Do not work for the food that perishes, but for the food that endures for eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For it is on him that God the Father has set his seal.’ Then they said to him, ‘What must we do to perform the works of God?’ Jesus answered them, ‘This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.’ So they said to him, ‘What sign are you going to give us then, so that we may see it and believe you? What work are you performing? Our ancestors ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, “He gave them bread from heaven to eat.” ’ Then Jesus said to them, ‘Very truly, I tell you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but it is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is that which comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.’ They said to him, ‘Sir, give us this bread always.’
Jesus said to them, ‘I am the bread of life. Whoever comes to me will never be hungry, and whoever believes in me will never be thirsty. But I said to you that you have seen me and yet do not believe. Everything that the Father gives me will come to me, and anyone who comes to me I will never drive away; for I have come down from heaven, not to do my own will, but the will of him who sent me. And this is the will of him who sent me, that I should lose nothing of all that he has given me, but raise it up on the last day. This is indeed the will of my Father, that all who see the Son and believe in him may have eternal life; and I will raise them up on the last day.’
Note: Be on the watch for more “I am” messages coming from Jesus. There is one in this passage. Do you see it? This one refers back to the feeding of the 5000 at the beginning of the chapter. Do you also see the connection to Moses once again as Jesus begins to teach about the provision of God for the people of faith?
If we compare the Gospel of Luke to the Book of John we discover a very important and central reality. They are very different in the way they present the life of Jesus. Primarily they are different in their intended outcome. Luke wanted to present “an orderly account” while John wants to focus on a deeper level of spirituality and theology. As a result, we have more ‘theological conversation’ recorded in John’s gospel.
This passage is a good example. It is about manna, Moses, and the true bread that comes from heaven. It is yet another way that Jesus points to himself with words that are mysterious but descriptive. “For I have come down from heaven not to do my own will but to do the will of him who sent me.” V.38
This is a key to the nature and ministry of Jesus. He was sent. And he was sent for a purpose. He did not randomly arrive. For our conversation and reflection today, let me ask you, have you seen Jesus being ‘sent’ into your life? If not, what could you do to be more available to the one who calls himself the Bread of Life? If yes, how has that reality shaped and motivated your life in the areas of personal service, faithful generosity, and growth as a disciple of Jesus?