And when they found Him on the other side of the sea, they said to Him, “Rabbi, when did You come here?”Jesus answered them and said, “Most assuredly, I say to you, you seek Me, not because you saw the signs, but because you ate of the loaves and were filled. Do not labor for the food which perishes, but for the food which endures to everlasting life, which the Son of Man will give you, because God the Father has set His seal on Him.”Then they said to Him, “What shall we do, that we may work the works of God?”Jesus answered and said to them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in Him whom He sent.”Therefore they said to Him, “What sign will You perform then, that we may see it and believe You? What work will You do? Our fathers ate the manna in the desert; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’ ”Then Jesus said to them, “Most assuredly, I say to you, Moses did not give you the bread from heaven, but My Father gives you the true bread from heaven. For the bread of God is He who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.”Then they said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always.”And Jesus said to them, “I am the bread of life. He who comes to Me shall never hunger, and he who believes in Me shall never thirst. But I said to you that you have seen Me and yet do not believe. All that the Father gives Me will come to Me, and the one who comes to Me I will by no means cast out. For I have come down from heaven, not to do My own will, but the will of Him who sent Me. This is the will of the Father who sent Me, that of all He has given Me I should lose nothing, but should raise it up at the last day. And this is the will of Him who sent Me, that everyone who sees the Son and believes in Him may have everlasting life; and I will raise him up at the last day.”
“You look for me…because you ate the loaves and had your fill.” “…Work…for food that endures to eternal life. …the work of God is…to believe in the one he has sent…” “…what miraculous sign will you give…?” The sign was given and they missed it, as we so often do because the focus is on the natural world around us. Feeding them as he did was a message to them that he was the one sent to them from heaven. He points out that Moses did not send the manna they refer to, God did. Moses was his agent. Jesus’ coming was a gift from God as the manna was. Jesus would provide not just temporary relief from hunger but eternal relief. This hunger to which he refers is not a physical hunger required for physical life but a spiritual hunger, a need to be met with spiritual food that would provide more than physical life, it would carry and nourish through eternity. “The bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world”; this bread is Christ and his death and resurrection provided life that lasts.
Take away – we have a hunger other than physical hunger, a hunger that ensures we seek physical food to grow and live now. We have a hunger that ensures we seek spiritual food that will feed our soul for eternity. Mankind is on a continual search for food that will satisfy that hunger. Jesus states he provides that food. He did so by following the will of God in coming, dying on the cross, rising from the grave, and defeating the curse of sin, death both physical and spiritual. It is our work to believe. This requires faith to believe. God grants this faith to us, Jesus states: “All that the Father gives me will come to me… “; ask to be one of those in that group.