It says that they went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus (John 6:24b). It was the morning after the day before . . . the day when Jesus had fed thousands with five barley loaves and two fish (6:1-14). As the food had been doled out that day, so too the word spread among the people that the hand of the Teacher was multiplying the meager offering of a young boy . . . that they were, literally, eating because of a miracle. There was wonder . . . there was awe. But on the morning after the day before, there was also hunger again . . . and so, it says, they went to Capernaum, seeking Jesus.
Jesus knew their motives for getting into their boats and crossing over the sea to pursue Him. It wasn’t because they desired to follow Him . . . it wasn’t even because they were in pursuit of more signs . . . it was because they had eaten their fill yesterday, and they were looking to see if there might not be a “miracle meal – part II” (6:26). They were driven by the most base of motivations . . . to satisfy a growling stomach. But Jesus said, There’s more . . .
Do not labor for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give to you. For on Him God the Father has set His seal. . . I am the bread of life; whoever comes to Me shall not hunger, and whoever believes in Me shall never thirst. (John 6:27, 35 ESV)
They ate the food, but failed to see the banqueting table . . . they were glad to receive from His hand, but couldn’t imagine more . . . He was the means to an end, but He wanted them to see that He was the end, itself. That He was not just the Giver of bread from heaven . . . but that He was, in fact, the Bread from heaven . . . the very Bread which gives life to the world (6:33).
And I can’t help but think how often I might seek Jesus solely to satisfy temporary needs . . . how often I might be content to engage Him on the lowest of levels. Not to say that Jesus isn’t interested in my day-to-day needs. or my day-to-day trials and struggles . . . just to say that there’s more.
Jesus invites us to come to Him anticipating that He can address our deepest hunger and is able to satisfy our most longing thirst. That, far beyond receiving from His hand our daily bread, we can receive through Him that which meets our eternal need.
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. (John 6:40 ESV)
And it’s not a “one and done” offer. Not like we come . . . believe . . . say the prayer . . . receive the gift . . . and then we’re on our own until we meet one day in the sky or in the sweet by and by. But the same Bread from heaven which gives eternal life, also fuels eternal life. Communion with the Savior continuing to satisfy the hunger and thirst of the sinner saved by grace.
Jesus’ invitation to “come to Me” is a continual invitation. Jesus’ call to believe in the One the Father sent from heaven is an ongoing call. Mine is to seek Jesus. Yes, for the needs of the day . . . but also to seek Jesus believing there’s more . . . seeking Jesus because He is Jesus . . . the Bread of Life.
So let me seek . . . by His grace . . . for His glory . . .