In our text two Sundays ago Jesus miraculously fed a

multitude.  In our text last Sunday He miraculously walked

on water and calmed a storm.

    In our text today Jesus declares Himself to be the true

"Bread From Heaven," which can feed all mankind spiritually.


I.  A review of the preceding events


    Let me review the events with you and help you to get

them fixed in your mind.  It was late in the afternoon or

early evening when Jesus fed the multitude.  This took a

considerable amount of time.  By the time they finished it

was late evening.  Jesus sent His disciples away by boat and

sent the multitude away by foot on land.  Darkness was fast

approaching.  Jesus then went up into a mountain to pray.

According to the other gospel writers, it was well past

midnight when Jesus walked on the water out to the boat

which the disciples were in and rescued them from the storm.


II. The multitude returning to find Jesus


    V. 22, "The day following, when the people which stood

on the other side of the sea..."  That is, they were on the

eastern side of the Sea of Galilee.

    This poses a problem for us in understanding the

passage.  Matthew clearly says that Jesus had sent the

multitude away before He went up into the mountain.  Yet the

next morning there were still a great many of them on the

eastern side where the miraculous feeding had taken place.

This means that either they went to the cities and villages

on the western and northern side of the sea and returned

very early the next day or else they did not go very far

when Jesus sent them away.  My guess is they did not go very

far away.  Darkness caught the disciples in the boat and it

also caught the multitude who were on food.  I think that

when darkness came they just camped where they were.  So

they were still in the vicinity of the miraculous feeding

when morning came.  At any rate, there they were the next

morning in the area and were looking for Jesus.

    (V. 22), "...saw that there was none other boat there,

save that one where into his disciples were entered, and

that Jesus went not with his disciples into the boat, but

that his disciples were gone away alone."  This part of the

verse speaks of what had happened the previous day.  The

people had seen the disciples get into the boat and leave

without Jesus.  At that time the boat that the disciples got

in 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.

    V. 23, "(Howbeit there came other boats from Tiberias

nigh unto the place where they did eat bread, after that the

Lord had given thanks)."  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.

    V. 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."  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.


III. The question which they asked Jesus when they did find



    V. 25, "And when they had found him on the other side of

the sea..."  Capernaum lay of the other side from which they

had just come.  They found Jesus.  I am sure He was not

difficult to find.  Once they arrived in the city all they

had to do was to make an inquiry or two and they were able

to locate Him.  At this point of time, everybody took notice

when Jesus came to town and it was soon talked everywhere.

So there was no trouble locating Him in Capernaum.

    You may recall that on the evening before they had

talked about taking Jesus by force and crowning Him as king.

However, by this time that idea had cooled off.  They do not

at all mention making Him king..  (V. 25), "...they said

unto him, Rabbi, when camest thou hither?" Instead they

wanted an answer to the question: How in the world did He

get here without them knowing it?  They know for sure that

He did not leave with the disciples.  If He had walked

around the shores He would almost surely have been spotted

by somebody.  They did not know that He took a shortcut to

the boat where the disciples were.  He just walked on the

water to the boat and then traveled the rest of the way in

the boat with the disciples.


IV. The rebuke which Jesus gave the people


    V. 26, "Jesus answered them..."  John says that Jesus

answered them, but He did not answer the question that they

had asked.  Instead, He responded by rebuking them for their

motive in seeking Him.

    (V. 26), "...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."  At the first they

had been overwhelmed by the miracle.  They had been so

impressed by the miraculous feeding that they had decided

that He is the promised Messiah and they wanted to make Him

their king.  They were willing, if necessary, to take Him by

force and crown Him king.

    However, by now they were no longer impressed by the

miracles that He is the promised Messiah.  Rather, they are

now impressed with how nice it would be for them to have

somebody like Him around all the time to keep them fed.

They could all retire.  They could sell the surplus food to

others and take care of their other expenses.  They could

think of all manner of possibilities.

    Jesus knew their motives and told them so.  He said in

effect, "All you fellows want with me is to keep you well



V.  The good counsel which Jesus gave the people


    He used the occasion to speak to them about the

salvation of their souls.  V. 27, "Labour not for the meat

which perisheth, but for that meat which endureth unto

everlasting life..."  What a lesson!  What a valuable lesson

even for people today!

    What is the main concern upon the great majority of

people in our land?  Putting three square meals on the table

every day.  That is the main concern of most people.  Jesus

is saying, "Listen, folks, there is something far more

important than putting food on the table.  The salvation of

the soul is more important than having food on the table."

    Jesus said that the food which goes on the table

perishes.  That is, it doesn't last long.  Last Sunday we

ate Thanksgiving dinner here at church.  Then on Thursday we

ate Thanksgiving dinner again.  The first one didn't last

very long.  Even the one we had Thursday didn't last long.

We have had several meals since then.  No one meal lasts

very long.  It has to be followed pretty quickly by another.

If one does not eat then pretty soon he will get weak and


    But God has sent a Bread from heaven that has

everlasting results.  It brings everlasting benefits.  If

one eats this spiritual Bread that God has sent from heaven

the benefits received from that Bread will last forever.

Jesus said it will endure into everlasting life.

    Speaking of everlasting life, Jesus said that is what

the Son of man is able to give.  (V. 27), "...  which the

Son of man shall give unto you: for him hath God the Father

sealed."  That is God the Father has placed His stamp of

approval upon Him as the Savior of men.  God has endorsed

Him.  God the Father has spoken from heaven saying, "This is

my beloved Son in whom I am well pleased."  God the Father

has endorsed Him publicly through the miracles which He has

assigned Him to do.  He indeed, is the Christ which God the

Father had promised by the prophets of old.  He is the

Christ, just as these men had, at least temporarily, decided

earlier.  God had used the miraculous feeding, among other

things, to place His seal upon Him and let people know that

He is the Christ.

    V. 28, "Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that

we might work the works of God?"  That is, "What shall we do

to be accepted by God and approved by Him?"  Their question

reveals a problem in their thinking.  They were thinking of

getting everlasting life by performing good works.  They

wanted to know just what particular good works must they


    Jesus answered that question right quickly.  V. 29,

"Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God,

that ye believe on him whom he hath sent."  Jesus said, "God

does not require of you to do a bunch of good works in order

to get everlasting life."  Salvation is not of works.  You

cannot possibly get saved by doing good works.

    Jesus said, "There is but one thing that will get you

into heaven.  That is, you must believe on Him whom God has

sent to be the Savior."  This is a truth which is repeated

many times in Scripture.  John 3:16, 18, 36; John 5:24; Acts

16:31; and Romans 10:13 are but a few.

    Let me tell you that this would be a hard thing for them

to believe.  It is difficult for unsaved men to give up the

idea that they can do something on their own to merit

salvation.  It is hard to realize that there is nothing in

this world that we can do to get saved except to depend

completely on Jesus and trust Him to save us.


VI.  The sign which they asked of Jesus


    V. 30, "They said therefore unto him, What sign showest

thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou

work?"  Can you believe that?  After Jesus fed that whole

multitude with five loaves and two fishes, can you believe

that they would have the audacity to say to Him, "We want

you to show us some miracle -- some sign -- that you really

are the Christ whom God has sent?

    V. 31, "Our fathers did eat manna in the desert; as it

is written, He gave them bread from heaven to eat."  In

essence here is what they were talking about.  In essence

they said, "Moses fed our forefathers for forty years in the

wilderness with bread from heaven.  Can you top that?  We

know that you can feed us one meal, but how do we know that

you can feed us forty years?  If, indeed, you are the

Christ, you ought to be able to do greater things than Moses

could.  Show us a miracle that will convince us that you are

greater than Moses."  Now that is just exactly the attitude

these people had.


VII.  The true Bread from heaven


    V.  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."  Jesus

said, "You think that Moses gave you bread from heaven.  He

didn't.  The bread that Moses gave was never in heaven.  He

did not give you bread from heaven.  It is God, my Father,

who gives the true bread from heaven."

    V. 33, "For the bread of God is he which cometh down

from heaven, and giveth life unto the world."  Jesus said

that the bread which the Father gives has been in heaven.

He came to earth from heaven.  Jesus said, "This is the

Bread which I was talking about which is able to give

everlasting life.  He will give everlasting life to anybody

in the whole wide world who will do what God requires.  God

requires that one believe in the Savior whom He has sent."

    V.  34, "Then said they unto him, Lord, evermore give us

this bread."  At first glance, it seems that at long last

these people are asking Jesus to save them.  But that is not

really what they are asking for.  They are not asking for a

spiritual bread which will give a new spiritual life which

will last forever.  Rather they are asking for some kind of

material bread to be given to them continually -- forever.

There is a difference.

    Oh, how patient Jesus is!  V. 35, "And Jesus said unto

them, I am the bread of life..."  The true Bread from heaven

is not some kind of manna that can be made into a loaf and

baked in the oven and eaten with the mouth.  Rather, the

true Bread of Life it is a person.  That person is Jesus.

Jesus is the Bread from heaven.

    And one cannot get saved by literally eating this bread

with the mouth.  One cannot get saved even by eating the

symbolic bread in the Lord's Supper.  The way to get saved

is to come to Jesus by faith and put one's faith and trust

in Him for salvation.  (V. 35), "...he that cometh to me

shall never hunger; and he that believeth on me shall never

thirst."  Let me repeat some Scripture which I cited

earlier: John 3:16, 18, 36; John 5:24; Acts 16:31; and

Romans 10:13.




    Have you ever been saved?  Do you realize that you need

to be saved?  Would you like to be saved?  Do you believe

that Jesus can save you?  Do you understand that Jesus has

promised to save you if you place your faith in Him?  Come

now and trust Jesus to take care of your eternal destiny.

    If there is one who is already saved who wishes to unite

with this church, then come now.