Gracefully Truthful

Joy,Peace,Provider,Rest,Shepherd,Sketched

Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
Become equipped to correctly handle the Word of Truth!

Read His Words Before Ours!

John 6:24-35

24 When the crowd saw that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, they got into the boats and went to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 When they found him on the other side of the sea, they said to him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?”

26 Jesus answered, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled. 27 Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set his seal of approval on him.” 28 “What can we do to perform the works of God?” they asked.

29 Jesus replied, “This is the work of God—that you believe in the one he has sent.” 30 “What sign, then, are you going to do so that we may see and believe you?” they asked. “What are you going to perform? 31 Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness, just as it is written: He gave them bread from heaven to eat.”

32 Jesus said to them, “Truly I tell you; Moses didn’t give you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is the one who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”34 Then they said, “Sir, give us this bread always.”35 “I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again.

The Original Intent

1) What is the context of this conversation? (John 6:1-23)

Studying context can be as simple as reading the chapter before and after or can be as in-depth as reading the whole book in a single sitting for a solid overview of purpose, theme, and insight. Studying Scripture will always be worth it for it accomplishes God’s purposes every time it’s read. (Isaiah 55:11)

This discussion follows two significant miracles. One involved the disciples (John 6:16-21) and one also included numerous followers (John 6:1-14). John highlights these and 4 other miracles to emphasize the overall point of his gospel, Jesus is God! John uniquely recorded only those miracles that could not be replicated by magicians or soothsayers of that time. Also unique, John provided the “I Am” statements of Jesus that clearly tie Him to the God of the Old Testament as One and the Same, proving He was God incarnate.

John wrote to Jews and Gentiles of Jesus’ deity while Matthew wrote to Jews who had converted to Christianity. Mark wrote for the Gentiles who knew nothing of Jewish culture. Luke meticulously demonstrated how God’s love is intended for both Jew and Gentile.

This conversation about bread follows on the heels of Jesus feeding the 5,000, so we can imagine sitting with the crowd, being miraculously fed and astounded by Jesus.

The Everyday Application

1) What is the context of this conversation? (John 6:1-23)

While all of God’s Word is living and active (Hebrews 4:12)  and we can glean much from regularly reading its entirety, the Gospel of John is a wonderful place to begin if you are new to reading the Bible. John shows us throughout his eyewitness account that Jesus is indeed God incarnate. Consider taking a deeper dive and looking up the cross references for Jesus’ “I AM” statements and see what you discover about His divinity! (Hint: Cross-references are provided in many Bibles, they are the tiny-print references to other passages that relate to a verse or words in a verse. They are usually denoted with lowercase alphabet letters.)

In this passage, Jesus tells His disciples that He is the fullness of their satisfaction. There is no want or desire that will satisfy us better than Him, no matter how hungry we become. Jesus’ message of delightfull satisfaction for the crowd and disciples is just as relevant to us today.

Whether you’ve given your whole life to Jesus by repenting from your sin and making Him your Savior, or whether you have only used His name as a cuss word, or anywhere in between, His truth stands as unchanging as His invitation, “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” (verse 35)

All we need to do is come hungry to the One who satisfies in full!

The Original Intent

2) Why was the crowd arguing about Moses, Manna, and Jesus? (verses 26-31)

Some Jews from the crowd (verse 24) became offended when Jesus pinpointed the real reason they were looking for Him after the feeding of the 5,000. (verse 26) Further, they likely didn’t enjoy His prodding that undercut their self-reliant religious system, “Don’t work for the food that perishes but for the food that lasts for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal of approval on Him.” (verse 27)

They didn’t enjoy the clear insinuation from Jesus that they were working hard for perishable food that wouldn’t last for eternity by doing good works and abiding by Moses’ Law. When they asked Jesus what works they could do to get the “food” that would last for eternity and carry the favor of God’s approval seal, Jesus’ reply pointedly told them they couldn’t do anything. God was the One who did the work that would last, and this lasting work was available freely to them if they would only believe in the One God had sent who stood right in front of their eyes as Jesus, God incarnate!

Highly offended by now because, like all good Jews, they rested the hope of their salvation on exactly that, being good Jews by their work. Frustrated, they pitted Jesus against Moses by saying Moses’ miracle of Bread from Heaven was superior. (Exodus 16:31) From their vantage point, Jesus simply multiplied existing food whereas Moses made manna fall from the sky. (John 6:29-31) Because it was Passover (John 6:4) Jews were freshly hearing Exodus passages in their synagogues. They expected more from the “Promised Messiah” and weren’t convinced Jesus was the Great I Am who led Israel through the Red Sea and Wilderness.

Just believe in Jesus and God’s seal of approval would be upon them because they had trusted in Jesus who provided the only “food” that would last for eternity? Impossible!

The Everyday Application

2) Why was the crowd arguing about Moses, Manna, and Jesus? (verses 26-31)

We all hunger and thirst both physically and spiritually. Jesus is the “better Moses” because He Himself is the Bread of Life. Had the crowd looked past their full bellies to see the God who stood before them wrapped in flesh, they would have worshiped Him instead of becoming distracted by arguments over physical bread and self-righteousness.

In the same way, we can also be distracted by the things we can experience with our senses and forget about the spiritual realm. When we do, we become tempted to sin, which will always trap us. Yes, even as committed Christ-followers, we fall prey to temptation; none of us are immune to the distracting allure of sin. 

Our antidote is found by leaning into the Word of God and the Word made Flesh, Jesus, who was offered for us by God’s design as a payment in full for our sin. Jesus did all the work for us by living a perfect life needed to please God. Just like the ancient Jews, we can’t do anything to earn God’s favor.

When we repent of our sin and “come hungry” to Him, we find He is indeed bread for our soul; He provides true nourishment. The more we come to Him for satisfaction, the less we hunger for the things of this world as we practice feasting on the Bread of Life.

We may scoff at those who begged for more signs that Jesus is God or who grew offended at Jesus for pointing out how their self-rescue attempts would fail, but we are more alike than different.

Many seek a rescue and Eternal Hope, but they don’t see the True Rescuer standing before them. If you are hungering after something, whether in this world or beyond, my sister, I urge you to run to the Father who gave His Son as a ransom for you. (Mark 10:45) Run to Jesus. His word is life!

The Original Intent

3) What is the difference between manna and the bread of life? (verse 33)

Manna is mentioned in Exodus 16 when the Israelites were grumbling and hungry in the wilderness after their rescue from slavery in Egypt. Who was the Rescuer? The “I AM” God who spoke with Moses from a burning bush. (Exodus 3:14)

Moses interceded to God on behalf of the grumbling, hungry people and in the morning, there were flakes like dew on the ground. These flakes were “manna” given by God who gives good gifts to His people (Matthew 7:11) and who knows what they need before they even ask (Matthew 6:8).

The Israelites were given specific amounts to gather daily, and manna appeared every morning. If someone collected extra because they didn’t trust God to provide it again, the manna would rot by morning. However, the day before Sabbath, they were instructed to collect extra; that manna did not rot. The “I AM” God provided perfectly, doing the work of providing on their behalf. All they needed to do was trust Him.

The Jews were offended and bothered by Jesus who was the “Better Moses” because they failed to see the purpose of both Moses and the manna. Both were meant to point forward to the day when the true Bread of Life, Jesus, would be provided and readily available to all who trusted Him.

The same God who provided flakes of food in the wilderness, sent Jesus as God in the flesh, to provide the perfect atonement necessary for our salvation. It was never about Moses, and always about God. (verse 32) The same God who stood before the Jews calling Himself the Bread of Life and extending an invitation to all to come and be satisfied.

“I am the bread of life,” Jesus told them. “No one who comes to Me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in Me will ever be thirsty again.” (verse 35)

The Everyday Application

3) What is the difference between manna and the bread of life? (verse 33)

The first Jews who wandered the desert, grumbling and complaining about their hunger, were satisfied and provided for in full every single morning of their forty years in the wilderness. Thousands of years later, the Jews were still fixated on the gift of manna and the fulfillment of their physical desires instead of worshiping the Giver who abundantly satisfies all desires!

Jesus reminds the grumbling crowd that manna only fulfilled the temporary need of daily hunger with a temporary solution.

The “bread” we eat fills a temporary hole, and we ravenously stuff the empty spaces of our lives with every lust imaginable. Physical food, fitness, social media, careers, children, friendships, and all manner of lusting idols. These “temporary foods” will always let us down, leaving us just as empty and even more disappointed than we were before. What we need is to feast daily on the Bread of Life. Jesus, the true Bread, fills every single empty space if we surrender them. The best part? His filling lasts!

We don’t realize we are actually hungry for the provision only God can provide, but we look to the world to fulfill our longings. When we look to God to fulfill our needs, we will never experience lack!

If you are hungry, if you are thirsty for more than what you are finding in your corner of the world, turn to Jesus. Repent of your sins, confess them openly to Him and allow Christ to fill you to overflowing with His living water. Worship the Giver for the Gift of Himself, the “I AM” God who fills you with the Bread of Life!

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