How fascinating are the teachings of Jesus in today’s chapter of John. Jesus made a tremendous impact by feeding the multitude in the wilderness and this caused more people to seek him. We can imagine the way story spread. They finally found him on the other side of the lake; we can envisage how quickly a crowd gathered and what they were hoping for.
Jesus says to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, you are seeking me, not because you saw signs, but because you ate your fill of the loaves …” (6:26). He then makes a vital point, “Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life”. Is it clear what he means? What is this food “which the Son of Man will give to you?”
They are not really listening, and they are on the wrong wavelength: they ask, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” (verse 28). They want to be able to do such miracles, and multiplying food themselves was probably on the top of their agenda! There is a modern equivalent with claims of healings, which are most unconvincing. Those who have soaked their minds in God’s word find such claims very unpersuasive.
The next thing Jesus says is significant. He talks about “the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you”. But his words are not what they want to hear: perhaps we only listen to what we want to know. Jesus then tells them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent” (verse 28). Ponder those words. We must ask ourselves the simple, yet vital question – what is it to believe in something or someone?
We show whether we really believe something by what effect it has on us. We are convinced that God then responds to those who are committed and a wondrous pathway of life opens up for those who really believe. This requires focus – when we were young cameras did not have an ‘automatic’ focus – you had to very carefully adjust the lens to get a perfect picture. It is the same with the ‘focus’ of our minds and what they properly look at!
Finally but most challenging of all, we thought deeply on verse 40, “For this is the will of my Father, that everyone who looks on the Son and believes in him should have eternal life, and I will raise him up on the last day”. Let us all do “the work of God” with all our hearts.