22 The next day the crowd that had stayed on the other side of the lake realized something. They saw that only one boat had been there. They knew that Jesus had not gotten into it with his disciples. And they knew that the disciples had gone away alone. 23 Then some boats from Tiberias landed. It was near the place where the people had eaten the bread after the Lord gave thanks. 24 The crowd realized that Jesus and his disciples were not there. So they got into boats and went to Capernaum to look for Jesus. 25 They found him on the other side of the lake. They asked him, “Rabbi, when did you get here?” 26 Jesus answered, “What I’m about to tell you is true. You are not looking for me because you saw miraculous signs. You are looking for me because you ate the loaves until you were full. 27 Do not work for food that spoils. Work for food that lasts forever. That is the food the Son of Man will give you. God the Father has put his seal of approval on him.” 28 Then they asked him, “What does God want from us? What works does he want us to do?” 29 Jesus answered, “God’s work is to believe in the One he has sent.” 30 So they asked him, “What miraculous sign will you give us? What will you do so we can see it and believe you? 31 Long ago our people ate the manna in the desert. It is written in Scripture, ‘The Lord gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” (Exodus 16:4; Nehemiah 9:15; Psalm 78:24,25) 32 Jesus said to them, “What I’m about to tell you is true. It is not Moses who has given you the bread from heaven. It is my Father who gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 The bread of God is the One who comes down from heaven. He gives life to the world.” 34 “Sir,” they said, “give us this bread from now on.” 35 Then Jesus said, “I am the bread of life. No one who comes to me will ever go hungry. And no one who believes in me will ever be thirsty. 36 “But it is just as I told you. You have seen me, and you still do not believe. 37 Everyone the Father gives me will come to me. I will never send away anyone who comes to me. 38 “I have not come down from heaven to do what I want to do. I have come to do what the One who sent me wants me to do. 39 The One who sent me doesn’t want me to lose anyone he has given me. He wants me to raise them up on the last day. 40 My Father wants all who look to the Son and believe in him to have eternal life. I will raise them up on the last day.”
There are so many interlinking teaching thoughts from Jesus in this passage. What inspires me is the powerful promise that is included in believing in Jesus, especially as he declares from verses 35-40.
What I’ve been struck by is the promise that those who believe in Jesus he will “never drive away”, he “shall lose none of all those” that believe in him, and he shall raise all of those who believe in him up at the last day. As our Good Shepherd, Jesus looks after us in believing in him. He keeps us close, and is charged by God to not let us stray far from him.
There is great comfort in these thoughts. God is determined not to lose me, and he will never drive me away as I keep believing in him. These promises are so helpful for the days and moments where I’m not living the most courageous or impressive (to me at least) Christian life. If I’m still believing in Jesus and all that he is, God will not drive me away or allow me to get lost. Jesus has been charged to do the exact opposite.
Lord, I am so thankful that you are for us believers in the way Jesus teaches and reveals to us in this passage. Lord, help me never to forget that you are for me and with me, and I choose to constantly rely upon your help and strength. Amen
Written by Ps. Rob Waugh