Crowd realized something had happened since the disciples had taken the only boat and Jesus now was gone. When some boats finally arrived they went to find Jesus.
Jesus is not impressed that they are searching for him.
a) Their motive is wrong
b) They did not understand his sign
c) They do not desire to learn the truth
Jesus doesn’t respond to their question but starts teaching, similar to Nicodemus and the Samaritan woman.
In John 4 he tells the Samaritan woman about the living water and she did not understand. Here he tells the crown about bread of eternal life and they can only think of the loaves
Jesus is the bread of eternal life in 6:54
Jesus tells them to work for this bread.
a) Work for the bread that gives you eternal life.
b) Do not work for eternal life. Eternal life is a result of having the bread.
“seal” is in the aorist tense which means it was an act that occurred at a point in time.
They pick up on working and ask what works they must do.
Again, they want to know what works they need to do in order to secure eternal life.
The NIV phrase “”works God requires” is literally “The works of God” and refers to:
a) godly works
b) works that are good in God’s eyes
c) works that would secure for them eternal life.
Jesus tells them there is only one “work” and it involves getting the “bread”.
Believe in the one God has sent or “has placed his seal of approval” on.
Notice the work is “faith”. Faith is the “work” God requires
The Jewish belief in this day was that when the Messiah came he would renew the manna. (in a sense, Jesus fulfilled this expectation with the loaves and fishes.)
The crowd thinking this is a good opportunity to challenge Jesus to do this permanently.
The crowd continues to call for bread but Jesus alters their term by calling it:
a) the true bread (6:32)
b) the bread of God (6:33)
c) the bread of life (6:35)
The crowd states a necessary thing for bread to be from God by quoting Ex. 16:4; Neh 9:15; Ps. 78:24-25):
- the bread had to be “from heaven”
- Jesus had given them natural bread; impressive but not from heaven like Moses
- Jesus, if he wants to be as great as Moses and wants to prove he is the Messiah, must produce not natural bread but bread from heaven or manna.
Thus the people ask for a sign
The Jews appear to need one more sign or in our case a little more evidence and then they
Faith is a matter of hearing the truth and believing. There is the logical side but there is also the side of “faith” or of “trusting”
Those who claim to need more evidence are either searching or they are making an
The Jews are trying to cover their lack of faith by blaming Jesus failure to produce a sign.
Jesus then proceeds to correct Jewish theology:
1) Moses did not produce the bread. The correct understanding of the verse they quote is that God gave the manna.
2) “manna” was NOT bread from heaven. It was a miraculous substitute for real physical bread. Manna was natural food for the natural body.
3) Manna has been “given” in the past but God is the one who now currently “gives” the true bread.
The Jews did not hear the “HE who comes” but still are thinking natural and heard “THAT which comes”. They are still looking for bread and not a savior.