The Year of our Lord, Jesus Christ
Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled.
There is no more practical Verily, verily teaching than number eight. Simply put, the Lord is putting to words a human trait that by not understanding it results in an eternally dangerous situation. That is this. Many want to come to Jesus to receive some temporal thing, not the one eternal thing that only He can give.
Just the day before uttering these words Jesus fed the five thousand. From a child’s lunch of five barley loaves and two small fishes our Lord fed five thousand men, plus the women and children. On the next day, when Jesus could not be found, those who ate of this miraculous meal diligently searched for Him. They found Him; He was on the other side of the Sea of Galilee. Upon finding the Lord they asked Him; Rabbi, when camest thou hither? (John 6:25) They wanted to know when and probably how He crossed the sea? He did not respond to their question. He could have told them about His spectacular miracle of walking on the water.
But there was another issue far more important. We call it the eighth Verily, verily teaching. He pointedly accused them of only searching for Him so they may eat again. They did not care about the miracle, they cared about His easy eating program. They did not have to bake the bread they ate, nor roast the fishes, nor buy the ingredients, nor clean up the leftovers. They just ate. On the next day they wanted to eat again. They wanted to eat without cost. They wanted an easy life.
So Jesus was compelled to teach them about their own motives saying: Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed. John 6:27 Jesus used this miraculous physical meal to demonstrate a miraculous spiritual meal. A meal by the way that only He can offer.
This is all communicated to set up the Lord’s statement found in just a few verses later: John 6:35 And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.
Perhaps a personal testimony can help illustrate. I attended church often as a young boy and teenager. At ten years old I was baptized. But at 26 years old I became deathly afraid of dying. Not the pain associated with death, but I was fearful of the eternal place called the “Lake of Fire.” I did not want to go there. So I made appointments with pastors, listened to sermons, even bought a textbook titled “The Five Major Religions of Man.” All this was to no avail.
Then one night alone, in a hotel room I asked Jesus. No, I begged Jesus to save me. I prayed to Him stating that I believed He died on the cross for me and if He did not save me, I would have no hope of eternal life. He did. Right then and there He birthed me into the family of God. From that time until now, I have never again hungered, or thirsted again for eternal life. He gave that meat that endures unto eternal life. May all be careful to understand the Verily, verily teaching number eight. Jesus is not just an easy meal, an easy life. He is eternal life.
Until next time,
William T. Howe, Ph.D.