John 6:22-35 “Asking the Wrong Questions” or “Seeking Jesus for the wrong reason”

            What you ask reveals what is in your heart.  If you ask the doctor who tells you that you need surgery “will it hurt?” he knows you are concerned about pain.  If you ask “will I be off work very long?”  he knows you are concerned about your job and your income.  If you ask “have you ever done this kind of surgery before?”  he knows your concerned about his competency.  If you ask “will it leave a permanent scar?” he will know you are concerned about your looks.  Let us examine the questions raised by this multitude of people and what these questions reveal about what is in their hearts.

            The four questions they ask are these:

1. When did you come here?

2. What shall we do that we might work the works of God?

3. What sign will you perform that we may see it and believe you?

4. What work will you do?


(John 6:22)  The day following, when the people which stood on the other side of the sea saw that there was none other boat there, save that one whereinto his disciples were entered, and that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but [that] his disciples were gone away alone;(23)  (Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the Lord had given thanks:) (24)  When the people therefore saw that Jesus was not there, neither his disciples, they also took shipping, and came to Capernaum, seeking for Jesus. (25)  And when they had found him on the other side of the sea, they said unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?


The people had seen the disciples get into the boat and leave without Jesus.  At that time the boat that the disciples got into was the only boat in the area.  Therefore, the people expected to find Jesus the next morning still right there where the miracle had taken place or, at least, somewhere close by.  However, this morning there were a number of boats in that area.  These boats had come from the city of Tiberius, which lay somewhat south of Capernaum on the other side of the lake.  Apparently they had somehow heard about the miracle which had taken place on the evening before and had hurried over by boat to see what all the excitement was about.  When it finally dawned on the people that neither Jesus nor the disciples were in the area, they decided to look elsewhere.  So they got in the boats that had come from Tiberius and set out to Capernaum where He usually stayed to look for Jesus.






1. When did you come here?  What does this reveal about their hearts?

            A.  The concern of their heart is upon things that have no lasting benefit to the souls of men.  They were concerned about the logistics of Jesus’ travel.  What did it matter when Jesus arrived? 

            This concern over trivial things is apparent in our nature even today.  We tend to “Major on the Minor.”  Concern over trivial things causes us to lose our focus on what is truly important.  The color of the carpet in the church house or concern over how we are treated by others may well keep one from focusing on the spreading of the Gospel message to the lost and our need to serve the Lord.


            B.  They are concerned about not being in control for Jesus comes and goes as He pleases without reporting to men.  These men expected Jesus to adhere to their time table.  They want Jesus to go and come as they specify.  They wanted to tell Jesus when to set on His throne and usher in His Kingdom. 


2.  What should they have asked?


(John 6:26)  Jesus answered them and said, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Ye seek me, not because ye saw the miracles, but because ye did eat of the loaves, and were filled. (27)  Labour not for the meat which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto everlasting life, which the Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father sealed.


A.  They should have asked “Lord where do you want us to be?”

B.  They should have asked “Lord how may we be your disciples?”  “Take up thy cross and follow me”

C.  They followed because He supplied their physical needs.

D.  They should have followed because He supplies our spiritual needs.

E.  They did not follow because they saw the miracles.  This is the reason they should have followed Him.  He did miracles to prove that He was God in the flesh.  The miracles showed them that He was the promised Messiah who come to save men from their sins.

F.  They were working and focusing all their efforts on material and physical things.  They should have focused their energies on Spiritual things which concern ones relationship with God.

G.  It is only through Jesus Christ that man can be saved and have everlasting life.


3. What shall we do that we might work the works of God?  What does this reveal about their hearts?


(John 6:28)  Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?


            A. They wanted to please God.

                        1.  This is a desirable quality for men to have.

                        2. They have a misconception.  Works can not save.

                        3.  They think they can by their actions be good enough to please                                          God.  Without faith it is impossible to please God.



            B.  They are men who are filled with pride.

                        1.  They think that they are strong enough to resist sin.

                        2.  They think that they are good enough now.

                        3.  They just want to know how not to lose what they think they                                            have.


4.  What should they have asked?  What about their hearts?


(John 6:29)  Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.


            A.  They should have asked how, can a sinner like me, be made clean.

                        1.  The Law was not given to make men clean from sin.

                        2.  The Law was given to show man his sinful, hopeless condition.

                        3.  The Law pointed them to Christ who would pay their sin debt.

            B.  They need to realize that Salvation is in a person not a system.

                        1.  They should have searched the scriptures for a person who saves.

                        2.  They need to see that righteousness is by grace through faith.

                        3.  You must believe in order to be saved.


5. What sign will you perform that we may see it and believe you? Their hearts?


(John 6:30)  They said therefore unto him, What sign shewest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work? (31)  Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat.


            A. Again this is the wrong question.  Jesus had just pointed out that they were not following Him because they had seen the miracles.  They did not seem to care who Jesus was.  They cared more for what Jesus could do for them in the physical realm. 

            B.  God had fed the people in Moses day.  They expected God to feed them in their day.  They deemed this a sign that Moses was the man of God.  Now Jesus has fed them and they think that He should hold the same position as did Moses that of being a Man of God and not God Himself in human flesh.  Their misunderstanding can best be put forth this way:  They think that the feeding of the people is His proof but Jesus has told them that this is the wrong reason for following and accepting Him.  They are now confused if they are not to follow for this reason then what sign or work will Jesus due to prove that He is of God.  Thus they ask Him for a sign or a miraculous work to prove that He is from God.


6. What should they have asked?  What should have been in their hearts?


(John 6:32)  Then Jesus said unto them, Verily, verily, I say unto you, Moses gave you not that bread from heaven; but my Father giveth you the true bread from heaven. (33)  For the bread of God is he which cometh down from heaven, and giveth life unto the world.



            A.  Jesus sets them strait.  Moses had nothing to do with giving them the bread from Heaven.  God gave them that bread.  That bread was to serve as a spiritual picture.  It represented the true bread from Heaven.  That true bread is Jesus who would come to earth to die for man’s sin and to give life to those who were spiritually dead because of sin.


            B.  They should have asked for Jesus to forgive their sins and save their souls.  They should have accepted the fact that they are spiritually dead and separated from the Holy God of Heaven.  They should have asked for that spiritual bread which could give them eternal life.  That bread is eaten by faith and given by grace.


7. What work will you do?  What does this reveal about the heart?


(John 6:34)  Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us this bread.


            A.  They expected Jesus to perform some sign for them but the sign He performs will be rejected by most.  He will die and be raised from the dead in three days.   This is their sign and if they will believe He will save their souls.

            B.  They expected real bread to eat and they expected that the physical body and its work could change their spiritual condition.  It can not and will not.  The spirit is not changed by the actions of the body.  Faith is the victory that overcomes the world.  We can not eat, drink, or do anything that will effect the soul.  Our souls are lost in sin and our actions can not change this fact.  We can only be saved by admitting our sinful, helpless condition to ourselves and to God and seek His forgiveness.  Those who come to Him believing that He can and will save will not be disappointed.


8.  What should they have asked?  What should have been in the heart?


(John 6:35)  And Jesus said unto them, I am the bread of life: he that cometh to me shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never thirst.


            A.  They should have asked Jesus to do for them what they could not do for themselves.  Their need was not physical their need was spiritual.  Only Jesus can cure spiritual hunger and thirst.  Only Jesus can quench the hungering and thirsting soul. 

            B.  They need to see themselves stuck in the miry clay of sin.  They need to know that they are destitute spiritually and that the only cure is faith in Jesus Christ.


Conclusion:  What question do you have for Jesus?  Would you ask Him “What must I do to be saved?”  He tells us plainly that if you will repent of your sin and turn to Him seeking forgiveness, mercy, and pardon He will forgive you and save your soul.  He will make you a new creature spiritually.  This new creation can not sin and will forever be safe in the hands of Jesus.  Will you today put your eternal destiny into the capable Hands of Jesus Christ and be saved?