In John 6 we see Jesus miraculously feeding the five thousand, till all were satisfied and there were 12 baskets full of leftovers. He then demonstrates His power by walking on the water to His disciples. These miracles point us to a climax statement that Jesus makes in verse 35: “I am the bread of life”. Jesus demonstrates that He is the only one who can truly meet all our needs and satisfy us completely. He is the Bread of life. “…it is my Father who gives you the true bread of heaven. For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world” (John 6:32-33).
It is a constant struggle to keep our eyes on this heavenly reality when we live in a broken world with earthly realities – physical needs demanding our constant attention. Yes, we need our daily food and we are to ask our heavenly Father for that, but we also need to remember that we should be more concerned with finding our satisfaction in our Lord, Jesus Christ: “Do not work for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life, which the Son of Man will give you. For on him God the Father has placed his seal of approval.” (John 6:27).
God’s seal of approval was declared at Jesus’ baptism and is seen clearly in the two miracles in our passage today. Jesus shows His power over nature and creation, as well as His ability to satisfy man’s physical need for food. But these point to the reality that Jesus, as the Son of Man, satisfies our eternal needs. Only in Him will we, and the world He created, find true and everlasting satisfaction to all our yearnings. It’s a helpful reminder when we see the world around us searching for their satisfaction in everything else but Jesus, especially when we are tempted to do the same. We need to remind ourselves that He is our source of life, true life, and keep resting in Him. We also need to realise that we need to point others to Jesus every opportunity we have, as they will only find satisfaction and peace in Him. Dissatisfaction and discontentment are one of the gracious means God uses to bring people to Him. We need to be ready to share about Jesus, tell people of this life-giving ‘bread’ that will satisfy them completely, every time other people’s disillusionment and discontentment give opportunity.