I asked the question last week, “What are you seeking?”
We see this theme again in today’s passage.
At the start of this passage, many people were seeking for Jesus. Why? For healing. (2)
Then in verse 24, they went seeking for Jesus again. Why? To get more bread from Jesus.
And so Jesus tells them, “Truly I tell you, you are looking for me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate the loaves and were filled.
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.” (26-27)
In short, “You’ve missed the point of the miracle. The point of the miracle was not to fill your stomachs. The point of the miracle is that I’m the life-giver. Don’t seek physical food. Seek me, the giver of life.”
But the crowd didn’t understand his words. Their words “Give us this bread that leads to eternal life” echoes the Samaritan woman’s words, “Give me this water that leads to eternal life so that I won’t get thirsty. ” (4:15)
And so Jesus says,
“I am the bread of life…No one who comes to me will ever be hungry, and no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty again.” (6:35)
That verse is the key to everything that Jesus says afterwards about “eating his flesh” and “drinking his blood.” To come to Jesus is to “eat his flesh.” To believe in him is to “drink his blood.”
Put another way, Jesus is the only one who truly satisfies our soul. Nothing else will truly satisfy.
And so Jesus says,
“The one who eats my flesh (comes to me) and drinks my blood (believes in me) remains in me, and I in him.” (56)
That word “remains” is the same one we saw when Andrew and John “stayed” with Jesus in chapter 1. And it is the same word we see in John 15, when Jesus commands us to remain in him.
True satisfaction comes in coming to Jesus, believing in him, and remaining in him.
But that’s hard for a lot of people to hear. It’s hard for them to accept. It’s offensive to them.
Many people willing to accept Jesus as a good man or a good teacher. But they do not accept him as the one we must come to, believe in, and remain in if we want to find life.
That’s what the Jews struggled with. And when they saw what Jesus was really saying, many left him.
Jesus wasn’t just saying, “Come to me and I’ll give you healing and make your life happy.” He was saying, “I am the one you need. Don’t chase these other things. Seek me. I am all you need.”
Do you believe this? Are you pursuing Jesus? Are you saying, “I want to be with you. I want to learn from you. I want to join in your work and touch this world?”
Or are you merely seeking personal happiness?
What are you seeking?
Jesus asks us the same question he asked the disciples.
“You don’t want to go away too, do you?” (67)
May we be like Peter and say,
Lord, to whom will we go? You have the words of eternal life. We have come to believe and know that you are the Holy One of God. (68-69)