Our lesson this week starts us into the last unit of lessons for the spring quarter. So, in this quarter of lessons, we have seen the works Christ taught and did to draw people to the Lord and we have seen Jesus offer Himself up for mankind. This last unit of lessons is titled: By His Teachings. We are not to live by bread alone but by every word of God. Our lesson this week looks at consuming the word of God as Jesus is the bread of life.
Looking for Bread
Now, in our recent lessons we have been looking at the post resurrected Jesus. Today, we are going to be jumping back to when Jesus was ministering.
Trying to follow after Christ
Our lesson opens after Jesus had fed 5,000 with a few pieces of fish and bread the first time around (John 6:1-14). As recorded in the gospels, Jesus actually performed this miracle a second time around where He fed 4,000 with a few pieces of fish and bread (Matt. 15:32-38; Mark 8:1-9).
Now, when those that were there for when Jesus fed 5,000 with a few pieces of fish and bread woke up the next day, we are told that they sought Jesus. They woke up and saw that Jesus nor His disciples were with them (vss.22-24). You see, the people saw the disciples leave on a boat the night before but they never saw Jesus come out of the mountain to depart. So, if Jesus wasn’t on the island, the people realized that He had to go somewhere.
So, the people had to wait for boats to come from Galilee to be able to travel back across the sea. We are told that the people went to Capernaum, the other side of the sea, seeking Jesus and they found Him (v.25). They came to Jesus and said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”
Unbeknownst to them, Jesus had left the island the night before, not by boat but by walking on the sea. You see, Jesus had told the disciples the night before to cross the sea to Capernaum while He stayed behind to meditate in the mountain. This multitude of people desired to make Jesus king by force so He retreated into the mountain to meditate (John 6:15).
So, as I said, during the night He walked on the sea to the disciples who were in a boat fighting a storm (John 6:16-21). Though it is not recorded in John’s gospel, this was the moment when Peter tried to walk on water (Matt. 14:22-33). This portion, while very significant, was covered in the synoptic gospels whereas John desired to focus on the divinity of Christ and worshiping Him.
After asking when did Jesus leave, Jesus answered, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled (v.26).” They were seeking desperately for Jesus, but they were searching for Jesus for the wrong reasons!
The people were seeking for Jesus to feed them food again but they were looking for the wrong kind of food! This reminds me of what Jesus said to the devil when Satan tempted Him to turn stones into bread. Jesus said to Satan, “man shall not live by bread alone but by every word of God (Matt. 4:4; Luke 4:4).”
Live by the Bread of Life
To the people, Jesus said, “Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you (v.27).”
Consuming the word of God
The food that Jesus spoke of was not food for them to stuff in their bellies. Clearly Jesus was speaking about spiritual food since He said the food He gives endures to everlasting life. Now, when you think about this statement from Jesus, He is saying that the food He gives is food to live off of and sustain us spiritually.
The people even mentioned to Jesus about how their fathers ate manna in the desert which we know God called the bread from heaven (v.31). Of course the manna that their fathers ate in the wilderness, was something that their fathers physically ate. The manna sustained the children of Israel well into their journey into the land of promise, but eventually, when they settled in, God stopped providing the manna.
The food that Jesus gave us to consume is faith; we are to have faith in the Lord with all our heart and to love our neighbor as we love ourselves (Matt. 22:36-40). As Solomon shared, we as believers should lean on the Lord with all of our hearts and not our own understanding.
Let me tell you, we should be consuming God’s word and promises all day long; The Lord has promised not to forsake us on this journey; He has promised to always be there and provide for us. You have heard me say it before several times that we ought to put God first in our lives. What I mean by this is that we should live by His way and let it guide our thoughts and our actions.
When we live our lives being guided by the word of God, we cannot go wrong! Again, if you are led by the Spirit of truth you cannot go astray. The word of God and the Spirit of truth will lead you to life eternal.
When the people asked Jesus, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God (v.28)?” Jesus answered, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent (v.29).” This is exactly what I just shared with you; this food will last you a lifetime and beyond, and we should be consuming the food of Christ around the clock. From this point, Jesus encouraged the people to seek His everlasting food so that they, and none of us, ever hunger or thirst again, spiritually (vss.32-35).