So the people, finding that neither Jesus nor His disciples were there, themselves got into the small boats and came to Capernaum looking for Jesus. 25 And when they found Him on the other side of the lake, they said to Him, Rabbi! When did You come here? 26 Jesus answered them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, you have been searching for Me, not because you saw the miracles and signs but because you were fed with the loaves and were filled and satisfied. John 6:24-26 AMP
Jesus fed the multitude of people because He loved them and cared about them. When He left the place where they were, they came to look for Him, not because they had a spiritual hunger or because they wanted more of His ministry and His teaching, they just wanted the food! Jesus rebuked them for their carnal motivation. Many people follow Jesus just because of what they can get from Him – they use religion to gain money, positions, prestige, comfort, or even political votes, but those are totally self-centered motives. A true believer will follow Jesus simply because they know He is the Truth, the Way and the Life! Every one of us should do a regular heart-check. Are we following Jesus for what He can give us – or for what we can get out of it – or are we totally committed to Him; even if it costs us; even unto death? There is a price to pay to serve Him.
Stop toiling and doing and producing for the food that perishes and decomposes [in the using], but strive and work and produce rather for the [lasting] food which endures [continually] unto life eternal; the Son of Man will give (furnish) you that, for God the Father has authorized and certified Him and put His seal of endorsement upon Him. 28 They then said, What are we to do, that we may [habitually] be working the works of God? [What are we to do to carry out what God requires?] 29 Jesus replied, This is the work (service) that God asks of you: that you believe in the One Whom He has sent [that you cleave to, trust, rely on, and have faith in His Messenger]. John 6:27-29 AMP
Jesus told them to stop striving and working so hard for the things – and the food – that will perish and pass away. He told them to rather strive for and work for those things that last forever. Jesus – God’s Word – is the source of the food that lasts forever unto eternal life. Many sincere people seek to find a way to please God and to receive a reward for their works, but they don’t know to go about it. All the religions of the world are trying to find the answers. Jesus ’answer is simple: believe on the One whom God has sent. You must believe that Jesus is who He says that He is – that He is the Messiah – the Christ – the Son of the Living God. We must believe in what He said and what He did and who He is. That is the way to please God.
Therefore they said to Him, What sign (miracle, wonderwork) will You perform then, so that we may see it and believe and rely on and adhere to You? What [supernatural] work have You [to show what You can do]? 31 Our forefathers ate the manna in the wilderness; as the Scripture says, He gave them bread out of heaven to eat. 32 Jesus then said to them, I assure you, most solemnly I tell you, Moses did not give you the Bread from heaven [what Moses gave you was not the Bread from heaven], but it is My Father Who gives you the true heavenly Bread.
33 For the Bread of God is He Who comes down out of heaven and gives life to the world. 34 Then they said to Him, Lord, give us this bread always (all the time)!
35 Jesus replied, I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst any more (at any time). John 6:30-35 AMP
Some people are never satisfied with the signs God gives them. They always want yet another sign before they’ll believe, and the signs God gives are never good enough for them. They always have an excuse for their doubt and unbelief and disobedience. Jesus told us about a rich man that ended up in Hades. He begged Abraham to send the beggar Lazarus to warn his brothers not to come to this terrible place of torment, but Abraham said to him: “If they do not hear and listen to Moses and the Prophets, neither will they be persuaded and convinced and believe [even] if someone should rise from the dead.” (Luke 16:31 AMP) God wants us to trust in His Word, because it is His Word, not just because it’s what we wanted to hear. God is not in the business of entertaining us with magic tricks, but He will tell us and show us the truth. We must trust Him and obey Him in faith!
The miracle of the multiplication of the loaves and fishes was not enough for the unbelieving crowds, because, as they put it: “Even Moses fed us with Manna – bread from heaven! What can You do, Jesus, over and above that, to prove to us that we should believe and follow You?” Jesus replied that Moses didn’t give them true bread from heaven; he gave them supernatural bread that only fed their physical bodies, but not their spirits. Jesus said, “I am that Heavenly Bread; I am the Bread of Life!” Then the people said to Him, “Lord, give us this bread always – all the time!” They were still focused on the bread they could put in their mouths and their stomachs.
Jesus’ answer to them was, “I am the Bread of Life. He who comes to Me will never be hungry, and he who believes in and cleaves to and trusts in and relies on Me will never thirst anymore.” People eat natural bread to satisfy physical hunger and to sustain physical life. We can satisfy spiritual hunger and sustain spiritual life only by having a right relationship with Jesus Christ. We can’t just stare at the heavenly bread, but we must actually eat it. We must receive God’s Word and allow Him into our heart and our daily life.