The morning after Jesus fed the multitude, and rescued his disciples on the stormy sea, the crowds were looking for Him. When they found Him, they were hungry again. It was about food. In a Jesus encounter reminiscent of the woman at the well, Jesus taught about hunger, the food that satisfies, and eternal life.
Jesus knew why they had chased Him down. “You seek Me … because you ate and were filled. This food perishes. Don’t labour for it. Work for the bread that will endure to everlasting life.” Jesus continued His instruction by telling them the Son of Man would give them this bread. God resourced it all.
Like the woman at the well, they desired an end to a daily labour to sustain life. “Lord, give us this bread always.”
The leap from earthly understanding to heavenly truths, tripped them up. They asked what they must do. Jesus answered. “the work of God is that you believe in Him whom He sent.” They asked Jesus for proof. “What sign will you perform?” Just overnight, the impact of the feeding of the multitude had dissipated.
Like the woman at the well, the first jump was to their religious background and understanding. The story of God feeding the children of Israel manna in the desert, surfaced in their thinking. They even quoted to Jesus from the scriptures, “as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.'” Jesus challenged their misconception. “Moses did not give them the bread from heaven.” Then He redirects their thinking. “My Father gives you the true bread from heaven.” and He continues, “the bread of heaven is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” Only in coming to and believing in Jesus lies true satisfaction for hunger and thirst.
Jesus confronted their perception. “You have seen Me, but You don’t believe Me. All those the Father gives to Me will come to Me. Those that come? I will not cast out!” His coming down from heaven wasn’t about Himself. It was about doing the will of the Father, a truth reiterated throughout the scriptures. Everlasting life exists for everyone who not only sees Jesus but believes in Him. Along with everlasting life is the promise of being raised up at the last day.
Conflict exists whenever the light confronts the darkness. There is more to their discussion to contemplate in the next article. However, we see in this encounter reminiscent of the woman at the well, Jesus taught about hunger, the food that satisfies, and eternal life.