John 6:22-35 JESUS THE TRUE BREAD FROM HEAVEN
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
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
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
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
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
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
III. The question which they asked Jesus when they did find
V. 25, "And when they had found him on the other side of
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
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
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.