Gracefully Truthful


Discover the original intent of Scripture. Make good application to our everyday lives.
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Read His Words Before Ours!

John 6:22-35

22 The next day, the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the sea saw there had been only one boat. They also saw that Jesus had not boarded the boat with his disciples, but that his disciples had gone off alone. 23 Some boats from Tiberias came near the place where they had eaten the bread after the Lord had given thanks. 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) Why were the people looking for Jesus? (verse 25)

The events in this passage take place just after Jesus miraculously fed five thousand people with a young boy’s “five barley loaves and two fish”. (John 6:1-13)

The people were determined to make Jesus king over them and had spent the night and part of the morning looking for him. They knew Jesus did not leave in the boat with his disciples and were confused about how he got to the other side. According to the Bridgewater Bible Commentary, “the people wanted him to be king not because they felt any spiritual need, but because they thought he had magical powers that could supply all their daily needs.”

Jesus had done a great sign pointing to Himself as the long-awaited Messiah. But the “ people missed it. In John Piper’s sermon, “Do Not Labor For the Food That Perishes”, he states, “What they did was fixate on the product of the miracle, not the person of the miracle. And so the sign ceased to be a sign for them.”

How tragic to be graced with the wonder of the Messiah you’ve read about all your life only to singularly focus on the wonders done by the Messiah. Would that they were more like the shepherds in the field who simply worshipped Jesus, the Messiah when he was born.

The Everyday Application

1) Why were the people looking for Jesus? (verse 25)

We often read the Bible and criticize the Israelites. But aren’t we often guilty of the same things we fault them for? I can raise my hand here because sometimes I seek the gift more than the Giver. I anticipate the treasure from God more than the treasure that is God. There is even false doctrine that is centered on this very concept. It has fooled many people into the same thinking the Israelites had.

But unlike them, we should be like the Psalmist who praises God and thanks Him for who He is, thereby pleasing God. As believers, we should always check our motivations. David Guzak instructs, “Often we can learn more from understanding the reason we ask God a question than from the answer to the question itself.”

Let us make a daily habit of determining if our desire is for the Lord or for what He can provide. May it be that our heart echoes King David’s in Psalm 27:4.

The Original Intent

2) What is the difference between “the works of God” in verse 28 and “the work of God” in verse 29?

When Jesus told the people to work for spiritual food instead of food that perishes (Verse 27), they were still focused on how they might get what they were looking for. Enduring Word Commentary explains their response as “Just tell us what to do so we can get what we want from You. We want Your miracle bread and for You to be our Miracle King; tell us what to do to get it.” The works of God to them was a checklist that, when completed, would result in the reward Jesus spoke of.

“The work of God” Jesus refers to is not work at all. Eternal life was not something they could work for. Romans 6:23 boldly proclaims, “the gift of God is eternal life in Christ Jesus our Lord.” You can’t work for a gift. It’s freely given. The work of God was “simply believe in Him that God sent.” One verse that sums it up is John 3:16“For God loved the world in this way: He gave his one and only Son, so that everyone who believes in him will not perish but have eternal life.” 

The Jesus they were conversing with was offering Himself, the Son of God, the work of God. All they needed to do was believe in Him. Not His works, Him. Jesus was ready and willing. But again, they missed it because they misunderstood who He was.

The Everyday Application

2) What is the difference between “the works of God” in verse 28 and “the work of God” in verse 29?

Works based salvation is the idea of our salvation being tied to works. If one were to believe this you would be embroiled daily in a list of “the works of God” you need to do so that you can “earn” eternal life. This is not how you gain salvation. There is one way to be saved, Ephesians 2:8-9 says it best. “For you are saved by grace through faith, and this is not from yourselves; it is God’s gift— not from works, so that no one can boast.  For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus for good works, which God prepared ahead of time for us to do.” 

We are saved by faith in Jesus’ redeeming work on the cross, “the work of God”. There is no set of tasks we can do, no amount of good deeds we can perform that will allow our names to be written in the Lamb’s Book of Life. It is by faith alonein Christ alone. The second part of this is that when we are saved, we begin a new life.

This life, Ephesians 2:10 tells us, will include good works, not for salvation, but as the fruit of faith in Christ. Even after we are saved, we can get caught up in doing works because we think God will love us more. God loves us the most already. God loved us and Christ died for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8) There’s not much more love than that! One way we can keep ourselves grounded in “the work of God”, is to daily acknowledge God as the source of our salvation while also asking Him to lead us to the good works He has planned for us. God will never steer us wrong!

The Original Intent

3) What does the statement in verse 35, “I am the bread of life” tell us about Jesus?

I am. God reveals himself to Moses in Exodus 3:14 with the title, “I AM WHO I AM’. And Jesus starts this statement declaring He is God, I AM. He was the Word walking around in flesh, dwelling with the people (John 1:14) But Jesus also gets specific.

In response to the Israelites reminiscing about the manna “Moses” gave to fulfill their hungry bellies, Jesus let them know God was concerned with providing for their spiritual hunger, by giving bread from heaven. “The true bread from heaven gives eternal spiritual nourishment. It is infinitely superior to the manna provided in Moses’ day, which met only physical needs.” (Global Study Bible) Jesus that bred from heaven, the Bread of Life. 

This “I am” statement tells us that Jesus is loving and merciful. Only a loving God would provide salvation for such sinful, selfish, self-centered people. We also learn that Jesus is sufficient  to provide what the people needed, even though they didn’t realize what that was. Jesus, the Messiah, willing to be “poured out like water”, thirst, and be pierced for their sins so that they could have eternal life (Psalm 22:14-18) What a Savior!

The Everyday Application

3) What does the statement in verse 35, “I am the bread of life” tell us about Jesus?

On this side of the cross, we know that Jesus is the Messiah. We have the Gospel accounts and the story of Paul’s conversion on the road to Damascus. But there are still things to learn from verse 35. Christ is our satisfaction. There are so many opportunities for “pleasure” as the world defines it. We can indulge in as much or as little as we want. Not all of it is bad, but one thing is universally true. Nothing we engage in will keep our appetites quenched. 

Chuck Smith puts it this way: “…though a person pursues after the pleasures, the excitements, the thrills of the world, one thing about them is that they’re just not lasting. It isn’t long before you’re thirsting again. But Jesus said, “I’m the bread of heaven. God has sent Me. And if you eat of Me you’ll never hunger again, and if you believe in Me you’ll never thirst again.” What glorious good news!” Glorious indeed! We also learn Jesus is our refreshment.

In the blazing summer heat, a cool drink of water is so refreshing. It makes us feel revived. Jesus is our perpetual source of refreshment. No matter what the situation, when we feel the heat, He is available to refresh and restore us. (Revelation 21:6-7) He is the One who will never forget or forsake us.

Be prepared for those times when it feels like life has turned up the heat and you’re fading fast. Have your list of Scripture verses ready to draw upon. Think back on all the times God has sustained you. The Lord will refresh you. He will be all you need.

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1 year ago

Love this! God loves us the most already. God loved us and Christ died for us while we were still sinners. (Romans 5:8) There’s not much more love than that

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Answers,Bread of Life,eternal,free,I Am,Messiah,questions,Savior,Simple,Spiritual Hunger,sufficient,works
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