Day 17: John 6:22-40

Rabbi, when did you come here? What shall we do, that we may work the works of God? What sign will you perform, that we may see it and believe you? What work will you do? Those who questioned Jesus seemed sure that if only Jesus told them what to do, they could please God by their works of God. For these people, as with many people today, salvation is found in the theory for performing works that will please God (faith is a substitute for works).

Jesus answered, you are looking for me, not because you saw miraculous signs but because you ate the loaves and had your fill. The work of God is to believe in Him whom He sent (faith is not a substitute for work). Faith is the foundation for works that please God. Christians should first and foremost not do, but trust. If we want to do work of God, it begins with trusting Jesus.

In this passage, Jesus does not undermine the importance of work. People work to provide themselves and their families with the basic essentials-food, clothing, and shelter. People work their entire lives to earn and save money so that they can enjoy their retirement. Jesus’ questioners are trying to manipulate Him into providing daily bread for them, just as Israel had from God during the Exodus.

Jesus underscores the point that man must not live by bread alone, working for food that spoils, but for food that endures to eternal life. “I am the bread of life”, my work is to give you the word of God and salvation in and through me. This is the spiritual bread you must feast on daily to have eternal life.

Question: What are you hungry for? Physical survival or spiritual sustenance?

Prayer: Dear Jesus, teach me to understand that you are needed in my life every day for spiritual sustenance just as bread is necessary for my physical survival. When I am hungry, I feel as though food will answer all my problems. It’s the same way with almost all other practical difficulties I face on daily basis. Lift my spirit to understand beyond my material, physical needs, enable me in your power to face my spiritual realities, and to put my confidence in you.

Amen

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