jesus wouldn’t answer them the way they wanted, they shifted tactics. Now they wanted to know what signs Jesus could give to prove He was from God (John 6:30-31).
What did they think they wanted the day before?!?
Bear in mind, the Jews of Jesus’ day were primarily looking for a political, not a spiritual, Messiah.
The bread they wanted was not going to be manna from Heaven. God the Father sent them the true bread: Jesus.
Jesus told them, “I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never go hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But as I told you, you have seen me and still you do not believe. All those the Father gives me will come to me, and whoever comes to me I will never drive away. For I have come down from heaven not to do my will but to do the will of him who sent me” (John 6:35-38).
They were looking for a Savior to fit their preconceived notions and explanations. Sound familiar?
See Jesus for Who He is. Don’t just believe what others say about Him. Jesus said He IS the Bread of Life who has been sent from Heaven for the salvation of the world!