I clearly remember sitting in a seminary class discussing salvation. Split into three groups of ten, each group was supposed to come to a consensus on what was needed for life in God and salvation. The 10 representatives then went up to the front of the classroom to share their answers with the class on the chalkboard. When the dust settled, the answers varied more than the style of khakis in the room. Some groups had one or two imperatives of faith while others had seven or eight. Salvation and the work of God became very overwhelming in that moment to me. Today’s passage helps ground me in the profound simplicity of the nature and work of Christ.
* How would you respond to that same question—what is needed for life in God and salvation?
READ THE WORD: JOHN 6:28-34 (ESV)
28 Then they said to him, “What must we do, to be doing the works of God?” 29 Jesus answered them, “This is the work of God, that you believe in him whom he has sent.” 30 So they said to him, “Then what sign do you do, that we may see and believe you? What work do you perform? 31 Our fathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as it is written, ‘He gave them bread from heaven to eat.’” 32 Jesus then said to them, “Truly, truly, I say to you, it was not Moses who gave you the bread from heaven, but my Father gives you the true bread from heaven. 33 For the bread of God is he who comes down from heaven and gives life to the world.” 34 They said to him, “Sir, give us this bread always.”
English Standard Version, copyright 2001 by Crossway Bibles. Used by permission. All rights reserved.
- According to verse 29, what is the work of God?
- How did Jesus correct the Jewish crowd’s thinking about Moses?
- They asked to see before they believed. Has there ever been a time in your life when God has asked you to believe before you see?
- Is verse 34, “Sir, give us this bread always,” a statement of faith or confusion by the Jewish crowd?
- How has the bread from heaven sustained you in ways bread from the earth has not?
RESPOND TO GOD
Food, at its basic level, keeps us going, and at its most intense level, provides experiences that demand savoring and sharing. Jesus Christ is the bread from heaven. Moreover, Jesus Christ is the bread broken for us to partake from heaven. When we hear that blessing falls from above, we can often complicate matters, look for dividing issues, or solely look for the payoff. Unfortunately, these distractions diminish from experiencing life given to us from God the Father. Let us not miss that Christ is our manna from heaven, our source and presence in good and bad times.
- Prayerfully contemplate how you do the work of God, how you affirm and embrace Christ. How do you experience Christ as the true bread of heaven? How is he energy? How is he worth savoring?