Read– John 6:25-40. As you read, think about how you spend your energy and time.
Reflect: Every day we exert our energy and strength in certain activities. Whether it is stalking someone on social media, feeding and taking care of an FFA animal, working hard for good grades, or doing our chores at home, every day we exchange our time and energy for what is important to us.
The Israelites were searching for Jesus. That sounds like a good and spiritual thing to do, but all they wanted was a free meal, convenience and ease—not a Lord and master (John 6:1-15). Jesus corrects their motives and says to them don’t spend your time trying to get “food” that spoils. You need “food” that lasts forever. That sounds like a good idea to the Israelites, and they ask what kind of “work” is required to get “food” that doesn’t spoil. Jesus’ answer is simple: believe in the One whom God sent, Jesus.
The Jews tell Jesus they need more proof from Him before they believe in Him. When they remind Jesus that Moses fed their forefathers manna in the desert (Exodus 16), they are hinting for another meal. They want the fast and free food Jesus provided before, but they are forgetting that it was actually God, not Moses, who fed their forefathers. Jesus says that now God has sent down the bread that gives life to the world, something way better than what their forefathers had.
Surprise! This isn’t really about “food” or “bread”. Food is symbolic. You can’ t live without it. When Jesus says, “I am the bread of life,” He means that He is the bread (the Messiah, the life) that God sent from heaven to bring everlasting life. No one can have eternal life without Him. When you come to Jesus, it doesn’t mean you will never go hungry physically. It means He gives you everything you need to be content and joyful, regardless of your circumstances. While the Jews are working for and chasing after a free dinner, Jesus invites them to come and give themselves over completely to Him. That is the “work” God requires and that is the way to know and enjoy this bread from heaven, which is the source of eternal life. The promise from the Father is that everyone who looks to the Son and believes will have everlasting life.
Apply: Jesus says don’t work so hard for things that won’t endure, satisfy, or sustain you. We all need to hear that. Boyfriends, girlfriends, clothes, technology, cars, money, and good grades are wonderful and satisfying for a time, but then they get old, wear out, or move on. They never completely satisfy. Jesus says that believing in Him and doing God’s will are truly and completely satisfying. What are the temporary desires that consume your time so that you don’t have time for the eternal life-sustaining provisions that Jesus offers?
Pray and ask God to show you any temporary desires you are chasing that take your attention away from chasing after God.