John 6:26-30
John 6:26 (KJB)
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.
When Jesus uses the term “verily, verily” that means a major truth is about ready to hit you between the eyes. Since Jesus is omniscient, He knew exactly why these people were following Him. They did not follow Him because of the fact that a notable miracle had taken place. If they were focusing on the miracle, then the conversation would have found itself re-focusing on the fact that Jesus was God and able to perform the miracle and that would have confirmed His Messiahship. The problem was that these people were unsaved and all they were focusing on was the fact that they received a free meal. Their focus was on the earthly part of the miracle and they neglected the heavenly part of the miracle, namely who Jesus really was. When one’s belief system is tied to the earth, they never lift up their heads for truth.
John 6:27 (KJB)
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.
Here Jesus is not stating that we should not work to provide food for our families and ourselves but He is teaching that we must never use up our lives in the pursuit of the earthly delights. Today we have many who have sold themselves out to their companies and put in inordinate amounts of time just to try and get ahead for promotion and more money. This is not to say that we do not give our best to our employers and even if we have to go in on an occasional Saturday, we do it. Here Jesus is trying to re-focus their thinking away from the earth, which will someday perish, on to the more important things such as eternal salvation. The meat that we seek is the eternal Gospel through Grace which saves a person’s soul for all eternity. It is the spiritual meat that we seek. The Lord Jesus Christ will give that spiritual meat because He is qualified to do so. The Father had given His seal of approval to Jesus. When a sovereign king seals something with his official seal, that means he is giving his approval to whatever is in view. Since the Lord Jesus has done everything in concert with His Father, His Father has given His approval to the Son’s ministry and that is why Jesus is qualified to dole out eternal life to His people.
John 6:28 (KJB)
Then said they unto him, What shall we do, that we might work the works of God?
Then the question of the ages is asked of Jesus. What should we do that we should work the works of God? Every world religion will have their own set of rules and doctrines. Every church will have their rules and doctrines. The problem is that private sets of rules and doctrines are viewed as doing the works of God if they are obeyed. Some of the rules and doctrines in many churches are fine and can be traced back to Scripture. However, there are many rules which are just plain legalistic which constitutes the laws of man. The works of God are found within the Scriptures and no one can do the work of God unless they first become saved. (Eph 2:10 KJV) For we are his workmanship, created in Christ Jesus unto good works, which God hath before ordained that we should walk in them. Good works comes after salvation and not before. (Prov 21:27 KJV) The sacrifice of the wicked is abomination: how much more, when he bringeth it with a wicked mind? Those who are unsaved and try to do good works before God are deemed wicked and their works are an abomination. That abomination is increased when they bring the works with a wicked mind. This is describing the unbeliever who has not become saved and had a change of mind. If they remain unsaved, God will always consider their mind as wicked and at enmity with Him.
John 6:29 (KJB)
Jesus answered and said unto them, This is the work of God, that ye believe on him whom he hath sent.
The answer is very simple in contrast to the works of the law and other laws made up by religious institutions. However, there is a major qualification here. No person can believe on the Lord Jesus Christ unless they first become saved. It sounds backwards doesn’t it? The truth is that a person is spiritually dead. (Eph 2:5 KJV) Even when we were dead in sins, hath quickened us together with Christ, (by grace ye are saved;) What can a dead person do? They can do nothing, so then how could they believe and have faith? The word “believe” in the Greek is a verb which means it is an action making it a work. We know that the Bible teaches emphatically that no one can work for their salvation. So then how does one believe? Now we come to the part where we can find where faith originates.
In the early church after the giving of the Holy Spirit, God had made faith one of the gifts. (1 Cor 12:9 KJV) To another faith by the same Spirit; to another the gifts of healing by the same Spirit; In 1 Corinthians 12:9, God had included the gift of faith as one of the spiritual gifts but then later on as the provisional gifts started to wane, God had made sure the gift of faith continued. At first, there were only some who had the gift of faith but then God made the gift of faith a fruit of the Spirit. (Gal 5:22 KJV) But the fruit of the Spirit is love, joy, peace, longsuffering, gentleness, goodness, faith, Now faith, being a fruit of the Spirit, is given to every believer when they become saved and are indwelled by the Holy Spirit. So these verses teach us plainly that a person does not receive faith until they become saved. Then they have the faith to believe because they have been regenerated unto life. So now we can do the work of God which is believing on His Son. As we believe on His Son, we will do the appropriate works of God to which we have been spiritually qualified through the spiritual gifts which we have received upon salvation. The primary work of God is to believe on His Son.
John 6:30 (KJB)
They said therefore unto him, What sign showest thou then, that we may see, and believe thee? what dost thou work?
This has to be one of the greatest cases of spiritual blindness in the Bible. The day prior Jesus had just fed a multitude of over 5,000 with five loaves and two tiny fishes. In light of this, they ask Him to show them a sign that they may believe Him. Don’t they realize that that they followed Him here on the heels of the miracles which He performed and to which they were witnesses and partakers. Then they go and desire to find out what work is He going to do next? We see here the essence of people being spiritually dead because they cannot even see the reality of who Jesus is based on the miracle they just partook of. It would be like a billionaire who gives me a gift of one million dollars and the next day I go to him and ask, “what sign do you give to show me you are wealthy?” This is why Christians should never expect anything spiritual out of spiritually dead people.